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Map History


A round-up of national and international digital projects
concerning early mapping

(excluding those that involve image digitization alone)


for information about maps already on the web see Images of early maps on the web


For texts discussing digital preservation issues in general see:
Creating map images (helpful sites) and digital preservation issues

Various online lists are being maintained of ongoing digitization projects:

For feature articles on some of the registries listed above, see the Winter 2006 issue (vol. 34, no.4) of Documents to the People, the official publication of the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association.


Afriterra: the Cartographic Free Library

"The AFRITERRA Foundation is a non-profit Cartographic Library and Archive assembling and preserving the original rare maps of Africa in a definitive place for education and interpretation. We view cartography as a medium that uniquely links art, technology, and history." The mounting of its images of maps of Africa is also noted on the relevant Web Images page. See the Holdings page for lists of maps and books, and links to sample map images; also 'Bringing the age of exploration of Africa and its heritage to the web' (illustrated pdf 'research note' (about the Afriterra Foundation) by Lucia Lovison-Golob, in: e-Perimetron, 1:2 (Spring 2006), pp. 170-7). See also the same author's 2007 comments on the Foundation's activities, 'Evolutionary historical cartography: a step toward learning in an internet mashup culture'.

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Äldre geometriska jordeböcker

A project from the Swedish national archives to digitize the oldest Swedish cadastral maps (1633-55), 'Geometriska jordeböckerna', including their accompanying text. Ten plans from the 1637 MS cadastral atlas by Karl Karlsson Gyllenhielm of an area in Småland have been put on the web. See also 'Månadens karta', explanatory pages with sample illustrations.

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American Memory Project

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress is contributing to the American Memory Project with a wide range of map images. For details, see Images of early maps on the web: Large general sites.

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Ancient World Mapping Center

'The Ancient World Mapping Center exists to promote cartography and geographic information science as essential disciplines within the field of ancient studies. The staff and affiliates of the Center work to advance the study of the ancient world through innovative and collaborative research, teaching, and community outreach activities using cartography, geographic information science, and historical geography.' Includes sample maps from the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World.

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D’Anville: un cabinet savant à l’époque des Lumières

'Un cabinet savant à l’époque des Lumières : cartes, archives et manuscrits du géographe du roi Jean-Baptiste d’Anville (1697-1782). Programme de recherche triennal (2010-2012) piloté par le département des Cartes et plans de la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Responsables : Catherine Hofmann et Lucile Haguet.'

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Arabic. Estudis Àrabs

With the specific title, 'Cartografía náutica árabe en el contexto mediterráneo (c.1300-1600). Estudio de detalle de las cartas', the 2009-2011 project will focus on Arabic chartmaking of the Mediterranean. A later continuation will look in detail at the toponymy. Facultat de Filologia, Universitat de Barcelona.

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Atl@nte dei Catasti Storici e delle Carte Topografiche della Lombardia

The research presented here has developed within the project “Atl@s of historical cadastral and topographic maps of Lombardy (2009-2011)” funded by ‘Fondazione Cariplo’, involving ‘Politecnico di Milano - BEST Dept.’ (project leader), ‘Archivio di Stato di Milano’, ‘Agenzia del Territorio’, ‘Centro Studi PIM’, ‘Regione Lombardia’, ‘Comune di Gorgonzola’ (partners). The first release of the geo-portal (www.atlantestoricolombardia.it), has been presented to the public on 19th January 2010 after a year’s work. Conceived in the form of a modern Atl@s, it has been designed with a double level access to the historical cadastral series available by ASMi (‘Catasto Teresiano’, ‘Lombardo Veneto’, ‘Cessato Catasto’), together with samples of ‘Impianto in conservazione’ by AdT (Italian Cadastral Administration): besides a catalogue approach level based on classical research keys (the application, Divenire©, has been inherited by ASMi from the Archive of Venice), an open geographic level has been implemented by the research group of Politecnico, with ongoing functionalities, based on a territorial regional basis, obtained experimenting and georeferencing small scale topographic maps, principally here focused on the historical chorographic maps. [From the abstract of an article by D. Oreni, R. Brumana, M. Scaioni & F. Prandi: in e-Perimetron 5:4 (2010), pp.194-211).]

