Navigating Cultural Landscapes



For thousands of years, people have used a range of methods to traverse land and water, to give direction, and to understand place.

Learn and Explore

Each national park’s individual story is reflected in its maps. From the streets of Boston to remote areas of Alaska, today's visitors use maps, signs, and trails to navigate and explore.

A park map can connect multiple layers of the landscape and indicate the nearest visitor center, scenic overlook, historic feature, or subway stop. Maps and drawings can also describe the development of parks and the transformation (and persistence) of cultural and natural features.

We look at a variety of cultural landscapes through historic and contemporary maps, site plans, and related resources that have played a role in their discovery, definition, and preservation.

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    Last updated: April 10, 2018