Eric Jaffe: Why Historical Maps Still Mattertags: history, digitization, geography, maps, Eri Jaffe, Atlantic Cities
With 150,000 or so old print maps to his name, David Rumsey has earned his reputed place among the world's "finest private collectors." But the 69-year-old San Francisco collector doesn't have any intention of resting on his cartographic laurels. He continues to expand his personal trove as well as the digitized sub-collection he makes open to the public online — some 38,000 strong, and growing.
"I'm pretty old for a geek map guy," he says. "But I stay young by embracing new technologies all the time."
Rumsey, a native New Yorker, began his career teaching and practicing art — specifically, its intersections with technology — before getting involved in a charity on the West Coast. After starting his map collection Rumsey used that early art-tech interest to stay ahead of the digitization push. He's created a series of interactive maps that layer old prints onto the Google Earth and Google Maps platforms, and this summer he plans to launch a geo-referencing tool (similar to one recently introduced by the British Library) that lets users get involved in the digital mapping process themselves....
comments powered by Disqus
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing