The Method: The Science and Art of Cartography; College Baseball's Quest for "Pop"

Feb 27, 2015

Willem Blaeu's 1643 map, Saltzburg Archiepiscopatus Carinthia Ducatus (The archbishopric of Salzburg and the Duchy of Carinthia).
Credit McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

Today, a map is something you look at on a tiny smartphone screen, showing where you are and what's within fifty feet. But for most of cartography's history, maps took a broader view, showing not only political and geographic boundaries, but culture and art. Cartography is a melding of science and art, as Matt Shafer Powell learned while looking through the McClung Museum's newest acquisitions.

Then: College baseball officials at the NCAA didn't think the game had enough "pop" last season - that is, there were very few high-scoring games. The powers that be handed scientists at Washington State University the task of finding out what could be done to drive baseballs farther, potentially increasing runs scored. Brandon Hollingsworth speaks with Dr. Lloyd Smith, a researcher who is helping put the "pop" back in college baseball.