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February 23, 2016 AT 2:00 am

A 19th-century relief map that let students explore the Roman empire by touch #makereducation

SmTactileMap jpg CROP original original

Nice post from Rebecca Onion over at Slate, which offers a glimpse into the history of map design and its place in education.

The tactile map, an innovation of the 19th century, allowed both blind and sighted students to feel their way across a given geography. Writing for the digital archive 19th-Century Disability: Cultures and Contexts, where I first saw this item, Leah Thomas notes that this L.R. Klemm map was made decades after the first tactile maps were printed in Europe and the United States. While the waterproof map could be used to teach students without sight, Klemm believed that relief maps like this one could also fruitfully engage sighted students through the sense of touch. 

Read more.


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