M. Lewis, A map of part of the continent of North America: between the 35th and 51st degrees of north latitude, and extending from 890 degrees of west longitude to the Pacific Ocean / compiled from the authorities of the best informed travellers by M. Lewis; copied by Nicholas King (1805). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Ac ko mok ki (the Feathers), An Indian Map of the Different Tribes that Inhabit on the East & West Side of the Rocky Mountains with all the rivers & other remarkbl. places, also the number of Tents, etc. (1801). Courtesy of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba.

Ac ko mok ki Locations of tribes are noted using numbers that correspond to a key.

Ac ko mok ki

Tribal populations are noted in numbers of tents in this key, as well as tribal names in both native languages and English.

Ac ko mok ki

Topographical features are noted in multiple languages in a key as well.

Ac ko mok ki Distances are marked in a key as being the "number of nights the Ind. Sleep in going from one place to the other." The letters refer to landmarks and topographical features also shown on the map.

Ac ko mok ki

This attribution reads "Drawn by the Feathers or Ac Ko mok ki — a Blackfoot chief — 7th Feby 1801 — reduced 1/4 from the original Size — by Peter Fidler."

William Clark

Native American tribes are oftentimes noted phonetically, presumably using Native American names or words.

William Clark

This map shows Native American populations variously as numbers of warriors, men, tents or lodges.

William Clark Rivers, mountains, and hills such as this one might serve as landmarks, routes, or barriers for the traveler.

William Clark

Distances are marked on this map according to required travel time between two points.

William Clark

This map shows several frontier forts and trading posts. Why would these have been important to the mapmaker?

William Clark This attribution indicates that the map was "Compiled from the Authorities of the best informed travelers by M. Lewis."

The data on a map helps to inform us about its intended purpose. No cartographer can include all available data on a single map, and the choices this individual makes helps us determine the reason the map was created. For example, the two maps on this page look very different, but they have some data in common. What information appears on both maps? What data appears on one but not the other? What do the similarities and differences between these maps tell you about why they were created?

Roll over the types of data to see where they appear on the maps: