Today I went to the LA UNFOLDED exhibition, it was an exhibition of the collections of maps owned by the LA Central Library. They had maps of LA from different periods of time and it was really interesting to see how the land usage changed in LA. From maps of the early ages done by the spanish army that had locations of indian tribes marked out, to the early 19 century maps which had a rail track crossing through LA. One of the maps from the 16 century ( yes, they had maps from centuries ago ) depicted California as an island separated from Northern America. There were also maps designed with illustrations on the side as a visual representation of local areas. One of the most interesting map that I saw had a circulated grid system and a pointer to indicate locations on the map. ( Just imagine the Thomas Guide done in circles.)
To map something out, is no different than to tell a story. These maps from different ages all had there own purpose to serve at the time they were created. By seeing them and gathering them altogether, what we really see is not just the landscape of LA, but also the history of this city.