Curaçao Island

the WERBATA Maps

article in Amigoe, Daily Herald, Extra

Article by Michael Newton


From the lay-out for this article, you could jump to the conclusion that the production of these CDs was a joint venture of NAAM and some other party. It's not: Meant is that our "cultural" or "national" heritage is such a joint venture.
The project was our private enterprise, as explained elsewhere. Then AAINA, now NAAM, in the person of Jay Haviser, did help out with the original Curaçao maps. As is obvious from the CD box cover, these really were in a pretty sorry condition and it was high time they were reproduced and conserved; something nobody had considered till then. Later on, Eddie Baetens and Ieteke Witteveen, who now is with NAAM, pushed for a welcome subsidy from the now defunct OKSNA. We got it after the work for CD-1 had been done, which is pretty unique (but we didn't tell them). Particularly, finding the Willemstad maps gave a lot of trouble—so much that OKSNA had already agreed we had fulfilled our promises without including them; it was only later that we found them at Utrecht University.
The commercial releases in larger impressions, again, were undertaken at entirely our own risk.

To read the text in your preferred language, click on one of the links below.

St. Maarten Daily Herald

Curaçao Amigoe

Curaçao Extra

Some caveats

Privately, I'm almost ashamed to admit feeling that Werbata would have been delighted
had he been able to use a marvelous instrument like aerial surveillance for his maps.
His maps are so beautiful that the myth has grown about them that they are much better than later maps.
But the latest digital maps really contain much more detail—in fact, more than we could handle for our visualizations.
Techniques change and improve all the time.

Likewise, I would much have preferred to scan the maps instead of going through the bothersome trip of photographing them,
scanning those negatives and (later) re-assembling them. Jay Haviser just did not want me to take the maps out of the NAAM building (he was right).
But rid yourself of the idea that digital scans are more faithful to the original than photographic repros—
just try scanning an object twice and you'll probably find you have two different-size files on your hands.
We had to shrink and stretch to make them fit.

For the record, several other surveyors than Jonckheer were trained for work on the original maps; one of them was Beaujon.

For another record, the demo Del Curazao que se fué on CD-1 was based on D.O.W. maps with 50m contour lines only,
in which we inserted a rather inferior B/W copy of the Werbata Willemstad map. Boy, what fun!

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