Reference Resource: Ontario University Libraries Collaborate to Release Over 1000 Historical Maps of Ontario Online
Coinciding with the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) 50th anniversary, Ontario’s university libraries are releasing a collection of over 1000 historical topographic maps of Ontario.
The project is a province-wide collaboration, led by the OCUL Geo Community, an open forum for the exchange of information relating to maps and GIS, to digitize and geocode early topographic maps of Ontario at the 1:25000 and 1:63360 scales.
The maps were originally produced by the Department of National Defence (until 1923: the Department of Militia and Defence) and show a variety of both natural and man-made features covering towns, cities and their surrounding areas in Ontario, over the period of 1906 to 1977. This project represents the single most comprehensive digitization project of the early-National Topographic Series map collection in Canada.
Rarly topographic maps are heavily used by historians and researchers interested in examining change over time. The project aims to improve access to the maps by making them available online and offering visual exploration through the project website and in the Scholars GeoPortal platform.
Researchers and students can explore the maps and compare changes over time using the GeoPortal’s map viewer that contains current base map data and a transparency slider feature.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.