Thursday 27 October 2011

New JISC funded mapping project

With thanks to Jean McKenzie for the following, sourced from the Vision of Britain blog:

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) have awarded the University of Portsmouth, and the GB Historical GIS project team, a new grant of £139,900 as part of their JISC Content Programme for 2011-13. The new project is called Old Maps Online: Finding and referencing historical mapping as a platform for research and teaching, and runs for fifteen months starting in November.

This is not another grant to extend the web site A Vision of Britain through Time. Instead, we will be creating a quite separate open access web site enabling users to search for online maps across many different digital libraries, based not on the titles of maps or who drew them, but on the places the user is interested in.

Our application was supported by the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and of Wales in the UK; and by the David Rumsey Collection, the Harvard Geospatial Library and the New York Public Library in the US. Because the project is based on existing software, we will be launching the first version of the portal at historic map-focused one-day meetings in New York on February 25th 2012 and London on February 29th; more about those meetings later.

That first version will probably be limited to the Rumsey Collection, the National Library of Scotland and ourselves, but during the rest of the project we will add access to our other partner libraries, and hopefully recruit additional partners. Our funding is about improving access to existing digital content, so we cannot help map libraries scan their collections, but we may be able to assist with geo-referencing, and advise on software for making map images viewable on the web. Note that the latter software does not need to have any geo-spatial capabilities, as those will be provided by the portal.

For the full story visit the Vision of Britain blog post at


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