IA: German immigrant cartographer Melchoir Huebinger and the Making of the First Automobile Atlas of Iowa, March 24, 2024

Huebinger arrived as a German immigrant to Davenport in 1880 to work as a surveyor and cartographer for the Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island. He published his first local atlas of Scott County in 1882, and later produced hundreds of local maps and atlases in his downtown Davenport shop until 1910, when he moved to Des Moines to coordinate the first ever automobile road atlas of Iowa. Mike Flaherty will present a history of Huebinger’s central role in the development of modern maps of Davenport culminating in the production of the first automobile atlas of the state of Iowa in 1912.  Huebinger’s career covered the transition from horse and buggy Victorian maps to modern 20th century automobile map production and is a fascinating look into how maps were made at the turn of the last century.

The presentation will include dozens of local maps, guide books and atlases produced by Huebinger’s companies between 1882 and 1926 from Mr Flaherty’s collection.

1:30 coffee and cake

2:00 program

FREE for members, $5 for non-members

This event is in-person only: 712 W 2nd St. Davenport, Iowa 52802

Mike Flaherty grew up in Davenport, Iowa and graduated with a B.S. in Geography from the University of Iowa in 1988 and received a M.S in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Redlands in 2005. He started as a geography assistant for the Census Bureau for the 1990 Census, then as a cartographer at the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in 1991. DMA has reorganized twice to the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and then to National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). In his 32-year career with the federal government he was a geography assistant, cartographer, negative engraver, nautical chart compiler, bathymetrist, lithographic imaging specialist, geospatial intelligence analyst, targeting intelligence analyst, geospatial analyst, program manager, cloud development engineer, staff officer, and photogrammetrist. Mike made maps using the old photographic methods and made the transition to digital cartography and geographic information systems. Fearing being replaced by artificial intelligence mapping applications chose to manage the production of precise satellite imagery for the last third of his career. During his government service, he produced census maps, military topographic maps, city maps, air and naval navigational charts, photomaps, satellite image maps, precise satellite imagery products, elevation models, feature databases, and targeting graphics. After managing NGA’s precise imagery cloud transition for 5 years, Mike retired from Federal service in 2022, and moved back to Davenport. Mr. Flaherty has been collecting maps for over 30 years, and is a member of the Chicago Map Society, Washington Map Society, and Road Map Collectors Association. He is also active in the local Mississippi Valley Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, and has two brass era automobiles, a 1912 Galloway motor wagon and a 1914 Ford Model T.

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