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


  • We have general membership meetings each year in Southern and Northern California.
  • We educate the public through our conferences and by sponsoring occasional publications and media presentations on cartography.
  • We compile contact information of cartographers, antiquarian map historians, map libraries, aerial-photo and imagery resources, map dealers and depositories, and other entities concerned with mapping activities in California.
  • 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.
Learn More

History of the Name

The Calafia, is the fictional queen of the island of California, first introduced by sixteenth-century poet Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in his epic, Las sergas de Esplandián, written around 1510. The Californias, a region of North America encompassing the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur, take their name from Calafia and her kingdom.

The Journal

The Calafia with regards to the California Map Society is a Journal published twice a year in the Spring and Autumn. It features a wonderfully fascinating array of articles relating to maps both old and new. From the early woodblock engravings of the old world to the new findings through GIS technology, this journal is sure to appease any map enthusiast. PDF versions are available online and printed copies are included with any California Map Society Membership.  

The David Rumsey Map Center opened on April 19th, 2016 in the Bing Wing of Green Library, Stanford University.  The Center is a new collections-based resource designed to provide access to cartographic information in all of its forms, from paper to digital. It is a flexible and rich environment for research and teaching with large collections of rare atlases and maps, high-resolution screens equipped with interactive tools for viewing digital images, and knowledgeable staff.

CMS – Founding Friend of the Center


Map Fair Events

Featured Speakers from SoCal Conference on October 10th, 2020

Rescaling Geography: Grand Canyon Exploratory and Topographic Mapping 1777 – 1978.

President’s Panel: The State of Map Societies during COVD-19.

Mapping Death in the Grand Canyon.

Contact Us