The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center (Boston Public Library) and the American Geographical Society Library (AGSL) a grant of $348,641 to build new features for the Allmaps georeferencing platform, making cartographic collections more accessible to scholars, educators, and the general public.
“Georeferencing” is the use of software to align scanned historical maps and data with current real-world geography. Allmaps eliminates the need for downloading GIS software and large image files, and allows researchers to easily georeference a map by pasting the URL of a digital map image into the Allmaps platform.
With the grant, AGSL and the Leventhal Center will focus on making it easier for map-holding institutions to incorporate Allmaps into their collections. The enhancements will also enable users to be able to crowdsource, create and curate their own collections of maps from selections across multiple digital map collections to support and highlight original digital humanities research undertaken by scholars and students.
The American Geographical Society Library holds more than half a million maps of all types covering the world at a wide range of scales. Included are the major national topographic series, navigational charts detailing the Earth’s coastlines and a wealth of thematic maps treating the full range of physical and human factors. Over 20,000 maps may be viewed in AGSL’s Digital Collections.