But thou at home without or tyde or gale; Canst in thy Map securely saile: -- Robert Herrick
I "securely saile" down Algonquin canoe routes, drive the country roads of Devon on Street View and time travel to my home's location in 1915. To my great pleasure I attended two presentations at OLA that had maps at their heart and, also, rediscovered several TPL mapping initiatives.
Incorparating Mapping Technology into Libray Services
Eva Dodsworth is the Geospatial Data Services Librarian at the University of Waterloo and works with Geographical Information Systems. An early example of this type of information representation was seen in John Snow's map of the cholera outbreak in London in 1854. GIS simply takes this to the computer in a field that combines cartography, statistics and databases. Eva showed us how she used GIS to explore the expansion of the County of Waterloo from 1955 to the present day.
GIS is also used in georeferencing antiquarian maps in the NYPL collection. Here library users, using Map Warper, overlay old maps on the new city grid to rectify them and chart changes.
Dodsworth is the author of Getting Started with GIS.
Library Mobile Architecture Project
Graham McCarthy from Ryerson Library showcased the app he and Vincent Hui of the Ryerson School of Architecture developed. This free app provides maps, architectural tours, history of buildings hi-resolution images and floor plans. Through the use of GPS and augmented reality you can scan the horizon and bring up the building information.
Digitization at TPL has resulted in some excellent on-line maps for the staff and public. Digitized Toronto Fire Insurance Maps are invaluable for researching early Toronto and tracing the history of your area or home. TPL's Local History and Genealogy blog contains detailed instructions in their use.
I was recently introduced to a TPL resource that is of great value to Branches, especially those with no Local History collection. Information and images from the Digital Archives and catalogue are linked directly to a map of Toronto Neighbourhoods. You select your neigbourhood and retrieve a list of websites, books, digital maps, scanned pictures and other resources.
“They were maps that lived, maps that one could study, frown over, and add to; maps, in short, that really meant something.”