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Les atlas dans les cultures scientifiques et artistiques modernes et contemporaines: représenter, organiser, conserver les connaissances et les objets

'L’UMR Géographie-cités et l’Ecole Française de Rome mettent en place à partir de 2012 un projet de recherche sur l’histoire de la forme atlas dans l’Europe savante, durant la période moderne et contemporaine.' One part of the investigation will concern the Italian Assembled To Order (IATO) atlases, associated with Antoine Lafréry and his successors. Jean-Marc Besse (CNRS) coordinates the project.

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Atlas of Historical US County Boundaries (Newberry Library, Chicago)

A reference work designed to provide information about the creation and boundary changes of every county in the United States, from the earliest county creation in the 1600s to 1990.

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Austro-Hungarian Topographic Maps

See ‘Building a Globally Distributed Historical Sheet Map Set of Austro-Hungarian Topographic Maps, 1877-1914’ (by Patrick McGlamery in RLG DigiNews 9, 1 (February 2005), describing a project to scan and geo-reference images from the 776 sheets in the series) .

The aim of this project is to create an international, metadata-driven, dynamic access tool that will enable users to find and view scanned and geo-referenced images from 1877-1914 Austro-Hungarian topographic maps (AuHu75) by querying an easy-to-use digital gazetteer. The 776 sheets are known in a total of about 3,665 editions. A prototype of the AuHu75 can be found on the < http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/website/AuHuProto/viewer.htm > MAGIC website of the University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbidge Library. [See also here].

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Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venezia, Ufficio Carte Geografiche e Stampe. 'Progetti speciali'

Related cataloguing and image capture projects involving the Coronelli corpus, the Fra Mauro map and thousands of other maps. See also GeoWeb and 'Hic Sunt Leones' - both below.

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Bremen. DFG-Projekt: Retrospektive Digitalisierung des historischen Kartenbestandes der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen

[From an earlier English text version, headed: 'Retrospective digitisation of historical geographical maps at the State and University Library Bremen']. "The State and University Library Bremen plans to digitize its collection of historical maps and present the digitized maps via its website. In the first phase, which is now completed, 100 historical maps have been digitized. This phase has been financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the German Research Council...It is planned to digitize the whole collection and present it via the Internet in a second phase". Project duration: October 2000 to September 2002.

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Les cartes portulans conservées en France

'Description , identification et numérisation des cartes et atlas portulans produits du XIIIe au XVIIIe siècle, conservés dans les collections publiques françaises. Programme de recherche triennal (2010-2012), piloté par le Département des Cartes et plans de la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Responsables : Hélène Richard, Catherine Hofmann.

'Les collections de la BnF (départements des Cartes et plans, Manuscrits, Arsenal) ont été réétudiées et de nouvelles identifications ont été proposées dans des études spécifiques sur la production des différentes régions, ou sur certaines périodes chronologiques. Aussi est-il maintenant nécessaire de reprendre la totalité du catalogue des portulans de la BnF, de revoir les attributions proposées au milieu du XXe siècle par Myriem Foncin, dans son Catalogue des cartes nautiques sur vélin conservées au Département des Cartes et plans, et de compléter ces informations à la lumière de l’évolution des collections.

'Un travail similaire de recensement, d’analyse et de numérisation sera proposé aux autres collections publiques françaises (bibliothèques, musées, archives) conservant de tels documents.

'Valorisation envisagée :
- Dossier accompagnant les documents numérisés et accessibles via le site Gallica.
- Exposition sur les portulans à la BNF (automne 2012), accompagné d’un livre-catalogue.
- Journée d’étude.'

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Charles Booth

"A site exploring the papers of Charles Booth, his family, and his survey into life and labour in London. This web site accompanies a new project to put digitised versions of the material described here online. The full Online Guide to the Papers of Charles Booth will be launching in January 2001".

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Charting the Nation 1590-1740

'Charting the Nation is a collaborative digital imaging and cataloguing project with the aim of preserving and widening access to maps of Scotland and their associated archives dating from 1590 to 1740.' The intention is to mount about 3,600 images, of maps and related texts.

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China Historical Geographic Information System (CHGIS) project

'The CHGIS will establish a standardized coding system to identify historical administrative units for different periods in Chinese History, and will also provide a base GIS platform for researchers to use for spatial analysis, temporal statistical modeling, and representation of selected historical units as digital maps. The project will begin with several temporal slices from the Qing Dynasty and work backwards in time, allowing for additional information about intervening points in time to be added at any stage in the process'. For results to date see From Tibet to Altai - Russian Historical Maps of China.

