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Volume 2807
Presents

A CARTOGRAPHIC STUDY OF BARSOOM


Burroughs Crater on the Planet Barsoom (Mars)


GEOGRAPHERS OF BARSOOM

 Barsoomian Geography is a tricky thing with many pitfalls for the unwary.   Although distances between cities are often given in Martian measurements or travel time, there is a complete lack of an adequate reference point.   Exum is described as the Barsoomian Greenwich, but where is Exum?   Its location is, at best, imprecise.   Certainly Earthly cartography of Mars does not use Exum as a starting point. 

 It must also be remembered that the original narrators were translating Martian terms and concepts, and Martian geography into English.   As John Carter and others discovered to the chagrin, even tiny errors could cumulatively result in major deviations.   Accordingly, we must expect some degree of error in translating Martian measurements to Earth terms.  By the same token a reference to an equator may be taken as either a specific point, a hypothetical midline of the planet, or as a broad regional belt. 

 To render travel distances and relationships on a circular globe involves complex referential mathematics.   Current Terrestrial society uses a global system of latitude and longitude, but there are hypothetically other systems.   We do not know to what extent a Martian system matches the terrestrial system, or what degrees of errors may creep in having even educated laymen translate one system into another.

Edgar Rice Burroughs drew crude maps to locate his John Carter's adventures, but he was not a cartographer.  Moreover, his work constitutes entirely a second hand account.  He was not the source, rather, he related tales told by John Carter.   Accordingly, as a dedicated and prolific scribe, he may be forgiven for the occasional error.

 In the 1940's a substantially more elaborate map was drafted, intended to overlay ERB's Barsoom over the map of Mars as it was known then.   That original Map of Mars has turned out to be highly inaccurate, and so the superimposition of Barsoomian locations must be taken as equally inaccurate.   In fact, the most compelling thing about the 1940's map is that it was an attempt, and it was clearly ERBís intention to superimpose Barsoom onto Martian geography.

 A second attempt to superimpose Barsoomian onto Martian geography took place in 1998.   It represents an astonishing amount of work, but sadly, it led the author to conclude that Barsoom and Mars were two different and unrelated worlds.   His map contained numerous anomalies such as placing the Toonolian marshes in the Tharsis mound, surrounded by and atop shield volcanoes - just about the most unlikely spot on the planet. 

 One major mistake of these previous maps was to assume that the central points of reference were the same.   The Barsoomian Globe has Exum as its zero reference point.  That's pretty damned arbitrary.   The current Martian maps are not based on a fictional Exum, but start with their own arbitrary reference points.   Thereís no chance of those reference points matching.

 So, the bottom line is that in attempting to match Barsoomian and Martian geography, we have to consider Burroughs maps, latitudes and longitudes and distances as merely rough guides, and not definitive points.   And we cannot make the mistake of assuming that terrestrial mapping of Mars uses the same reference points.


NOTE: Click each map image for full-screen view

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Original Sketch Maps of Barsoom
Featured at barsoom.com



Barsoom Map from the Role-Playing Game: John Carter Warlord of Mars
Cartography by Scott B. Bizar



A Geographical Chart of the Planet BARSOOM
Cartography by Larry Ivie



A Map of Barsoom by Henry Hardy Heins
with added fan fiction locations by Bruce Bozarth



Barsoom Map: A Topographic Overlay
Cartography by Jeff Kazmierski


A Map of Barsoom
Cartography by Jeff Kazmierski

Adaptations of ERB's Original Maps of Barsoom
Cartography by Bruce Bozarth

POLAR REGIONS
Cartography by Huck Huckenpohler
The Valley Dor
Cartography by Laurence G. Dunn



Barsoom Map by Joe Ferrier
Published in ERBapa (Edgar Rice Burroughs Amateur Press Association)
The Ferrier map accurately positions Ptarth and Zodanga -- an extremely difficult task -- along with the milage (distances) from Helium.  Actually ERB changed Zodanga's position twice!  Mr. Ferrier used an Earth globe for some distances, taking into account that Mars is only about half our planet's circumference - then transfered haads/miles to a rectangular grid - as ERB's own map indicated.  A close look at ERB's sketchy Barsoom map will show where he made a few mistakes and then sought to rectify them -- such as around Lothar and Zodanga. 


Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars
Published by Ballantine Books


Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars
Cartography by Gino D'Achille

 



Barsoom: A Map of the Hemispheres, Poles and the Territories
Cartography by John F. Roy and E. Campbell From ERB-dom Fanzine



Barsoom Map
Cartography by Frank J. Brueckel



Barsoom Map based on ERB's 1940 Sketch
Cartography by Huck Huckenpohler

Left Half of Sheet | Right Half of Sheet



Barsoom Interpretations
Created by Rick Smith



Mars Orbiter Camera Global Mosaic
Lunar and Planetary Features (Barsoom)


Khanada's Barsoomian Map of Lands and Races
2012 ~ www.khanada.org

click

A New Map of Barsoom

By Oberon Zell
ERBzine References
ERBzine Guide to Barsoom
by Bill Hillman
Oberon Zell Map One | Map Two
 http://www.erbzine.com/mag39/3937.html
http://www.erbzine.com/mag39/3938.html
 

Alternate Guides at barsoom.com | johncarterofmars.ca | princessofmars.org | johncarterofmars.org
GEOGRAPHERS OF MARS I: MATCHING MARS AND BARSOOM - A NEW APPROACH 
by Den Valdron 
GEOGRAPHERS OF MARS II: THE DIFFICULTIES OF NON-NATURAL LANDMARKS 
by Den Valdron 
MATCHING MARS: THE POLAR REGIONS
by  Den Valdron 
MATCHING MARS: THE LOST CANALS OF PERCIVAL LOWELL
by  Den Valdron 
Burroughs Crater on Barsoom
by Bill Hillman
Burroughs' Barsoom and Lowell's Mars: A Map for the Interpretation of Barsoomian Geography
by Leathem Mehaffey
Gazetteer & Glossary of Barsoom 
by J. G. Huckenpöhler 
Huck's Barsoom Glossary 
by J. G. Huckenpöhler 
Mapping Mars: Can It Be Done?
by Rick Johnson
Mapping Barsoom II: Compromises
by Rick Johnson
Mapping Barsoom III: The Past
by Rick Johnson
The Bruce Wood Legacy: ERB Atlas


External Web Refs
Bruce Bozarth's Barsoom Maps
Lost Cities of Barsoom
The Face On Mars
Lunar and Planetary Features (Barsoom)
Barsoom Photos
The Board Game Geek



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