• News
  • November 7, 2014

Georeferencer Added to Online Library

Help Us Find Locations for Our Maps

Georeferencer is a new application we have added to our online library. It allows you to overlay historic maps on modern maps and other historic maps. The overlaid maps reveal changes over time and enable many kinds of analysis and discovery. Read more about it on our Georeferencer page. The image below from Georeferencer shows San Francisco Mission Bay in 1857 on the left compared with the modern map of San Francisco on the right, showing Mission Bay completely filled in. The two maps are perfectly aligned in Georeferencer in the Side-by side view and the red dot shows the same location in both maps. You can pan and zoom the two maps in sync.

Here the map in the 2D view in Georeferencer is overlaid on the modern map and the transparency slider used to show dramatic changes in the shoreline and the filling in of Mission Bay over the ensuing 100 years.

You can choose your own maps to georeference by Searching LUNA or help us georeference the entire online map library by using our Random Map link which will open maps that are part of our First Pilot Project. The video below gives a quick explanation of the process. Users who georeference the most maps will be recognized on our site. The First Pilot Project will include over 10,000  maps of major cities and regions throughout the world. Recently Georeferenced maps can be viewed by image or by location.

Klokan Technologies developed Georeferencer with the Moravian Library. You can combine and compare maps found at the Georeferencer pages at the National Library of Scotland and the British Library with maps from our collection in Georeferencer, just use your Login at those two online libraries Georeferencer pages and make Favorites of maps found there. Those maps will then show up in your Favorites list here and at those libraries as well.

  • News
  • December 13, 2013

San Francisco Airport Exhibits Maps from Rumsey Collection

Maps of San Francisco from the David Rumsey Collection will be exhibited at the San Francisco International Airport Museum from December 14, 2013 to October 1, 2014. Over 30 maps, views, and photographs document the extraordinary growth of San Francisco from the gold rush village of 1849 to the 20th century metropolis it became. The exhibit will be in the airport exhibition gallery in Terminal 2 (Virgin America and American Airlines), beyond security. The exhibit combines the original maps with digital representations, including videos and Google Earth overlays. View a selection of the exhibit maps at the airport online exhibit and read the press release. You can also view all the maps used in the exhibit on davidrumsey.com

From the exhibition catalog:"San Francisco was at once improbable and inevitable. Much of the land at the northern tip of this hilly peninsula consisted of windswept sand dunes and was frequently blanketed with a cold fog during its summer season. But its location at the entrance to the largest natural harbor on the Pacific Coast, a series of auspicious events, and consecutive generations of citizens boldly reinventing their home on their own terms all combined to produce a city considered by many of its residents and visitors to be one of the world’s finest only fifty years after its founding. By all accounts, the transition of this sleepy village clinging to the shoreline of a sheltered cove to a boisterous, thriving metropolis was sudden. Charts, maps, and illustrated views document the remarkable pace of San Francisco’s early development in the latter half of the nineteenth century and its perpetual state of transformation throughout the twentieth century."

  • News
  • September 2, 2013

Smithsonian and ESRI use Rumsey Maps in New Time Viewer

The online Smithsonian Magazine has partnered with Allen Carroll and Bern Szukalski at ESRI's story maps to create urban history time viewers showing changes in the growth of six American cities using georeferenced maps from the Rumsey Collection. You can experience all the map viewers here.

Below are two images of Colton's 1836 Map of New York City compared to a modern satellite image, using the "spyglass" map viewer created by the ESRI map story team. You can switch between the old map and the modern map as a base, using the "Swap Views" button in the upper right corner. See the live interactive viewer here.

Five other cities are shown: Chicago in 1868, Denver in 1879, Los Angeles in 1880, Washington D.C. in 1851, and San Francisco in 1859.

You can see more ESRI story maps on other topics and themes here.

DPLA Announces Partnership with Rumsey Map Collection

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is partnering with the David Rumsey Map Collection to provide online access to tens of thousands of significant historical maps and images. As part of the relationship, David Rumsey will provide metadata for over 38,000 maps and images, making the entirety of his notable online collection instantly accessible via the DPLA website and API­.

The Eagle Map of the United States. 1833. Joseph and James Churchman, Philadelphia. In: Rudiments of National Knowledge, Presented To The Youth Of The United States, And To Enquiring Foreigners, 1833.

