Tag Archives: Maps

The power of librarians

Marcel Fortin is a man in demand. Fortin, the geographic information systems (GIS) and map librarian at Robarts Map and Data Library, is a master at mapping spatial data, the geographic dimension of information. The popularity of this discipline has skyrocketed during the last 10 years, especially with the advent of Google Maps and Google Earth, he says. “Spatial data means thinking about things in relation to geography. People often haven’t done that before,” says Fortin. “It’s applying spatial patterns to stories and research.”

If you want to see where the 10 best hamburger joints in Toronto are, for example, a map gives you a better understanding than a list. Ditto for the epicentres of the world’s 10 most recent earthquakes or the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada.” (via UToronto)

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Open Access Maps at NYPL

“The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded (!), through the Map Warper” (via The New York Public Library)

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New York City’s Turbulent Past Comes to Life in Maps

“Matt Knutzen has a job that any map geek would envy, and a title to match. As the geospatial librarian for the New York Public Library, he oversees one of the largest map collections in the world. The library has 433,000 sheet maps and 20,000 atlases and books on cartography. The oldest maps in the collection date back to the 15th century. Knutzen and his colleagues at NYPL have some very innovative ideas about how to make the library’s map collection more accessible, more interactive, and more relevant in the digital age. I met some of these folks when I visited the library a few weeks ago, and I’ll write more about what they’re doing in a future post.” (via Wired)

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Rarely Seen Maps From San Francisco’s Quirkiest Hidden Library

“Have you ever gone to a place you’ve always wanted to visit and found out it was even more awesome than you thought it would be? That’s how I felt last week when we visited the Prelinger Library, an eclectic collection run by Megan and Rick Prelinger (the folks in the photo below). I spent the rest of the day kicking myself for not getting there earlier, and a fair bit of the next day planning my return. The library shares a building with a carpet store and a dance studio in a slightly ragged patch of San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. There’s no sign, but if you know what you’re looking for, you step inside the lobby and press a button on the intercom to be admitted. It’s like a speakeasy of maps.” (via Wired)

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New Census Bureau Interactive Map Shows Languages Spoken in America

“The U.S. Census Bureau today released an interactive, online map pinpointing the wide array of languages spoken in homes across the nation, along with a detailed report on rates of English proficiency and the growing number of speakers of other languages. The 2011 Language Mapper shows where people speaking specific languages other than English live, with dots representing how many people speak each of 15 different languages. For each language, the mapper shows the concentration of those who report that they speak English less than “very well,” a measure of English proficiency. The tool uses data collected through the American Community Survey from 2007 to 2011.” (via U.S. Census Bureau)

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