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Building Digital Worlds: Where does GIS data come from?

This is a guest post by Meagan Snow, Geospatial Data Visualization Librarian in the Geography and Map Division. Whether you’ve used an online map to check traffic conditions, a fitness app to track your jogging route, or found photos tagged by location on social media, many of us rely on geospatial data more and more […]

A Unique View of the Georgian Military Road

Few journeys offer the prospect of so pleasant a destination or more luxurious accommodations than the Stairway to Heaven. Those of us not lucky enough to secure a ticket on that ride will have to settle for more mundane adventures, perhaps something with less delicate transportation facilities and sparser lodgings. With meagre options at hand […]

Georeferencing: Moving Analog Maps into Modern-Day GIS

This is a guest post by Meagan Snow, Geospatial Data Visualization Librarian in the Geography and Map Division. Have you ever wondered how historic maps can be used with today’s modern mapping technologies? One of the ways in which analog maps can be used with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is through a process called georeferencing. […]

More than a Metaphor: Maps of Mammoth Cave

This is a guest post by Kelly Bilz, Librarian-in-Residence in the Geography and Map Division. Beneath the surface of west-central Kentucky winds a complex system of rivers and grottos known as Mammoth Cave. Named “mammoth” for its size, the cave doesn’t have much to do with the creature—although mammoths and mastodons did live in Kentucky near Big […]

Mesoamerican Artifacts from the Jay I. Kislak Collection Now Online

The Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology and History of the Early Americas contains important archaeological artifacts, rare books, manuscripts, maps, and graphic works of art, which survey the earliest history of the lands that would become known as the Americas. In 2004 Jay I. Kislak, a businessman, philanthropist, military aviator, and collector, donated […]

“Eastern Branch of the Potomac River” or “Anacostia River”? A Cartographic Curiosity…

One of the joys involved in answering reference questions submitted to the Geography and Map Division is that some questions (the fun ones!) frequently involve extensive research in the Library’s cartographic holdings. Staff of the Geography and Map Division are also fortunate to be able to consult photocopies of maps from other institutions, early photographs […]