A couple prominent examples of items from the Rumsey collections available through the DPLA are The Eagle Map of the United States, produced by Joseph and James Churchman, Philadelphia, 1833, (view on the DPLA), and the Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, produced in 1814 (view on the DPLA). Other noteworthy items from Rumsey’s collections range from maps found in historic atlases to images of three-dimensional objects such as globes.

“I am very excited to have my digital library of historical maps added to the DPLA,” Rumsey said. “Maps tell stories that complement texts, images, and other resources found in the growing DPLA library. And the open content policies of my online library fit perfectly with DPLA’s mission to make cultural resources freely available to all. I see DPLA as reinvigorating the role of public libraries in educating children and adults in the digital age. I hope that my participation can serve as an example to others with private collections to share them with the public through the DPLA. Private collectors have always helped to build libraries and now they can do the same with digital cultural assets.”

“David Rumsey’s incredible collection of historical maps is one of the great private collections in the United States,” added DPLA Executive Director Dan Cohen. “What he has been able to assemble and make broadly available is simply astonishing. It is an honor to have these maps as part of the DPLA, and together to help others discover what their communities looked like in the past. We thank David for his generosity.”

Rumsey, President of Cartography Associates, a digital publishing company based in San Francisco, began building a collection of North and South American historical maps and related cartographic materials in 1980. His collection, with more than 150,000 maps, is one of the largest private map collections in the United States. In 1995, Rumsey began the task of making his collection public by building the online David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Currently the online web site has over 38,000 high-resolution images of maps from his collection.

In 2009, Rumsey committed to donating his entire collection – both physical and digital – to Stanford University, which is currently creating an all-new Map Center to house it.

Rumsey’s online collection of maps is free to the public and is updated monthly. All of the online maps are searchable via the DPLA.

About the Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used. More information is online at http://dp.la.

About the David Rumsey Map Collection

The David Rumsey Map Collection was started over 25 years ago and contains more than 150,000 maps. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, although it also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children’s, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from about 1700 to 1950s.

  • News
  • November 1, 2012

PBS NewsHour Story links Apple, Google, and Historical Maps

The October 31, 2012 edition of the PBS NewsHour had a story by Spencer Michels on the competition between Apple and Google map services, and it included an interview with David Rumsey on the "cartographic continuum" between old paper maps and new digital maps.

Here is the story on Apple vs Google maps with excerpts from the Rumsey interview:

And the full interview with David Rumsey from  the NewsHour website:

  • News
  • August 24, 2012

Joshua Jelly-Shapiro on the Revolution in Cartography

The September 2012 issue of Harper's Magazine has a very interesting article by Joshua Jelly-Shapiro titled "All Over The Map - A Revolution in Cartography." Jelly-Shapiro reviews two recent books, "Maphead" by Ken Jennings and "Infinite City" by Rebecca Solnit. He also discusses the David Rumsey Map Collection along with technological innovations that are revolutionizing cartography and our understanding of space and place.

  • News
  • July 10, 2012

Stanford Gives Howell Award to David Rumsey

On May 18, 2012, David Rumsey received the Warren R. Howell Award from the Stanford University Libraries in recognition of his service to Stanford. Fine press printer Peter Koch designed a commemorative booklet for the occasion:

New Geographical Search by MapRank Viewer

The new MapRank Search viewer enables geographical searching of the collection by map location and coverage, in a Google Map window. Pan and zoom the Google Map to the area of the world you want maps of, and the results will automatically appear as a scrollable list of maps with thumbnail images in the right side results window. The maps in the right side results list are ranked by coverage, with the maps that have coverage closest to your search window listed at the top. Maps lower in the list show the area of interest, but with coverage that does not match as closely. Mousing over any map in the list will show the map's coverage as a light red rectangle on top of the Google Map. Clicking on a map in the list will open it in the Luna Browser. You can filter your results with the When timeline, the What or Who keyword text window, and the Map scale windows, as well as search by place name in the Find a place window. Currently about 12,000 online maps are searchable with MapRank search; soon all the 27,000 online maps will be included. Launch MapRank Search.

