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Panel Discussion: Nature in the City Map

Monday, November 5, 2018 - 2:30pm
David Rumsey Map Center
Bing Wing, Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6004

On November 5, 2018, The David Rumsey Map Center will host an event titled “Nature in the City.” The Nature in the City map may just be the first of its kind. A collaboration among artists, scientists, mapmakers, and more, it seeks to express the built world of San Francisco within the larger, older, unfolding, and connected world.

The front side of the map depicts a “big picture” and the back tells (true) stories about how we understand it: as a shaped city engineered by tectonic, ocean, and human forces; a gardened city planted to transform historic sand dunes into greenery; a creative city in which landscapes and species are restored and increased; and a connected city in which historic wildlife and water corridors intersect with contemporary movement pathways. Original artwork is by Jane Kim, story by Mary Ellen Hannibal, and graphic design by Leah Elamin.

The team integrated more than 40 data layers, mostly generated by public agencies, into a beautiful, deeply engaging document. Some of these layers include historic, current, and future water; natural areas; parks and open spaces; and tree canopy. It is explicitly about species and the context in which they arise and thrive. The data represents public goods and helps interpret those to map users.

The map was spearheaded by Nature in the City, a local non-profit dedicated to environmental stewardship and education, in partnership with the SF Department of the Environment, the SF Planning Department, the SF Public Library, the Presidio Trust, and local museums including the California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium. In January 2018, 50,000 were printed and are being made available to schools, hikers, naturalists, government agencies, museums, and more. For more information, please visit



Peter Brastow, Biodiversity Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment
Amber Hasselbring, Executive Director, Nature in the City
Lindsay Irving, Lichen Projects, cartographer;
Jane Kim, Ink Dwell Studio
Susan Schwartzenberg, Director, The Bay Observatory at the Exploratorium
Mary Ellen Hannibal, author, Citizen Scientist:  Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction
Rebecca Johnson, Co-Director, Citizen Science, California Academy of Sciences; 
Kelley Trahan, Wallace Stegner Librarian, San Francisco Public Library.



Doors open: 2.30 pm
Panel Discussion: 3.00 pm
Center Closes: 4.30 pm


The talk is free but requires advance registration. Please register here.

Event Sponsor: 
David Rumsey Map Center
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