Wisconsin Geospatial News

Science Hall Open House

The UW-Madison Department of Geography and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies are hosting an open house to showcase the stately structure at the corner of Park Street and Observatory Drive in Madison, and the work of its current occupants.

The Open House runs from 12 noon to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at Science Hall on the UW-Madison campus, 550 N. Park St.

At 12 noon in room 180, Letters & Science Dean Gary Sandefur will kick-off the “Science Hall: Past and Present” event. Speaking with Dean Sandefur will also be Frances Westley, Director of the Nelson Institute, and Matt Turner, chair of the Department of Geography.

Maps and mapmaking are a big attraction in Science Hall. The Arthur Robinson Map Library, on the third floor, is a treasure trove of 270,000 maps, charts and special images; 235,000 historic aerial photographs of Wisconsin; and hundreds of atlases, gazetteers and globes.

Upon entering, visitors encounter a 4-by-6-foot, three-dimensional model of California’s Yosemite Valley. The plaster representation of Yosemite’s glacial and postglacial geology, built in 1939 and recently refurbished, rests on a handcrafted wooden table. It is one of 19 large relief maps on display in Science Hall. Some date to the late 1800s, and all are being painstakingly restored.

At the opposite end of the building, the Cartographic Laboratory creates state-of-the-art maps digitally for universities, government agencies, publishers, and other clients. The nearby State Cartographer’s Office conducts educational programs; produces publications, fact sheets and online resources; and provides technical assistance in mapping and spatial information for people throughout Wisconsin. And the Geography Library contains more than 50,000 books and journals.

Refreshments and drop-in tours of the labs, departments, and research centers will run from 12 noon to 4:30 pm.

More information: Science Hall Open House Website

More information: UW-Madison news release