On Sunday, February 24, 2019, the geographer and member of the Study Group on the History of Cartography (GEHC) Tomàs Vidal Bendito (Maó, 1941) died in Palma de Mallorca.

Disciple of the geographers Jean Bisson and Joan Vilà-Valentí, he completed his undergraduate thesis on the evolution of agriculture and rural property on the island of Menorca and the doctoral thesis on the depopulation of the countryside of Catalonia. He received his doctorate in 1974 at the Universitat de Barcelona.

He was professor of human geography at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Universitat de Barcelona. He was a founding member of the Institut Menorquí d'Estudis, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Fundació Enciclopèdia de Menorca and a member of the Societat Catalana de Geografia. Specialist in population geography, he published numerous works on migratory movements, demographic transition and demographic analysis techniques. He also cultivated the field of thematic cartography creating and directing the Atlas Socioeconòmic de Catalunya (Barcelona, ​​1980-1981). During the last years he participated, as a member of the GEHC, in several research projects on the history of cartography, focusing his research on the territorial evolution of the island of Menorca and, especially, in the history of his cartographic image. A story about which he has left us a posthumous work, which we hope to see published as soon as possible.

The American Philosophical Society (APS) invites to academics from all domains to present proposals of presentations for an international and interdisciplinar conference that will focus on the power of maps and the politics of border establishment. 

The event has the title The Power of Maps and the Politics of Borders and it will take place in Philadelphia, October, 10th to 12th.

The deadline to present proposals is the next March, 15th (see the announcement here and download the CFP here). The chosen people will be announced in May and they will receive help to attend to the conference. 

The conference will coincide with the exhibition Mapping a Nation: Shaping the Early American Republic, that will focus on North-American cartography between 18th century and 1816 and its impact in the first construction of United States. 


Recently the platform of collaborative projects ComunidadBNE of the National Library of Spain (BNE) has been presented, which allows to participate to someone who is interested in, in labelling, transcription, identification and geolocalization of texts, photos and all kid of documents of its holdings.

Between the projects that they are developing robot now highlights the transcription of Descripción geográfica de la España antigua, y su correspondencia con la moderna, a geographic handed dictionary made in the 19th century by the Swedish diplomat Gustaf Daniel Lorichs. There is no printed edition. 

You can access directly to the project through the web.

The next July, 15th, coinciding with the 29 International Cartographic Conference of International Cartographic Association (ICA), the workshop Cartography as a Cultural Encounter: How East and West have Mapped and Influenced Each Other will take place in Tokyo.

It is organized by two ICA commissions, the Commission about History of cartography and the Commission about Topographic Cartography, and the main theme will be the development of cartographic practice, from a historical point of view, in the oriental world as well as in the occidental one, and the relationship between them. You can find more information in the workshop link .

It is possible to participate in. The deadline to send abstracts is March, 30th. 

The Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana (AISU) organices  every two years a congress about urban history, where experts talk about, among other things, the representation of the city. 

The current edition will take place in Bologna, in September, 11th to 14th. The motto is The Global city. The urban condition as a pervasive phenomenon and a great number of sessions are defined (see here).

The call for papers has been extended until February, 10th. 

As we announced here, the last January, 16th the presentation of the book History of urban cartography in Spain: models and realizations had place in the Government Delegation of Catalonia.

The act was presented by the Government Delegate, Teresa Cunillera Mestres; the director of the Development Area of the Government Delegation, Estanislau Vidal-Folch de Balanzó, moderated it; and participated the Director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN), Lorenzo García Asensio, y nuestro colega and the coeditor of the work, Luis Urteaga González.

More than 70 people attended to, and the talk consisted of the content of the book and its contribution to knowledge about urban maps production, its current state and the future of the cartography. 

You can find a review of the act and the texts of the participants here.

The Geography and History Faculty of University of Barcelona offers a Course of introduction to history of cartography in February, 6th to 8th. 

The course is promoted by the GEHC and will be directed by Francesc Nadal, Bárbara Polo y Meritxell Gisbert.

The activity is public and free. In total, it will have 19 class hours and  6 of autonomous work. 

The activity program can be download here or you can contact with the organizer through the mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the greatest pleasures of being lost between files and bookshelves of an archive is to find something unexpectedly.  

This is the case that happened to our mate Bárbara Polo, who identified some fragments of a manuscript copy of Ptolomeo over parchment kept in the blank pages of a libro de fábrica (bind collection of accounting documents) of 17th century in the Capitular Library of Burgos Cathedral.

These fragments are a copy of the Ptolomeo´s Geography that was translated to latin, in 1409, by Jacopo di Angelo da Scarperia. In the  article published in the Journal Imago Mundi, Bárbara Polo, together with Chet Van Duzer, conclude that these fragments have their origin in the workshop of Piero del Massaio, an usual copyist of Ptolomeo´s Geography of mid 15th century, and which could be property of Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca, closer collaborator of Catholic Kings and one of the first creators of colonial politics in America.