cover of book

Mapping New Jersey: An Evolving Landscape
edited by Maxine Lurie and Peter Wacker
Rutgers University Press, 2009
eISBN: 978-0-8135-4839-5 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-4585-1
Library of Congress Classification G1255.S5 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 912.749

Mapping New Jersey is the first interpretive atlas of the state in more than one hundred years. New Jersey, small in size with only 4.8 million acres, has a long and complex background. Its past is filled with paradoxes and contradictionsùan agricultural economy for most of its history, New Jersey was also one of the earliest states to turn to manufacturing and chemical research. Today, still championing itself as the "Garden State," New Jersey claims both the highest population density in the country and the largest number of hazardous waste sites. Many see an asphalt oasis, from the New Jersey Turnpike to the Garden State Parkway, with cities that sprawl into adjacent suburbs. Yet, after hundreds of years, large areas of New Jersey remain home to horse farms, cornfields, orchards, nurseries, blueberry bushes, and cranberry bogs.

Tracing the changes in environment, land use patterns, demography, transportation, economy, and politics over the course of many centuries, Mapping New Jerseyilluminates the state's transformation from a simple agricultural society to a post-industrial and culturally diverse place inhabited by more people per acre than anywhere else in the country.

An innovator in transportation, from railroads to traffic circles to aviation, New Jersey from its beginnings was a "corridor" state, with a dense Native American trail system once crisscrossed on foot, country roads traveled by armies of the American Revolution, and, lately, the rolling wheels of many sedans, SUVs, hybrids, public and commercial vehicles, and freight. Early to industrialize, it also served as the headquarters for Thomas Edison and the development of the modern American economy. Small in territory and crowded with people, the state works to recycle garbage and, at the same time, best utilize and preserve its land.

New Jersey has been depicted in useful and quite stunning historical maps, many of the best included in Mapping New Jerseyùcrude maps drawn by sixteenth-century navigators; complex and beautifully decorated pieces created by early Dutch cartographers; land maps plotted by seventeenth-century English settlement surveyors; examples of the nineteenth century's scientific revolution in map making that helped locate topography and important mineral resources; detailed insurance maps that correct London map maker William Faden's 1777-78 classic rendering of the state; and aerial photos, remote sensing, and global positioning system maps generated through twenty-first-century technology breakthroughs in cartography.

Integrating new maps, graphs, and diagrams unavailable through ordinary research or Internet searches, Mapping New Jersey is divided into six topical chapters, each accompanied by an introduction and overview telling the story of the state's past and detailing its diversity. Mapping New Jersey, dramatically bold and in full color, travels where New Jersey has gone and the rest of the nation is likely to follow.

See other books on: Atlases, Gazetteers & Maps | Lurie, Maxine | Maps | Maps & Road Atlases | New Jersey
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