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David Rumsey collection

For descriptive notes, see Images of early maps on the web: large general sites

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Digital Historical Maps

[The project closed in 2001]. A consortium of archives in Denmark, Germany and Sweden. 'In this project we show more than 10 000 maps and text documents, free of charge. The selection is made to make it possible to get an overview of what type of information you can gain from different times from the archives'. It is supported by the European Commission's INFO2000 programme. The site includes high quality images, and commentary on the materials used for the maps and on the digitisation process. See also entries for the separate countries under Web Images

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DIGMAP. Discovering our Past World with Digitised Historical Maps

DIGMAP is run by a consortium of four European libraries: National Library of Portugal (BNP), the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR), the National Library of Italy in Florence (BNCF), and the National Library of Estonia (NLE). It "proposes to develop a solution for flexible services for registering, searching and browsing in collections of digitised historical maps. We propose a solution to support the registering of maps by their geographic boundaries and make it easy to classify, index, search and browse them with the support of multilingual geographic thesauri." It will also seek access to geographic thesauri, [and] match those with the geographic areas covered by each map in the collection." It also proposes "advanced features for the automatic indexing of historical maps, in order to make it possible to add to the collections and process new maps at zero human cost. This can be reached by comparing, at the image level, the new maps with the rest of the collection." It is part of the EU's eContentplus programme. It is due to run for the period from October 2006 to the end of 2008. See the periodic newsletter for updates on progress and related matters.

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Early Maps (1660-1850) of the Middle Atlantic Seaboard

"The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library will digitize and make broadly available on its website, a collection of antiquarian maps and atlases, 1660-1850 of the United States Middle-Atlantic region. With support from the National Endowment of the Humanities, this two year grant 2000-2002 will catalog, perform conservation work on some of the maps, and digitize approximately 1,190 sheet maps and 150 maps contained in atlases."

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The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI)

Currently comprising 75 separate historical GIS projects. On this see: Michael Buckland and Lewis Lancaster, 'Combining Place, Time, and Topic: The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative', D-Lib Magazine, May 2004, Vol. 10, No.5.

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Fagel Map Project (Trinity College Dublin)

"The Fagel archive contains one of the finest pre-1800 cartographic collections anywhere in the world, unsurpassed in terms of quality and standard of preservation. The Fagel material is practically unknown outside of Trinity College Dublin yet it includes the finest surviving examples of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch, French and German cartography, as well as complete sets of coloured town plans for every major settlement in the ‘known’ world, hundreds of contemporary battle plans and the first detailed maps of many countries as and when they were first surveyed. Building on the success of Trinity College’s Down Survey of Ireland map project, the Fagel collection is to be made available to the public for the first time.

"The Fagel project (2014-15) will create an open access website to include digital images of the entire Fagel cartographic collection. The site will allow access to the images either through an ‘Earth’ type interface, whereby the user can point to a place on a modern globe, select a date and the appropriate map will appear in a new window, or through a traditional database driven search. Search parameters will include location, date, cartographer and place of publication, as well as various themes. A themed search enables the user to browse maps by type; for example, charts, military plans or colonial maps. This site will be the largest single source of pre-1800 cartography anywhere in the world and the only large historical map site with a location based interface".

On the 'Fagel Collection' see the note on the TCD site. "It is the only extant contemporary collection of this size that was assembled as the material was published as opposed to retrospectively ... A voluntary project to digitise the cartographic material has been completed resulting in an image bank of in excess of 10,000 published from 1620-1798."

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'Forma Urbis Romae'

Experiments are underway to see if 3D scanning techniques could be used to piece together the more than 1,163 marble fragments that make up the giant map of ancient Rome (c.200 A.D.). This would form part of the Michelangelo Project. On this, see a BBC News piece of 28 April 2004 by David Whitehouse.

