Dozens of rarely seen historic conservation maps have been gathered in a new exhibition at Conservation House in Wellington.
Mapping the Land, which runs until 31 January, acknowledges the past, and celebrates cartography and map making at all scales.
Today, we’ve got the man behind the exhibition, DOC GIS Analyst Matt Grose, sharing with us…
Maps are evocative creatures. People love the detail; love tracing journeys of days across inches of paper; reliving moments, experiences; retelling stories.
Maps are born of survey and marking, measurement and defining; they are the story of New Zealand; they record history.
Topographical Plan of Waitangi Treaty House Grounds, Northland, 1993
Maps help us work, define extents and plot resources. They are critical in managing our partnerships, giving confidence to communities and illustrating progress.
Maps are politics and poetry, diplomacy and emergency, recreation and comfort.
Tararua Mountain System, 1936
Maps are colourful, delicate, subtle, detailed, precise.
Maps promise truth but often lie – sometimes on purpose.
Maps are a lot of things to a lot of people.
Puketi Forest, Northland, 1939
In the face of the overwhelming saturation of digital information into our lives, I wanted to just pause for a moment and acknowledge what came before, what drives us now, and what we would do well not to forget. Maps don’t make themselves.
Legend for the Puketi Forest map, created by A.N. Sexton
This exhibition started out with a simple thought, “Why don’t we take some of the maps that DOC has stored away in cabinets, get them out and put them on display?”.
Despite everything that’s occurred between then and now, that is still the essence of this exhibition—just some maps that look nice. Any greater theme is up to you.
It’s only a little exhibition, but I hope you can come along and get a kick out of it.
As well as maps, you’ll find interpretation, navigation and cartographic objects, and the opportunity for you to draw your own map of the world.
Mapping the Land | Free entry | Until 31 January 2014 | Foyer of Conservation House | 16-32 Manners Street | Wellington
Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Making friends in Honduras
Today we profile Robyn Crisford, Geospatial Analyst in the North Canterbury District Office.
Some things I do in my job include… Making maps! I am here for all the mapping and spatial data/query and analysis needs.
This helps achieve DOC’s vision by… Providing tools and support to field staff, as well as accurate reporting and analysis to increase conservation efforts and make New Zealand the greatest living space on Earth.
The best bit about my job is… The great team I work with! Also, getting to play with maps all day and when I get the chance, getting out into the field to help out and connect with field staff, run training and generally enjoying connecting with others and the outdoors.
The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is… Having the opportunity to spend two days with the rangers and field staff on Kapiti Island. This included seeing the great work they are doing as well as finding ways of helping them in their work (such as creating new map panels for the island), which connected their work to mine.
The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is… Genevieve Spargo because of the awesome work she is doing out on Kapiti Island.
Sea kayak guiding on multiday expedition trips in orca territory in the Johnstone Strait, British Columbia, Canada
On a personal note…
Most people don’t know that I… Have dreams of owning a small sail boat where I can live on board and sail around the Pacific Islands living off kaimoana and island smiles.
My stomping ground is… Marahau, at the base of the Abel Tasman National Park. This is an area where I have spent much of the last ten years living and working as a Sea Kayak Guide and enjoying the amazing outdoor playground with many of the inspirational and spirited locals.
Cuddles with a kiwi after its annual transmitter change
In my spare time I… Fill it up with travelling, hanging out with animals (cats, dogs, horses, birds—you name it, I will love it) snowboarding, kayaking, tramping, camping, rafting, gardening, dancing, and, as of lately… circus classes.
If I could be any New Zealand native species I’d be… The Haast Eagle soaring above the lush native bush and keeping an eye out for everyone and everything.
If I wasn’t working at DOC, I’d like to… There are many things I would love to do, including completing a Masters degree, getting involved in more social and environmental community projects…visiting and volunteering for grass roots community development projects throughout Asia and the Pacific Island—especially projects focused on green living and sustainability within communities (think permaculture/education and renewable energy solutions).
Finishing the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk
Deep and meaningful…
My favourite quote is… Rules are made to be broken.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…Stop worrying so much!
In work and life I am motivated by…The amazing people I am surrounded by. The view, stillness, and the feeling of being at the top of a mountain, diving to the bottom of a river bed, or sitting in the vast stillness of a pitch black cave system.
My conservation advice to New Zealanders is… Get involved! Go and enjoy the outdoors and you will feel more connected and learn lots about what is out there and why it is so important to protect our biodiversity and the environment.
Releasing baby turtles back into the ocean in Guatemala
Question of the week…
If you had $10K to spend at any one shop, what shop would it be and why?
That $10K would definitely be spent at a travel agent – because I value experiences more highly that material possessions and there are many places I would love to travel to such as Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Spain, Greece, France, Iceland and Norway.