Below is the MapRank Search viewer zoomed in to find maps of San Francisco, with the 1904 "San Francisco Intensity of Earthquake" map highlighted in red in the results list and with the area covered by the earthquake map shown in light red on the Google Map:

The MapRank Search viewer finding maps of San Francisco, California

Clicking on the thumbnail or title of a map in the list opens it in the Luna Browser with a zoomable image and description:

1904 "San Francisco Intensity of Earthquake" map image in the Luna Browser

Zooming out in the Google Map selection window instantly changes the search results to find maps with similar coverage, here the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California:

Zooming out from San Francisco changes the results list to show maps of Central California and the San Francisco Bay Area

Zooming out further in the Google Map window changes the map results again to maps of California:

Another zoom out level  finds maps of the State of California

Here the Google Map is set to find maps of the American West:

Maps of the entire American West are found with this Google Map window

Zooming out and panning east finds maps of the entire United States:

The Google Map window changed to find Unites States maps

Zooming out again finds maps of North and South America:

Maps of North and South America are show with this search view

Finally, zooming out to the full extent in the Google Map window finds maps of the entire World:

World maps shown in this zoom level

The WHEN time range line allows changing the dates of the results, here from 1690 to 1795 for the same set of World maps:

Using the WHEN time range to further filter results to World maps from the period 1690 to 1795

The Map scale boxes are used to limit the range of scales of the search, here set at 1:2,500 to 1:2.5 mil. This setting will show maps with smaller coverages that fall within the Google Map at the top of the list:

Maps of areas inside the Google Map are found by limiting Map scale at 1:2,500 to 1:2.5 mil

The Find a place box is used here to zoom the Google Map to find maps of Paris, France:

Using the Find a place box to zoom to maps of a place, here Paris, France

The WHAT or WHO box is used to further limit results to maps of Paris by Guillaume De Lisle:

Maps of Paris before 1795 by De Lisle with scale between 1:2,500 and 1:2.5 mil

Zooming out to show all of France finds maps by De Lisle of French provinces, still limited by time and scale:

Keeping the same limits of time, scale, and De Lisle, the Google Map is zoomed out and the results are changed again

Finally, keeping the same limits but panning the map to Italy finds maps of Italy by De Lisle with the same time and scale constraints:

De Lisle Maps of Italy from 1690 to 1795 with scale of 1:2,500 to 1:2.5 mil are shown

This new MapRank search interface allows geographical and spatial searching of the map collection in a dynamic and fluid way. It will provide an entirely new experience of exploring our online map library, using a map to search the collection instead of relying on textual terms alone.

While the new search interface is largely complete, please let us know if you find any errors or problems. The bounding coordinates for the maps are correct in almost all cases, but there may be some maps with incorrect coordinate (coverage) data - please let us know if you find any and we will correct them. The MapRank search interface and program has been developed by Petr Pridal of Klokan Technologies.

  • News
  • January 21, 2010

Landmark 1979 California Water Atlas Debuts Online

Originally published in 1979, The California Water Atlas, a monument of 20th century cartographic publishing, has been scanned and put online for free public access by the David Rumsey Map Collection. Linda Vida, Director of The Water Resources Center Archives of the University of California asked David Rumsey and Cartography Associates to scan and make available to the public this extraordinary book. The copyright holder, the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research, agreed to allow free public access online. 

The book was digitized at very high resolution so the resulting images can be explored, revealing all the amazing detail in the many diagrams, maps, and illustrations that accompany the extensive text. The original work was a collaborative effort involving many individuals in and outside the government of then Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown, Jr., including William L. Kahrl, Project Director and Editor; William A. Bowen, Cartography Team Director; Stewart Brand,  Advisory Group Chairman; Marlyn L. Shelton, Research Team Director; David L. Fuller and Donald A. Ryan, Principal Cartographers; and many others who contributed to the project. 

The atlas may be viewed in three formats online: in the LUNA Browser of the David Rumsey online collection, in a Flip Book Reader at the Internet Archive, and in three PDF files, low (46MB), medium (72(MB), and high (180MB) resolution (For the PDF's, Firefox or Chrome are recommended since they support PDF progressive download; IE and Safari will download the PDF's but only show them at the end). All files can also be downloaded from the Internet Archive site.  When viewing the atlas online, it is best to use as big a screen as possible because the original book is large, 47cm high and 41cm wide (82cm wide when opened to two page view).