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Gallica - Bibliothèque nationale de France

'Une bibliothèque patrimoniale et encyclopédique', to comprise 70,000 'noteworthy' digitised texts [click on 'Recherche' and restrict to 'Ouvrages en mode texte' and 'Monographies en mode image'] and over 80,000 images. The works involved include Ptolemy, Ortelius, Sanson and various venerable commentaries on early maps and charts, e.g. by Hamy. Making a browsing selection, via 'Recherche', and entering 'cart*' in 'Mots du Titre' produced 1025 entries (not all relevant), whereas entering 'cartes' in 'Sujet' produced 199, 'atlas' 28 and 'cartes nautiques' 116. The black and white images are taken from microfilm of variable quality but it can be considerably enlarged; choose TIFF or PDF format via 'Téléchargement de l'ouvrage' [examined December 2003]

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Géo&Co. Construction et circulation des savoirs géographiques sur l’Afrique française XIXe-XXe siècle

A multi-disciplinary project involving historians and geographers (2006-2010), aiming to analyse cartographic production in a colonial context, from a comparative perspective.

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GeoWeb

'The cartographical and graphical website of the national Library Marciana of Venice'. The online catalogue links to over 29,000 map images (available either in low resolution or high resolution with a digital watermark). See also under Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venezia, above.

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Gough Map

Two projects relating to the Gough Map of Great Britain. First, the earlier project: Mapping the Realm: English cartographic constructions of fourteenth-century Britain

"'Mapping the realm’ is a project funded by the British Academy to create an interactive online version of the celebrated medieval ‘Gough Map’ of Great Britain. The original map is held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It probably dates from the fourteenth century but neither the identity of its author or its exact origins are known...The project seeks to find out more about this enigmatic map. Using a scan of the original, undertaken by DigiData Technologies...GIS makes it possible to study the map’s content and assess how it was made, who made it, and what it was made for - all questions yet to be resolved." Queen’s University, Belfast in collaboration with the Bodleian Library. See < http://www.oxfordtoday.ox.ac.uk/2005-06/v18n2/08.shtml > 'Britain's first road map' (Nick Millea on this project, in the Hilary 2006 issue of the Oxford University Alumni magazine, Oxford Today).

And a follow-up to that: Linguistic Geographies: The Gough Map of Great Britain and its Making. [What seems to have been an earlier version is here]. See also the AHRC ‘Beyond Text’ programme website. "...Recent research has demonstrated that the map is in parts a strikingly accurate depiction of the locations of places, yet very little is known about how it was made, why, where and by whom. The project will attempt to answer some of these questions through a linguistic and paleographic analysis ..." This project is due to run from April 2010 to July 2011. "As the project proceeds during 2010, this website will develop with the ultimate aim of providing online access to the Gough Map, and a searchable database of the place-names that the map contains. Please revisit the site, and add your comments about the map and the project via our blog. The project will conclude with an exhibition and colloquium at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, in June 2011, on the topic of 'The language of maps'."

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Great Britain Historical GIS Project

A computerised record of the changing administrative boundaries of Britain, currently working backwards from the early 19th century to the 17th. See also 'A Vision of Britain Through Time'. This project (1994-2000) is being followed by the 'Historic Boundaries of Britain' (2007-2009).

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Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network (GPGN)

Involving many members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). The GeoHistory Network will serve as a flexible and inclusive repository for information about the southeastern Pennsylvania region. The historical base map of land records has been scanned by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Records and three Philadelphia atlases (1860, 1895 and 1910) will be included in the GIS for exploring the history, culture, and architecture of the region.

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Hic Sunt Leones

'Texts and resources for the historical and cartographical research and the carto-bibliography', edited by Piero Falchetta of the Biblioteca Marciana. These include a listing of the early maps of America in the Marciana, studies on de'Barbari, Cabot, and Fra Mauro, the contents pages of Imago Mundi, and the entire sequence of place-names from a 14th century portolan chart. See also under Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venezia, above.

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HistCARTO (Expériences de terrain et compétences cartographiques : pour une approche heuristique de la numérisation des cartes et plans)

The intention is to make an inventory of maps found in the Strasbourg collections and then digitise those, with particular reference to the map collections of Coquebert de Montbret (1755-1831), and with accompanying interpretation. 'Programme scientifique cofinancé par la Maison Interuniversitaire des Sciences de l'Homme - Alsace [MISHA] (2005-2008) et l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche (2006-2008)'.

