"The Map that Changed the World"
This paper reviews and analyzes Simon Winchester's biography, "The Map that Changed the World," which describes how William Smith indelibly changed the face of geological science.
# 67955 | 1,470 words | 1 source | MLA | 2006 |
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The writer of this paper examines the life and accomplishments of William Smith, the English geologist credited for creating the first geological map. This paper examines how Smith's maps shifted public perception regarding the creation of the universe. This paper reviews Simon Winchester's biography, "The Map that Changed the World," which summarizes Smith's life, his achievements and the impacts made on the scientific community due to his research. Smith's early work with canal digging companies and within the mining industry enabled him to become more aware of what lie beneath the surface of the land. This paper focuses on Smith's fascination with the earth, rocks and fossils, which led to the creation of his first geological map of Bath. Influenced by other cartography and on extant atlases, Smith devised special colorization systems for his geological maps, which are discussed in this paper. This paper also examines Smith's longing for more recognition than he was afforded during his lifetime. While Smith's maps were published during his lifetime, what should have been the high point of his life marked the beginning of a downward spiral, when many of his personal and professional relationships fell apart. This paper examines why centuries after his death, geologists still pay homage to William Smith, the father of modern geology.
From the Paper:"His early work with canal digging companies and within the mining industry enabled William Smith to become more aware of what lie beneath the surface of the land. There could be no better situation for a man who loved geology in the eighteenth century than being paid to dig deep under the ground. Thus, his professional work offered him a private pleasure and a convenient means by which to formulate, develop, and prove his theories. On his own, while he traveled as a surveyor for the Somerset Coal Canal Company, Smith observed how sedimentary layers of rock were arranged in patterns across the land. Somerset Coal Canal Company was not so much interested in the scientific implications for Smith's findings as in their financial implications. For instance, when he was first hired, Smith noticed how English villages rest on top of "a score of complex, broken, twisted, and contorted seams of coal." For Smith, his work meant unlocking some of the earth's deepest secrets."
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"The Map that Changed the World" (2006, July 25) Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/essay/the-map-that-changed-the-world-67955/
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