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Posts Tagged ‘Erwin Raisz – Atlases; Map design – atlases; Cuba – atlases’

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This Atlas is more than an attempt to describe Cuba. Our aim is not only to present the setting in which the drama of Cuban life is played but to show how this life itself changes its own setting, creating new problems and new adjustments to them.

This dynamic element is usually absent from the impersonal atlases produced by governments, societies and publishing houses, which merely give a graphic report of a given moment of time. Our objective is to give a living picture of Cuban geography as far as possible in 64 pages. Our approach is as follows: 1. What are the facts?, 2. What are the essential problems?, 3. What will be their effects in the future and what may be done about them? For instance, Cuba, by reason of its close proximity to the United States become its chief source of tropical products, especially sugar. Thus the Cuban economy has become dependent on the fluctuating sugar demand, whereas a diversification of crops and industries would be advisable.

We have presented the results of our labor in graphical form. An old Chinese proverb says: “A picture says more than a thousand words.” Moreover by visual representation the most complicated problems may be brought within the understanding of the layman. Everyone should know the geography of his own country, and in the case of Cuba this need is imperative, since few countries have such clear-cut dependence on location, climate and soil Cuba’s internal problems of adjustment and interdependence with the rest of the world demand a high degree of understanding from its citizens.

- from Introduction

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In addition to many dozens of unique landform maps, Erwin Raisz produced three atlases in his lifetime, including the Atlas of Global Geography (Global Press Corp., 1944), the Atlas de Cuba (Harvard University Press, 1949) and the Atlas of Florida (University of Florida Press, 1964). Copies of the Global and Florida atlases are relatively easy to find (used or in libraries); this is not the case with the Cuba atlas, which seems to have had a relatively low print run. A series of maps, diagrams and illustrations from the Cuba atlas are included below.

The Atlas de Cuba strongly reflects Raisz’s aesthetic, combining creative illustration with his bold and cozy aesthetic of map design. Part of the appeal of Raisz’s work is its humane feel, reflecting the manual mapping tools used to create his maps. Raisz’s maps and illustrations clearly reveal the hand of a human creator.

A large format map, included in the back of the Atlas de Cuba, will be the subject of a subsequent post.

See also, at this blog, Raisz’s History of American Cartography TimelinesMap Symbols: Landforms & Terrain, and Raisz’s currently available landform maps at www.raiszmaps.com.

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El Mundo Alrededor de Cuba | The World Around Cuba (Excerpt & entire p. 5)

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Cuba Colonial | Colonial Cuba (excerpt, p. 9)

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Ciclones | Cyclones (excerpt & entire p. 14)

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Geologia | Geology (excerpt & entire pp. 18-19)

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Geomorfologia | Geomorphology (excerpt & entire pp. 20-21)

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Pesca | Fish (excerpt, p. 25)

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Vegetacion | Vegetation (excerpt & entire pp. 26-27)

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Poblacion | Population (excerpt, p. 29)

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Composition Social | Social Composition (excerpt, p. 35)

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Tourismo | Tourism (excerpt & entire pp. 38-39)

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Educacion | Education (excerpt, p. 40)

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Agricultura | Agriculture (excerpts & entire pp. 42-43)

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Azucar | Sugar (excerpt, p. 44)

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Minerales | Minerals (excerpt & entire pp. 46-47)

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Tabaco | Tobacco (excerpt, p. 49)

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Frutas | Fruit (excerpt, p. 51)

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Atlas de Cuba

Garardo Canet & Erwin Raisz

Harvard University Press

1949

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