JF Ptak Science Books Post 2689
These maps seems both simple and complex, orderly and chaotic. The truth of the matter is that there's very little black ink on these sheets for as much information as they are sharing, and yet still look to be pretty deep in the data department. They are maps1 of ocean currents of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and show water temperatures, charts of historic voyages, lines of transportation along with how long the voyage would last, and other pieces of information.
I've scanned these in some detail so that they can be enlarged so that the tiny text can be read. While I was looking over these beautiful lines, I found the following lines at the extreme south edge of the Pacific Ocean map, in Antarctica, under the wide "Antarctic Drift Currents", just barely on the map next to South Victoria: "perpendicular barrier of ice". ANd no doubt they meant it. The phrase is cold and barren striking, so I went looking for it online, to see how often it may have been used--and according to google, it hasn't been used very much at all. One result from the Geographical Journal, which reads:
"The result of these two seasons exploration was the discovery of a pool of more or less open water some 600 miles in diameter between latitudes 68 and 78 bounded on the west by a stupendous range of ice clad mountains on the south by a perpendicular barrier of ice and on the east and north east and for the most part on the north by the main pack."2
This was in response to the approach of reaching the magnetic South Pole, but in addition to everything else, there was this perpendicular wall of ice that stretched for miles and miles, an unapproachable mass hundreds of feet high, after which stood mountain, which were much higher.
There are many pieces of data like this on these maps--take your time and enjoy them
1. The maps are from Johnston's Physical Atlas, printed by William Blackwood & SOns in London, ca. 1860-1870. (There were earlier editions of this map, beginning in 1852 it looks like, that were considerably larger. The present maps are 20x26cm.)
2. "Renewal of Antarctic Discovery", by John Murray, in The Geographical Journal, 1904, volume 3, page 28.