Use of the digital files is free for all personal, non-commercial uses, governed by a Creative Commons License. All the scanning, metadata creation, uploading to LUNA and to the Internet Archive was done by David Rumsey and fellow Cartography Associate colleagues Dan Holmes and Kristian McManus. 

"California Waterscape." Pages (70)-(71). Shows major cities and towns, selected water conveyance features, coastal salt marsh, wild and scenic rivers, and intermittent lakes and reservoirs. Has a table of Conveyance Features keyed to map.

When the atlas came out in 1979, it got rave reviews from both historians and scientists. Charles Wollenberg, writing in the California Historical Quarterly, called it "a very big and beautiful book...well-written, spectacularly illustrated, and filled with useful information for expert and layman alike...an indispensable sourcebook for decades to come." The Quarterly Review of Biology said it was "a major reference work of interest to applied ecologists concerned with water supply and usage and to ecologists in general in California." Over 30 years old, the atlas is still fresh and germane to today's issues and no doubt will be so for a long time to come.

Below are selected pages from The California Water Atlas:

            Front Cover of The California Water Atlas                                     Title page of The California Water Atlas
              View in LUNA Browser or in Flip Book Reader                            View in LUNA Browser or in Flip Book Reader

"Hydrologic Balance for California." Page (v).  A schematic diagram showing how "the hydrologic cycle is the natural system for recirculating water on a global scale"

"Annual Runoff and Seasonality." Pages(8)-9. Map of runoff including table of principal drainage basin areas. Diagrams of seasonal (monthly) variability in runoff for 33 streams in seven basins.

Infrared space image of the Southern Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley. Page 57.

"Measured and Unimpaired Streamflows. Water Year 1975." Pages (60)-(61). Graphically compares unimpaired and impaired monthly streamflows for numerous streams.

"Chapter 2. The Natural Endowment." Page 4. Image of wildfowl in flight over the marshlands of the Sacramento Valley.

"Crop Patterns and Applied Water." Pages (82)-(83). Maps of a 2 mile by 70 mile strip of land in Fresno County. Shows crop types and the amount of applied irrigation water.

"Chapter 3. The Advent of Human Settlement." Page 15. View of San Francisco in 1873 (by W. Vallance Gray & C. B. Gifford).

"Southern California Urban Delivery Systems." Pages (34)-(35). Shows water deliveries from the Colorado River Aqueduct, and the Los Angeles Aqueduct via Owens Valley; includes system longitudinal profiles. Includes table: MWD (Metropolitan Water District) Operations, 1974/1975.

"Peak Streamflows." Page(72). Large graphic showing annual Instantaneous Peak Flows for each of fifteen major streams from 1905-1976. Flood Recurrence Frequencies also shown.

Below are all the pages of The California Water Atlas - click on any page to open it in a full window.

  • News
  • December 4, 2009

New davidrumsey.com Website Redesign

For the first time since its launch in 1999, the www.davidrumsey.com website has been completely redesigned and updated.  With better navigation and structure, users will find it easier to explore the site's many viewers and collection database with over 21,000 maps online.  A new Blog has been added to the site, and includes entries for Recent Additions, News, Featured Maps, Related Sites, and Videos.  Over 200 historic maps from the collection can be viewed in a new browser-based version of Google Earth, and users can enter the Second Life version of the map collection directly from a dedicated Second Life portal page on the site.  And the collection ticker at the bottom of the home page shows the entire online map library in random order over about 10 hours.  As always, all maps can be downloaded for free directly from the site at full resolution.  And a new service from Pictopia allows purchase of reproductions of any map in the collection directly from the new LUNA viewing software. 

The redesigned Home page of the website:

The new Home page of www.davidrumsey.com

The View Collection page shows the many viewers used to explore the map collection online:

The View Collection page showing the many ways to view the historical maps online

The new Blog section of the website has posts on Recent Additions, News, Featured Maps, Related Sites, and Videos:

The Blog has posts on Recent Additions, News, Featured Maps, Related Sites, and Videos

The new website was designed by Michelle Williamson of Command Create.  Development by Bot & Rose and Adam Brin.  Hosting by Luna Imaging.

  • News
  • August 29, 2009

David Rumsey Donates 150,000 Maps to Stanford University

David Rumsey will give his map collection and digital library to Stanford University over the next five to ten years.  Rumsey will continue to host and build the online map library at www.davidrumsey.com for years to come.

