Friday, April 4, 2008

Inflated Views

From the New York Times, December 8, 2001:
On March 29, 1976, a simple, pastel map of New York City appeared on the cover of The New Yorker. Drawn from the perspective of a low-flying bird looking west from Ninth Avenue, you could see the world receding from the city: the Hudson River, New Jersey, Kansas City, then the Pacific Ocean and Japan. It was Saul Steinberg's famous "View of the World from Ninth Avenue," a drawing reproduced and imitated countless times. Every city wanted a version of its own. Steinberg once said that if he had gotten the proper royalties, "I could have retired on this painting."
This inflated view of one's own importance is not the first time such a map has been created. Here is another look at New York in relation to the rest of the country, by Daniel K. Wallingford, in 1937; A New Yorker's Idea of the United States of America:

© The Saul Steinberg Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Cover reproduced with permission of The New Yorker magazine. All rights reserved.
per Sheila Schwartz, Executive Director, The Saul Steinberg Foundation

Not to be outdone, here is a view from California:

As mentioned here before, Texas is in love with its geographic shape. They also like to tell us how everything is bigger in Texas. Below are two postcards from my collection that illustrate that infatuation:

And finally, on this postcard, Alabama, for reasons unclear, have an inflated view of themselves:

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At Saturday, April 05, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have any of these photos in a larger size so we could read the small print? Really interesting.

At Saturday, April 05, 2008 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

The three postcards (Texas and Alabama) I own, and could rescan larger... the New York and California images are as I found them.

At Sunday, April 06, 2008 , Anonymous johnny0 said...

Even more reason to avoid Alabama -- that damn postcard has Vancouver Island as part of the US. I was born there and I *hate* that!

Where did you find the California image?

At Sunday, April 06, 2008 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

I don't remember where I got the image, and cannot find it again. But here is an article about the map and it's author, Ernest Dudley Chase:

At Monday, April 07, 2008 , Blogger johnny0 said...

Thanks for the pointer on Chase. Looks like the California map is in that "Personal Geographies" book:,M1

While searching for him I found another Texas map:

At Monday, April 07, 2008 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...


At Saturday, April 26, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently acquired a signed, map/poster by Ernest Dudley Chase titled "A Pictorial Map STAMPS OF AMERICA" copyright 1947. Imtrying to get information on this particular piece. Any thoughts? Bob

At Saturday, April 26, 2008 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

Sorry, I am not a knowledgeable collector of Ernest Dudley Chase posters.

You might try to contac the folks at the Harvard exhibit mentioned here in the comments. Perhaps someone knowledgeable can post here.

At Thursday, May 22, 2008 , Blogger AngelaTertia said...

We have some Ernest Dudley Chase map at the Boston Public library but they aren't scanned.

At Wednesday, October 01, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know where I can find some of the Saul Steinberg imitations? There must be a trove around somewhere (you always see them on T-shirts etc). The one I would especially like is the reverse of his famous 1976 view west from New York i.e. a view east from San Francisco. Google GIS only find that and a Newyorkistan one.


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