Tag Archives: Maps

Ontario University Libraries Collaborate to Release Over 1000 Historical Maps Online

“Coinciding with the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) 50th anniversary, Ontario’s university libraries are releasing a collection of over 1000 historical topographic maps of Ontario. The project highlights Ontario’s rich history and changing landscape over the past 100 years, and is evidence of how Ontario’s academic libraries continue to play a key role in preserving our national and provincial heritage in the digital age.” (via Ontario Council of University Libraries)

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Centuries-old map of Detroit finds way to UM library

“The latest addition to a University of Michigan library doesn’t show where Detroit is going, but it captures where it was more than 225 years ago. UM’s William L. Clements Library has acquired a map of the city created in 1790, officials said Tuesday.The 21-by-40-inch map was shown to the public for the first time Tuesday at the Hatcher Graduate Library on the university’s campus in Ann Arbor. It was on display for about two hours for a presentation by an expert on Detroit’s history as a frontier town and seaport city in the 18th century, said Sydney Hawkins, a UM spokeswoman.” (via Detroit News)

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Digital maps at the Osher Map Library show promise and perils of digitization.

“The Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine is a treasure trove for the cartographically inclined. Its collection, which contains close to 450,000 items, spans the centuries, covering everything from a Ptolemaic chart of the world to a record of postal routes in the Dakota Territory. For much of the past decade, the library has been working to digitize that collection, carefully photographing many items it owns and presenting them for free online. It’s an effort that speaks to the ambivalent complexities of digitization, especially for archivists and researchers. Above all else, though, it’s an opportunity for the public to look at some astonishing—and frequently beautiful—maps.” (via Slate)

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How the New York Public Library digitizes its vast map collection

“While much of the city’s mapping community is focused on creating something new, a great deal of energy also goes into recovering maps that are quite old. The New York Public Library, the spiritual heart of the city’s mapmaking community, is gradually putting online its vast collection of 435,000 maps. This past January, it received a $380,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to digitize using a software program it calls “Building Inspector.” The project involves more than 1,000 volunteers manually inputting information contained on old maps that computers can’t easily handle, such as street addresses and building footprints. It’s arduous work—only 33,000 of the library’s maps have been digitized—but so far the volunteer army has completed 1.2 million tasks and helps the library to bring old maps online much faster than it could otherwise.” (via Crains)

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UN, Wikimedia New York deliver open, free world maps on GIS Day

“For thousands of years, humans have used maps to define, understand and navigate the world in which we live. From cave drawings to star maps to geospatial navigation, maps have been an ever-improving tool for people everywhere. In today’s increasingly connected world, maps play a critical role in areas like humanitarian response to disasters, understanding the spread of disease, and much more. Like any information resource, however, maps vary in terms of accuracy and accessibility. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) believes that accurate, reliable, and easy-to-understand maps should be available to everyone. That is why they’ve partnered with Wikimedia New York City and ReliefWeb to release a collection of more than 200 freely licensed “country-location” maps that are available on Wikimedia Commons and on the ReliefWeb site. In addition, many maps are also featured on Wikipedia country pages.” (via Wikimedia blog)

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