Librarian Julie Sweetking-Singer unfolds John Melish's 1823 Map of the United States.

  • News
  • February 1, 2008

Rumsey Map Islands Open in Second Life

Rumsey Map Islands open in the virtual world of Second Life.  Maps from the collection are rendered in huge scale in this 3D environment.  See the Video of the Opening Talks.

Rumsey Maps in Second Life

  • News
  • January 15, 2008

Google Sky Adds Rumsey Celestial Globe

Google Sky (part of Google Earth) adds a new layer for the 1792 Celestial Globe by Giovanni Cassini, from the David Rumsey Map Collection.  Read the Astronomy Magazine Blog about the new feature.

The Cassini Celestial Globe in Google Sky

  • News
  • November 13, 2006

Google Earth Adds Rumsey Historical Maps Layer

Google Earth launches a group of maps from the David Rumsey Map Collection in their 3D Globe. Read an article in PC Magazine, read the Google Earth Press Release, or read David Rumsey's entry in the Google Blog.

Giovanni Cassini's 1790 Terrestrial Globe in Google Earth

MIT Technology Review on David Rumsey's work

MIT's Technology Review discusses David Rumsey's historical map collection and highlights his work on remixing Lewis and Clark's published map of their journey. View the georeferenced (GIS) Lewis and Clark map in 2D GIS and 3D GIS.  Click on the image below to view in the LUNA Browser.

Lewis and Clark Expedition 200th Anniversary Remixed Mosaic by David Rumsey and Telemorphic

  • News
  • September 27, 2004

San Francisco Chronicle Interviews David Rumsey

Read the article that appeared on September 27, 2004 in the San Francisco Chronicle, about Rumsey's work and his book with Edith Punt, Cartographica Extraordinaire.

  • News
  • July 30, 2004

MAPPING AMERICA - Treasures from David Rumsey Historical Map Collection on Display at the San Francisco International Airport June 2003 - January 2004

A selection of over one hundred  rare and unique maps from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection are on display through January 2004 at the San Francisco International Airport. The exhibit explores themes of mapping exploration, settlement, travel, geology, navigation, military campaigns, railroads, and cities.  Read an article about the exhibit.

A view of part of the exhibit installation along the corridor between Terminals 1 and 2 at the San Francisco Airport.

Pictured above is a first edition map from 1814 of Lewis and Clark's track across the Western portion of North America. Below it is a map from 1810 of the upper Mississippi River Valley by Zebulon Montgomery Pike. Among the treasures from the collection is an 8 by 8 foot wall map by Henry Popple from 1733. Once owned by King George II, as indicated by the seal in the upper right detail, this  map was regarded as the most accurate of its day.
The exhibit combines the physical maps and books with digital representations and videos of map details and also allows the viewing of maps not included in the exhibit. The installation includes 74 maps, atlases, guidebooks and charts from David Rumsey's private map collection, which numbers more than 150,000 pieces.

  • News
  • February 24, 2003

UC Berkeley East Asian Library and David Rumsey Collaborate to Launch Japanese Historic Maps Online Library

The new website, Japanese Historical Maps from the collections of the East Asian Library at UC Berkeley has opened in February of 2003.  The Japanese Historical Map Collection contains about 2,300 early maps of Japan and the World. The collection was acquired by the University of California from the Mitsui family in 1949, and is housed on the Berkeley campus in the East Asian Library. Represented in this online collection are over 1,100 images of maps and books from this Collection. The maps were selected by Yuki Ishimatsu, Head of Japanese Collections at the East Asian Library, and scanned and put online by David Rumsey and Cartography Associates. The project was initiated by Peter Zhou, Director of the East Asian Library. Funding and project management is provided by Cartography Associates and the East Asian Library.

Tokaido dochu ezu byobu - a panorama of the Tokaido Road from Edo to Kyoto to Osaka, mounted as a folding screen, from the 17th century.

  • News
  • June 20, 2002

David Rumsey Map Collection Wins Webby Award in Technical Achievement

The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences selected The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection as the winner for Outstanding Technical Achievement at The 6th Annual Webby Awards.

