Maps for Mariners
Charts for Marylanders
Chartmaking I
Chartmaking II
The Language of Charts

Special Collections
Map Collections
Museum Online

Charting the Chesapeake: 1590- 1990

The Chesapeake...

Chesapeake Bay is vast, covering 3,237 square miles in Maryland and Virginia. Another four hundred miles of tributaries add to the bay's intricate water network.
While some areas of the Chesapeake are very deep, the bay's average water depth is only twenty-five feet. Shoals, shipwrecks, and other hazards challenge mariners finding their way along its waters.
The Charts...
Four hundred years of mariners have attempted to navigate the Chesapeake, aided by a variety of instruments and charts. The earliest charts gave mariners the most basic clues about where land and water met. Modern charts provide a wealth of information, reflecting the knowledge we have gained about the bay.

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