This whiteprint photographic map, with its beautiful purple signature hue, depicts Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. The map was made by the Instituto Geográfico Militar, the Ecuadorian military mapping institution, predicated upon the best scientific surveys. It shows all of the islands, while the legend, located under the title, gives symbols for the main towns and administrative centres; roads; airports; volcanic craters; and lighthouses.
The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago located 906 km off of the coast of Ecuador, and are world famous for having an incredible number of endemic species, undisturbed by the outside World. In the 19th Century, Charles Darwin formed his theory of evolution from studying the islands’ flora and fauna. Today the islands are preserved as a national park and biosphere reserve, hand have a population of only around 25,000.
The present map is a whiteprint photographic reproduction of Map no. 15, within the Instituto Geográfico Militar’s Atlas geográfico de la República del Ecuador (Quito, 1977), a very rare atlas. Seemingly a short time after the atlas was published, authorities in Quito decided to make small number of whiteprint photo reproductions of the map, with a distinct purple hue. Such reproductions would have been reasonably expensive to make, and perhaps the Ecuadorian authorities needed additional copies of this fine map of the Galapagos for administrative use, as copies of the atlas were even then hard to come by. The Instituto Geográfico Militar’s 1970s rendering of the islands remained a base map for many years thereafter.
Large format maps of the Galapagos Islands rarely appear on the market, and this is an attractive and unusual issue.
A Note on Rarity
Worldcat cites what seem to be 2 other examples of the present whiteprint version of the Galapagos map, held by the Memorial University Library (St. John’s, Newfoundland) and another at an unspecified German library.
References: Memorial University Library (St. John’s, Newfoundland): G5302 .G3 19– I5; OCLC: 1051452538 / 63803378