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Historic Cities

"A joint project of the Historic Cities Center of the Department of Geography, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National and University Library. It is intended to contain maps, literature, documents, books and other relevant material concerning the past, present and future of historic cities and to facilitate the location of similar content on the web. We would like the site to be a meeting place for the lovers of historic cities and to function as a virtual archive, which will constantly develop and grow. The content will be loaded gradually: first we will load several hundreds of high quality city maps which we scanned, and brief documented histories of some of the most important cities." See also under Web Images (Continental Europe: 'Town plans'; Russia (St Petersburg))

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Historic USGS Topographic Map project

"A volunteer effort to help the USGS preserve historic topographic maps. This Website provides the coordination and process information for the volunteer community interested in helping the USGS preserve topographic maps (topos) via scanning, thus ensuring their continued availability and use". From Background: "The purpose of the USGS Historic Topographic Maps project is to accurately catalog and create metadata for all USGS topographic maps. The metadata will be used to provide users with map lists, allow for searches using keywords, and display map images ... Map images will ultimately be viewable on the Web."

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Historische Kartenbestände des Oberrheins

Scans of maps and related texts on the website of the University Library, Freiburg im Breisgau. A joint project of the libraries of the EUCOR Confederation and the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe.

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Iceland

The National and University Library of Iceland and the National Library of Norway are co-operating to produce electronic images of pre-1900 maps of Iceland.

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Images for economic and social history: presentation data bank of images

Images from early books relating to economic history, from the collections of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica "F. Datini" - Prato, the Biblioteca Comunale "A. Lazzerini" - Prato and the Biblioteca Riccardiana - Firenze. See various individual entries in the appropriate parts of the Web Images section, or go to the Homepage and use the Sitesearch for 'immagini'.

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Imago II Project (Archivio di Stato di Roma)

"The Imago II Project, achieved in 1997-2000, had the goal of turning from traditional techniques of reproduction to the new digital ones, to preserve original documents. Many of the most consulted series are now available for a virtual access, in the State Archive or on Internet since june 2002. Today are in the Imago information system: Alessandrino Cadastre, Urban Roman Cadastre, a selection of the Gregoriano Cadastre including the 600 most important towns of Papal State, the carthography of the old rural Cadastre. Also the roman parchments were digitized, and are now included in a common database with the others, were often abstracts ("regesti") are included. Some of the more useful registers are digitized too: alphabetic registers of roman notaries; some ancient registers of the Tesorerie provinciali. Finally, some precious items as the illuminated manuscript of Liber Regulae. Within the project about 5.000 digital color photos have been done of maps and manuscripts, 25.000 colour scanning of ancient maps and parchments, 100.000 greyscale scanning of cadastre and notarial registers. Images in jpeg format have been masterized in about 500 CD-R while copies of this images, in a MrSID format, are now available in high resolution on this website." [Text also in Italian - note that it is necessary to register before consulting the images]

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Lewis and Clark Historic Landscape Project

"This website serves geographical information and maps that are products of the LEWIS AND CLARK HISTORIC LANDSCAPE PROJECT that has been conducted at the Geographic Resources Center (GRC), Department of Geography, University of Missouri in partnership with the Missouri State Archives, Office of the Missouri Secretary of State. With the primary goals to geo-reference, digitize, and map all of the retrievable information from the Lewis and Clark journals and the 18th and 19th-century land survey notes along the Big River Corridors of the state of Missouri, this effort should serve as a significant educational contribution to the national commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial (2003-2006)." 18th and 19th century maps are expected. The site includes a page of links to other Lewis & Clark sites.

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Mapping Europe's Historic Boundaries and Borders

Concerned with mapping the changing boundaries of administrative units, from parishes and communes up to nations and empires, as a framework for studying the European past.

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Mapping Mediterranean Lands [MEDMAPS]

"The Digital Library for International Research, under the aegis of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers aims to identify, catalogue, conserve, and make electronically accessible important early maps and related information as well as unique maps from archaeological excavation and exploration by American overseas research centers around the Mediterranean as well as those in other areas with related materials. The multi-phase project will result in a fully searchable web- based catalog of these materials enriched with selected digitized images and texts".

"Ultimately the International Research Maps Database will contain bibliographic records and graphical images for the most important maps from the various collections of the American Overseas Research Centers, representing approximately 5,000 unique maps. To date, we have surveyed over 3,000 maps from centers in the Mediterranean area. Brief inventories and selected digital maps are currently available through the Mapping Mediterranean Lands project" (March 2005).

