Posts tagged: Samuel Dunn
Map Detail: Canada circa 1794
Canada became a sovereign nation that was part of the British Commonwealth in 1867. Prior to that, it was an English colony. Prior to that, it was a French colony. Prior to that, it was the “new world”, inhabited by various peoples mistakenly called “Indians” by confused explorers who believed themselves in the country called “India”.
These earlier inhabitants, now referred to as “Native Canadians” are believed to have walked here a very long time ago, migrating across a (now submerged) land bridge connecting what we now call Russia to what we now call Alaska.
If you look closely at this map detail, taken from Dunn’s “A General Map of the World”, you’ll see a great many native Canadian names marked on the known geographic features displayed here. Kind of makes one think it might be about time we made some reasonable reparations.
The World in 1794
This map is in the public domain, which means anyone can copy it and use it in any way they choose. Changes to copyright law mean that any map made today, in Canada, would only come into the Public Domain 50 years after the death of the author. (70 years in the US, 100 years in other places.)
You might wonder why that is a concern, since Google and Google Earth have been doing such a fine job of map making. Just that those maps belong to Google, not us.
They are not in the public domain. If you use a Google map in any way not allowed by Google, you are infringing copyright. As copyright laws keep getting “stronger” at some point using a Google Map without permission could result in user fines or perhaps even imprisonment.
There is an alternative online map making project, Open Street Map which seeks to make maps that we can all use as we need. Because although maps as old as this one have a great deal of historical merit, be fascinating to read, and beautiful to behold, and but they don’t always help us find our way to the place we want to go.