US: The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is about to complete a massive project to digitise its cache of approximately 200,000 historic topographic maps, previously available only in print or in some cases out-of-print. These digital maps will be of immense help to geographers, geologists, hydrologists, demographers, engineers and urban planners.
Some of the oldest maps in the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection show the Chicago Loop in 1929; Tooele Valley, Utah, in 1885; New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1888; Colorado’s Mosquito Mountains in 1886. When taken as a whole, the collection can be considered a National Map, a cartographic library of “last resort,” said archive manager Greg Allord, containing hard-to-find maps when all other sources fail. Allord said that scanning is now complete, though processing may take until September and some maps found in other libraries will eventually be added.