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Mapping the World

Seven UK libraries, led by the Bodleian (Oxford), will convert their catalogue cards for post-1850 overseas mapping into a common database. Series mapping will be treated at series level. The resulting records will be mounted on COPAC, the online catalogue of Research Libraries UK (RLUK) Database, formerly the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL).

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Mare oraque Tusciae

"Il progetto intende mettere in luce il contributo della cartografia storica (secoli XV-XIX) per la conoscenza, anche a fini di tutela e valorizzazione, del patrimonio storico-architettonico, ambientale e paesaggistico del litorale continentale e dell'arcipelago toscano" (November 2011). See 'Mare Oraque Tusciae' (illustrated article in English by Anna Guarducci, Leonardo Rombai & Marco Piccardi, in: e-Perimetron, 6:2 (2011), pp. 114-21; about a prototype database. This is a Progetto di ricerca del Dipartimento di Storia dell’Università degli Studi di Siena.

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Memory of the Netherlands Project (‘Het Geheugen van Nederland’)

"The Memory contains images and texts from the often hidden collections of Dutch cultural institutions." Use the Collections index to identify and select the various cartographic elements [as at February 2008]: ‘Atlassen uit het Scheepvaartmuseum’ (the Atlas Van Loon and the expanded version of van Keulen’s Nieuwe Lichtende Zee-Fakkel), 'Atlassen’ (the Atlas Van der Hagen and the Atlas Beudeker), ‘Suriname in kaart gebracht’, 'Seven centuries of Zuiderzee history' and 'Atlantic World'.

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Nolli map of Rome

A Flash-based, high resolution, interactive version of the 1748 Nolli map of Rome (176 x 208 cm when joined), supported by research papers. "Using the Map Engine, the user can pan in any direction and zoom in or out from the macro-scale of the city to the micro-scale of the building. Layers have been created to focus on particular topics, for example gardens". 1,320 sites are indexed both by position and by feature type. "In addition the search mechanism provides annotations for all sites including modern name and location, type, architect, time period, and references. A simple search will provide results that match in any of these categories, as well as retrieve entries in the glossary, bibliography, and any articles that appear on the site". See < http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1019/p25s01-stct.html > 'An ancient map of Rome that's surprisingly up to date' (by Jim Regan in the Christian Science Monitor, 19 October 2005).

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< http://www.lib.unc.edu/jobs/epa/nc_maps.html > 'North Carolina Maps Project Librarian' (job application)

"The University of North Carolina seeks a knowledgeable and resourceful librarian for the position of North Carolina Maps Project Librarian. The Project Librarian will serve as project manager for "North Carolina Maps," a three-year digitization project funded by the Library Services and Technology Act through North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online). The Library, in collaboration with the North Carolina State Archives and the Outer Banks History Center, plans to digitize and publish online a comprehensive selection of early North Carolina Maps. This new digital collection will become part of an ever-growing library digital publishing program that includes the internationally renowned Documenting the American South and is part of the newly-established Carolina Digital Library." [1 July 2007.]

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Old maps online

"The project will construct a search portal for finding online historical maps based on locality and period. Currently users must visit individual library websites and search their map catalogue, often via publication information or sometimes by typing in co-ordinates. Creating a geographical portal will allow users to focus on a particular location and time period, identifying all maps of interest from a range of different libraries in a single query, which they can then choose to visit. This project will also publish new “best practices” for defining persistent Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to maintain hyperlinks consistently over long periods these will be developed through implementing them for the historical maps we will collate."

"The OldMapsOnline Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world. It allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search. Search by typing a place-name or by clicking in the map window, and narrow by date. The search results provide a direct link to the map image on the website of the host institution."

At the launch (February 2012) there were over 60,000 maps, from: A Vision of Britain through Time, British Library, David Rumsey Collection, Moravian Library, & National Library of Scotland.

The University of Portsmouth, with the British Library and National Library of Scotland, November 2011 to January 2013. Funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

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'Paper and Virtual Cities'

'NWO Project "Paper and Virtual Cities": New methodologies for the use of historical sources in virtual urban cartography .. carried out in co- operation between The Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Groningen University. The key objective of this project is to develop and to integrate methodologies which a) permit researchers to use historical documents more accurately in creating virtual reconstructions and b) allow users to recognise better technical manipulations and distortions of truth used in the process'. The first of the Objectives is: 'by studying how manuscript maps were made and used in different historical contexts new methodologies will be developed to evaluate the use of historical cartographical sources and to assess the reliability and veracity of information for the production of digitised town plans and virtual urban (re-) constructions. The project is due to run from August 2003 to April 2008.

