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was formed as a statewide association in 1978 and incorporated as a California non-profit public benefit corporation in 1987. We are a 501(c)(3) organization for federal tax purposes.  

The first gathering of the California Map Society (CMS) was held on May 20, 1978, at Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Phil Hoehn, Map Librarian and conference host, along with Diane M. T. North, co-convener of the meeting, brought together persons with particular interest in maps and their value and relevancy in the State of California. Sixty-eight persons became Charter Members of the newly formed society on November 15, 1979, a number of whom remain active members in good standing today.

From the very beginning CMS has maintained a diverse and interesting program of events and activities. The history of the early years was compiled by Sarah Crumb in CMS Occasional Paper No. 4 from which these extracts were taken.  Continuing from 1995, the histories are compiled into these five year spans.  CMS published the histories as occasional papers that are available on our publications web page.

Further details on meetings in the recent years are available in Past Meetings.  Members can review more recent history in the newsletters available in the Members' Area.


is educational: to preserve and disseminate historical and contemporary cartography, primarily of California, for members as well as the general public.

We accomplish our mission with the following:

  • We hold general membership meetings in California twice a year, once south and once north of the northern boundary of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties.
  • We compile the names and addresses of cartographers, antiquarian map historians, map libraries, aerial-photo and imagery resources, map dealers and depositories, and other organizations and agencies concerned with maps of and mapping activities in California.
  • We educate the public through our conferences and by sponsoring occasional publications and media presentations on cartography.
  • We support advancements in map production, utilization, and preservation in the State of California.
  • We encourage research in and the teaching of cartography at all levels of public education in California.
  • We promote the exchange of cartographic products, information, and ideas among members, other map societies, and other organizations both within and outside California.

The CALIFORNIA MAP SOCIETY is a not-for-profit California corporation and a 501(c)(4) corporation under federal law.  Copyright 2001-2023.  To contact webmaster, click here. 
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