Hailed as "the only awards for Internet sites that matter" by the Los Angeles Times, winners of the 6th Annual Webby Awards were announced at a special ceremony Tuesday evening in San Francisco. In addition to Rumsey's site, winners ranged from global giants like the BBC, which was honored in two categories for Best News and Best Radio, Google for Best Practices and The Osbournes for Best Television.

"This year's winners and nominees surely live up to the title 'world wide'," said Tiffany Shlain, founder and director of the awards. "The Webby Awards are proud to honor the Web sites that are setting the standards for the medium and bringing the world online.

Webby Awards were handed out in 33 categories, including Film, Activism and Humor. In keeping with Webby tradition, winners were once again held to five-words-or-less acceptance speeches. In his acceptance speech, Rumsey said, "Maps are ultimate eye candy."

  • News
  • April 9, 2002

David Rumsey to Distribute The AMICO Library for Higher Education and Scholarly Use

The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) and Cartography Associates, owned by map collector David Rumsey, signed a distribution agreement that provides online access to The AMICO Library™ for the Fall 2002 school year using Luna Imaging's Insight® software. The distribution agreement advances the mutual goal of AMICO and David Rumsey to provide a broader range of educational and scholarly users with access to this important collection of artwork that covers all periods of art and contains diverse forms, such as paintings, sculpture, print, drawings, photographs and decorative arts.

"David Rumsey's vision coordinates well with AMICO's desire to widen and deepen educational use of museum collections through network technologies," says AMICO's Executive Director Jennifer Trant.

"Cartography Associates is a wonderful addition to our growing group of distributors," Trant says. "David Rumsey's experience with online image distribution and his alliance with Luna Imaging are of great interest to AMICO. We hope these connections will help build links to and added functionality for a much broader range of scholarly users of The AMICO Library in communities beyond those we currently serve."

Francesco Laurana (Italian, c.1430-c.1502)
Beatrice of Aragon, probably 1470-1479
The Frick Collection, New York, New York, U.S.A.
The AMICO Library
2009 Update The AMICO Library is now offered as the AMICA Library from Cartography Associates. For more information visit www.davidrumsey.com/amica.

  • News
  • April 2, 2002

From Parchment to Ether: Fusing Historical Maps with Web GIS

This article by David Rumsey and Dana Wormer appeared in the former Geospatial Solutions Magazine in the April 1, 2002 issue.  It relates the evolution of the Rumsey online map library into solutions that utilize early forms of Web GIS.

  • News
  • March 8, 2002

This Is a Real Quest for Maps

The article, This is a Real Quest for Maps, appeared in Wired News on March 7, 2002.  It detailed the early evolution of the map collection and how it became an online Web library.

  • News
  • March 17, 2001

Museums and the Web 2001 - Paper Presented by David Rumsey, "Historical Map Collection Web Site."

The search, browse, and data window of the online map collection at the end of the first year of operation

After the first year of operation of the online map library, the paper presents issues surrounding the site's purpose, design, and operation, including meta-data management, digital image creation and preservation, site usage and economics, sharing web based archives, and future directions for online collections.

  • News
  • September 15, 2000

Mercator's World Magazine Publishes "State of the Art" by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

The Image Workspace of the online David Rumsey Collection

Julie Sweetking-Singer, former Map Librarian of the Rumsey Collection, published an article about the collection in Mercator's World Magazine. From the article: "Rumsey is encouraged about the future of historic maps. The very existence of high-resolution copies of maps on the Web will bring these beautiful and important materials to the attention of the general public in ways that have not been possible before. To that prospect, Rumsey concludes, 'I think it bodes well for historic maps and their place in society.' "

  • News
  • March 15, 2000

Rumsey Map Collection Opens Online Map Library

The first home page of the David Rumsey Map Collection as it appeared on March 15, 2000

On March 15, 2000, the David Rumsey Map Collection opened its online library website for the first time.  With just over 2,000 images, the online collection represented a cross section of the larger physical map collection and included charts, globes, atlases, pocket maps, exploration books, wall maps, and geographies.  It had two viewers, the Insight Java Client - a downloaded desktop application - and the Insight Browser which ran in a browser window with no download.  Users found the site through Web search engines and several articles that appeared in the first month of operation - the site was chosen as Yahoo Pick of the Week (which brought over 10,000 visitors a day and nearly crashed the site) and it appeared in Wired Magazine, and D-Lib Magazine.