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The [New South Wales] Parish Map Preservation Project

"The State's historical, and eventually current Parish, Town, County and Municipal maps are being collected and digitally photographed in District Office sets" by the Department of Lands, New South Wales. All the 35,000 currently available Historical editions of the parish maps can be found as MrSID images. See also the entry under Web Images

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A New Edition of Peutinger’s Roman Map: Design, Purpose, and Impact

Measuring 22 x 1 foot in size, it is "seemingly a mediaeval copy of a Roman original". "Scanned images and digitization [will] enable me to offer a detailed entry for every physical feature, route stretch, and name marked (several thousand in all), as well as to deconstruct the cartographic production process and successive copyists’ changes" (Richard Talbert, Ancient World Mapping Center, July 2004).

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Pfyffer. 3D Reconstruction and Evaluation of a Historical Relief Model of Switzerland (1762-1786)

A scientific evaluation by Jana Niederöst, of the Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry of the ETH in Zurich, of Franz Ludwig Pfyffer's relief model of Central Switzerland. Covering about one tenth of the country, this is the oldest preserved, large relief model of Switzerland

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Pictures in Print

"A collaborative project sponsored by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme to create a union catalogue, with viewable images, of printed maps and topographical prints of County Durham created before 1860 held by Durham University Library, Durham County Library, Durham Cathedral Library and the Bowes Museum."

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'Portuguese Mapping: the African Coast'. [Also here]

A developing site (October 2008), which, besides analysing 15th- and early 16th-century cartography, is to include a database of names on the West Coast of Africa between Bojadar and Mozambique - Patricia Seed, German Diaz, et al., on the site of the University of Houston. See the background article by Patricia Seed, 'The cone of Africa ... took shape in Lisbon', in: Humanities: the Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, 29, 6 (November/December 2008). [It is initially available here < http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2008-11/ConeOfAfrica.html >, but will soon be moved to the archive]

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Project Pont

Maps of Scotland produced by Timothy Pont (c.1583-96) in the National Library of Scotland - their digitisation and study. The project is now finished but the results of the work remain available. See also the comments (under 'Functionality') on About the listing of early map image sites on the web.

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Ptolemaios-Forschungsstelle

A project, by the Institute of Classical Philology in Bern, to produce a new critical edition of the Greek text of the Geographia and its maps. Its duration is April 2001-December 2006. "Die Ptolemaios-Forschungsstelle in Bern, die dem Institut für Klassische Philologie der Universität Bern angegliedert ist, hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, eine zweisprachige Neuausgabe der Geographie des Klaudios Ptolemaios in die Wege zu leiten. Vorgesehen ist eine Neubearbeitung des seit 1843/45 nie mehr vollständig redigierten griechischen Textes unter Berücksichtigung der 1930 wiederentdeckten Ptolemaioshandschrift in Istanbul, eine deutsche Übersetzung sowie eine Umzeichnung der Karten. In einem Ergänzungsband sollen wesentliche Aspekte wie handschriftliche Überlieferung, Messmethoden, Gestaltung des Ortskataloges, Wirkungsgeschichte u.a.m. in einzelnen Kapiteln behandelt werden. Das Projekt wird vom Schweizerischen Nationalfonds und von der Bernischen Hochschulstiftung unterstützt. Die Forschungsstelle bemüht sich um internationale und interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit." See report in Cartographica Helvetica 31 (2005) and a note by Oswald Dreyer-Eimbcke in the IMCOS Journal 104 (Spring 2006) pp.51, 54. The resulting two volumes and a 'comprehensive index and a database on CD-ROM' appeared in 2006. ISBN 978-3-7965-2148-5.

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Resources for Learning in Scotland (RLS)

"A consortium headed by the National Library of Scotland and including the National Archives of Scotland, the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN), and over 100 Scottish archives and libraries, to create digital content for the study and celebration of social, cultural and industrial heritage in Scotland, complementary to and integrated with the SCRAN resource base." The National Library alone plans to scan over 1000 maps. Maps can be searched for, but only small, low resolution images are available to non-subscribers.

