X Close

UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Celebrating Marvellous Maps!

By Nick J Booth, on 9 October 2014

Marvellous Maps Poster

Marvellous Maps Poster

Whenever I’m giving an introduction to the UCL Geology Collections there is one part of the collection that is pretty much guaranteed to get even the least engaged, non-geological undergrad at their 9am lecture on a Monday interested…our maps. There’s something about stopping what you are doing and exploring a map that just seems to interest people. Perhaps it’s the fact that with most maps the more you look the more you see; the more time you spend looking the more you are rewarded.

The 13th – 19th October is International Earth Sciences Week, and Friday 17th is Geological Map Day, so with this in mind UCL Earth Sciences and UCL Museums invite you to a very special pop-up event…

Marvellous Maps’ will be hosted in the Rock Room on Friday 17th October by UCL Earth Sciences, between 1 – 5pm.

19th Century map of Mt Etna.

19th Century map of Mt Etna.

Maps are important for Geology. Earth Science undergrads at UCL learn how to map in their first year, grad students use them for their PhDs and our lecturers teach with them. The Geology Collection includes hundreds of them, from world firsts to just published maps of other planets.

The event will feature…

• 200 years of geological mapping from George Greenough’s 1819 geological map of England & Wales to the United States Geological Survey’s 2014 map of Mars.

• The first geological map ever made of Vesuvius, drawn up by Dr Johnston-Lavis.

The Rock Room

The Rock Room

• Demonstrations on how geological maps are made, from field slips to ‘fair copy’ maps ready for publication.

• Explanations of why geological maps are so colourful and what those colours mean!

• Tours of UCL’s Regional Planetary Image Facility , the only one of its kind in the UK, at 2 pm & 3 pm.

• And the opportunity for visitors to make their own geological map of part of Mars, Venus or the Moon.

Staff will be on hand all afternoon to talk visitors through the maps on display, and it is open to everyone, UCL or not.

What better way of spending Geological Map Day than talking to Earth Scientists, drawing maps of other planets and poring over rare, beautiful and marvellous maps?!

Nick Booth is a curator of the Teaching and Research Collections at UCL.

Leave a Reply