Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2016 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

Font Size: 
Establishing a Land Surveying Digital Map Library: Review of Process and Technologies Created and Leveraged
Richard Smith, Ann Hodges, Seneca Holland, Son Nguyen

Last modified: 2016-03-22


The Special Collections and Archives Department in the Mary and Jeff Bell Library at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi contains nine land surveying map collections. These map collections contain tens of thousands of land surveying maps and documents of Corpus Christi, Nueces County, and the surrounding Texas region from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. These historic map collections are currently only available to in-person library visitors, restricting the availability of these maps to only those who are able to travel to Corpus Christi. The Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI), in collaboration with the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, are scanning these map collections so an online digital map library can be established. Currently, over 28,000 documents have been scanned and catalogued from two of the nine map collections.

During the course of scanning and cataloging the map collections, we have purchased a large-format pass-through scanner, large-format flatbed scanner, and a book scanner. Additionally, we have developed scanning and cataloging procedures, an automatic scan cropping application, a web-based cataloging system, and a prototype web-based spatial search portal. To publish the map collection to the public, we have chosen DSpace, hosted by the Texas Digital Library, as our publishing platform. In order to publish our map collection from our cataloging system to DSpace, we have utilized the DSpace REST API to create a custom solution that allows us to publish directly from within our cataloging system. Additionally, as we are spatially locating the maps to their locations on Earth, we have created a prototype spatial search portal that links to the items in DSpace, thereby allowing the public to find maps in the collection by dragging a search box on a web map.

The focus of this presentation will be a review of the entire project up to its current status. The review will cover our scanning hardware, cataloging software, scanning procedures, cataloging procedures, use of DSpace REST API for publishing documents, and the prototype spatial search portal. The presentation will be a mix of high-level discussion, system demonstration, and technical explanation.


map library, maps, dspace, rest api, proceedures

Full Text: Slideshow