What’s an atlas?

As surveyors, it is so easy to hear the word ‘map’ and have our mind go straight to boundary surveys and contour maps that we forget what the general population thinks of when they hear the word map; atlas. Of course an increasing number of my younger employees even know what an atlas is, with their fancy smart phones and on-board vehicle navigation systems. The point of the matter is, most people think about driving when they think about maps. Conrad Blucher saved many Texas Highway Maps throughout the years, and every time I see one I immediately look toward my hometown of Cypress. I do it because it has since been swallowed by the ever-growing city of Houston. I find a certain sense of nostalgia in seeing it depicted as an independent town miles and miles away from the edge of Houston. It’s also wild to see, not just no Sam Houston Tollway, but no I-610, I-10, or I-45 either! Check out the below Texas Highway Map from 1938 if you’re curious about how to get in and out of your home town, or email me at bgillis@islander.tamucc.edu for a higher resolution version.