At OSCON,(publisher O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention) in Portland, Oregon last week, the David Rumsey Map Collection generated very good response. David Rumsey, president of mapping company Cartography Associates had a huge collection of maps. He started a project more than four years ago to preserve these maps. This resulted in the creation of an online map collection.
The David Rumsey Map Collection is an online storehouse like no other. It has more than 10,000 antique maps available for free access. By combining very powerful Java browser software and a great deal of thoughtfulness, the site lets one do things with the maps that would be impracticable or impossible with the real things. One can collate collections of themed images, overlay different maps with differing levels of translucency, even take a flat map and project it over a relief map of the same area. One can also annotate a map with one’s own links and data, which other people can see and follow.