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Road Map Collectors Association

A project covering the separate US states and Canadian provinces: 'Official [Highways] Maps Master List' (OMML).

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Stanford Geological Survey Maps and Field Notebooks

Notice included in the September 2001 issue of the WAML News & Notes: Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections, of the Stanford University Libraries, is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant through the California State Library to scan and catalog the maps and field notebooks of the Stanford Geological Survey from 1897 to the present. This two year project will be funded jointly by funds from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford, and the Stanford University Libraries.

The collection includes approximately 5,000 manuscript items that primarily cover portions of the state of California. As the maps and field notebooks are held exclusively at Branner Library, they are a unique resource for the people of the state of California and across the county. The scanned maps and field notebooks, as well as the accompanying metadata, will ultimately be available to all for free over the Web. Although it is expected that the project will take two years to complete, the Web site will be fully functional after the first year with a goal of 500 images and records available to view.

For more information contact: Julie Sweetkind-Singer, GIS & Map Librarian < sweetkind(at)stanford.edu > [NB. You need to replace (at) with the @ symbol].

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TimeMap: Time-based Interactive Mapping

"TimeMap TMJava is a novel mapping applet which generates complete interactive maps with a few simple lines of html. It provides a way of easily enriching web pages with historical or contemporary information that goes far beyond static jpg map images". The University of Sydney.

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UKBORDERS On-Line Digital Boundary Data (Edinburgh Univ.)

'United Kingdom Boundary Outline and Reference Database for Education and Research Study'. This a web-based Interface that provides digitised boundary datasets of the UK, available in many GIS formats (MapInfo MIF/MID, ArcView Shape, Arc/Info Export and several others), for users to download.

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U.S. Serial Set Maps

"The University of Maryland and LexisNexis U.S., a leading provider of news, business and legal information services, announced an alliance today aimed at preserving images of the U.S. Serial Set Maps while making the maps easily accessible and searchable online.

The U.S. Serial Set is a vast historical resource that contains an ongoing collection of U.S. Government publications compiled under a directive of Congress, and consequently traces virtually all aspects of American history, including trade and commerce, military history, geography, scientific exploration, and anthropology.

Already, LexisNexis® has digitized nearly the entire U.S. Serial Set collection spanning 1789-1969, including 325,000 documents drawn from nearly 13,000 volumes, 52,000 maps, and the American State Papers.

This new project will enhance the quality of the maps section. The University of Maryland is providing the original maps so LexisNexis can rescan the collection into high-resolution digital images in color and black and white. Current scans taken from microfiche cannot provide the color or the same clarity as a scan from the original maps". [Press release June 27, 2005]. See also the Library of Congress note on the U.S. Serial Set.

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'A Vision of Britain Through Time'

A large project in the Department of Geography at the University of Portsmouth, giving access to 'over two centuries’ worth of facts, figures, surveys, maps, election results and travel writing showing how 15,000 UK places have changed' (relaunch, July 2009). Closely linked to the Great Britain Historical GIS Project. A six-month project, Embedding A Vision of Britain through Time as a resource for academic research and learning, starts in October 2010.

On 27 October 2011 Humphrey Southall announced to lismaps a new grant (running to January 2013) for a cooperative project to create 'a federated search portal which includes, in principle, as many maps and map libraries as possible, and lets users find maps by place name or by clicking on a map of the world'.

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Western Association of Map Libraries. 'WAML Scanning Projects Clearinghouse'

'An effort to create a union list of WAML’s digitization projects...and avoid duplication of efforts'

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W.E. Upjohn Center for the Study of Geographical Change

The Center was established at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, in October 2005. "The facility, the only one of its kind in the world, will use the latest technology to preserve and create enhanced digital versions of maps and aerial photography... In many cases, the original paper and photographic versions of these documents are deteriorating and might be lost if not preserved in electronic form... unlimited access via the Web... At the same time that maps and aerial photographs are being preserved in digital form, they will be electronically catalogued and cross-referenced, making it possible for the first time to easily search for desired materials...With digitization of flat topographical maps we will be able to create three-dimensional computer representations down to a single part of one county in any state in any year in which a map was made. We will begin with our own country, but the ultimate scope of this project is global, and maps never stop changing." [Extracts from the Press Release, 17 October 2005 ' Unique research center established with $4 million gift'.]

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