Archive for January, 2008



Vacationing Experiences and the Map You Choose

Acquiring the maps of Williamsburg was simple in that each establishment to which I traveled to procure them carried a few different ones. Surprisingly, or possibly not so surprising, most of the maps at these local gas stations in Williamsburg, more specifically the 7-Eleven on Jamestown Road, Wawa on Richmond Road, and a lesser known corporate gas station on Ironbound Road, carried maps issued by ADC. While I am sure that a trip to AAA would have shattered the perceived monopoly ADC has on Williamsburg map-production, a visit could not be managed in that time frame. Instead, while both maps are ADC products they were chosen specifically for their difference in content and focus. Continue reading ‘Vacationing Experiences and the Map You Choose’

Space of Tourist Attractions or Real Estate?/ An Atypical Williamsburg Deli

Part One: Space of Tourist Attractions or Real Estate?

Where I acquired my two maps may ultimately be the tell-tale sign. As a freshman my father got a free map from William E. Wood Realtors equipped with a business card. My second map I got yesterday from the CVS Pharmacy off the corner of Jamestown Road and Highway 199. Each map served each business’s goals. The map from the Realtor is made of low quality paper, has a pathetic legend and is very vague. The different areas of greater Williamsburg are not very well marked which is somewhat surprising considering there is the potential for real estate commission at every street corner. The pharmacy’s map was aimed at the tourist. It has a nice glossy feel with a detailed legend that includes geographical symbols like swamp for example. It does not come without sacrifice though. It cost over four dollars while the Wood Realtors’ map was complimentary. Continue reading ‘Space of Tourist Attractions or Real Estate?/ An Atypical Williamsburg Deli’

Maps / Locations

Williamsburg, Williamsburg Area, Colonial Williamsburg ®

For purpose of clarity, I have labeled my two maps as Map A and Map B. Map A is a non-scaled, black and white, 8 X 11 sheet of paper that, on one side portrays Colonial Williamsburg ®—always represented as a restricted trademark in pretentious, colonial script—and on the other a slightly more vague “Williamsburg Area,” which outlines landmarks and, most importantly, interstates and highways that lead in and out of Colonial Williamsburg and surrounding attractions. The map, acquired for free at the campus bookstore, is registered by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation®. Continue reading ‘Maps / Locations’

Small Assignment #2

Mapping the Real Williamsburg
I purchased the first map for this assignment at the local 7 Eleven on Richmond Road. The large map provides information about Williamsburg, VA and its vicinity including major roads, topography, churches, schools, post offices, boundaries, and much more. On the back are smaller inserts that detail Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and the Virginia Peninsula, including a list of Points of Interest in the area. This map clearly delineates the City of Williamsburg from James City County with yellow highlighting. I will focus solely on the large map of Williamsburg and its surrounding area, which stretches to include the York River on the east, the James River in the south, the area west of Ford’s Colony, and the tip of Lightfoot in York County to the North. However, Williamsburg is clearly at the center and the focus of this map and the area includes much more than the incorporated city boundaries. Continue reading ‘Small Assignment #2’

Mapping out Williamsburg or selling Williamsburg?

Although it took me some time to hunt them down, I was able to obtain two maps of Williamsburg. The first is put out by ADC, which seemed to have the monopoly on local Virginia maps based on their selection at both the College Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Colonial Williamsburg and at the Wawa on Richmond Road. It cost just $4.10. The cashier commented as she rang me up, “Map of Williamsburg? This place ain’t that big.” I felt a bit embarrassed and opted to tell her that it was for a class. She wished me luck and I went on my way. The other map I had picked up a few minutes earlier at the Campus Center. In the lobby of the building there is a small rack of brochures of various local activities. Among the pamphlets was a map labeled “Williamsburg Map & Visitor’s Guide” and is associated with a website of the same name. Continue reading ‘Mapping out Williamsburg or selling Williamsburg?’

Map and Uncomfortable Place

Attention to Detail

A 1:1 ratio map wouldn’t be very useful. Therefore, more detail doesn’t necessarily make a map better.
The two maps I analyzed approached detail very differently. The Williamsburg Road map that I bought from Wawa had a broad scope and was as detailed as possible; a map I found on the William and Mary website that told people how to get to conferences held at the Hospitality House had a narrow scope and included as little detail as possible.
The two maps serve very different purpose, which causes them to define the city very differently. Continue reading ‘Map and Uncomfortable Place’

Images of Williamsburg

The Attitude of Williamsburg as Projected by its Maps

I purchased two maps of Williamsburg. The first is a “City Slicker” map of Colonial Williamsburg and the second is a street map of the city. I began to look at each of these maps from the point of view of a historian, not as a tourist. What can the maps tell me about what each mapmaker feels is important? Who is the audience for the map? What is the center reference point of the map? In addition, because my interest lies in the intersection of history and archaeology I am interested in the material culture that is indicated by the maps. This is the lens through which I did my analysis of the maps.
Continue reading ‘Images of Williamsburg’

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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