David Rumsey Historical Map Collection Is First Mapping and Internet GIS Site To Win Prestigious Webby Award

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June 20, 2002
Press Contacts:
Dana Wormer (e-mail danawormer@earthlink.net; tel.:  215-563-2454)
David Rumsey (e-mail:  rumsey@luna-img.com)

San Francisco, CA – The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences selected The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection Web site (www.davidrumsey.com) as the winner for Outstanding Technical Achievement at The 6th Annual Webby Awards, held June 18 in San Francisco, CA. Rumsey’s online collection and GIS-browser service is the first mapping and Internet GIS site to earn the coveted Webby, which honors excellence in Internet technology and creativity.

The selection of Rumsey’s site followed a rigorous six-month, three-tiered process that is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Other nominees in the Outstanding Technical Achievement category were Google, Memorystick, REBOL Internet Operating System and Volantis. Each site was evaluated against six criteria: content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and overall experience. Previous winners in the Outstanding Technical Achievement category have included Yahoo, Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft Update.

Over 6,500 historical maps from Rumsey’s physical collection of 150,000 are available for on-line viewing using the Insight products from Luna Imaging, Inc. (Culver City, CA). All images in the online collection are compressed using MrSID software from LizardTech, Inc. (Seattle, WA).

A fully interactive GIS browser enables visitors to view a portion of the collection in combination with modern aerial photos and satellite imagery. This unique interactive GIS and geographic imaging environment was developed with Maplicity software, a lightweight Java-based web applet from Telemorphic, Inc. (Berkeley, CA). ArcIMS (ESRI Inc., Redlands, CA) provides the server-side Internet GIS functionality that complements Maplicity’s client-side GIS and image-processing tools. The GIS component of Rumsey’s site is also published on ESRI’s Geography Network (www.geographynetwork.com).

The Webby Award nominees and winners are selected by members of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, an intellectually diverse group of 350 people representing business, science, the arts, non-profit, publishing, Internet and multimedia sectors, to name a few. The online community was also invited to vote simultaneously with the judges.

Winners are limited to a five-word speech. Rumsey, who is president
of Cartography Associates (San Francisco, CA), accepted his award saying, “maps are ultimate eye candy.”

Rumsey’s physical map collection is recognized as one of the largest in the United States focusing on 18th and 19th century North and South American cartographic materials, and maps that cover the entire world. The site has been recognized as Yahoo’s Pick of the Week, Best of the Net from About.com, Site of the Day from USA Today, and Editor’s Choice from Netscape, Lycos, AOL and other search engines, WiredNews and TechTV, and Wired and Mercator’s World magazines.

The Internet GIS service, launched in December 2001, enables visitors of various skill levels (the site has a basic and professional GIS interface) to move quickly through a series of visualization processes, overlay multiple image and vector layers, perform GIS functions, and create, save, and print their own custom maps. Users can navigate directly to a specific location of interest and customize and download new image products with complete georeferencing information, enabling historical map integration into their preferred desktop GIS/mapping package.

Currently users can view historical maps and associated current imagery of San Francisco Bay from the mid-1800s thru early-1900s, as well as Boston from the mid-1700s to late 1800s. The site is updated continuously, with immediate plans to add Los Angeles, CA, Washington D.C. and New York City, NY. By the end of 2002, Seattle, WA, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO, will be available.

Also coming soon to the GIS service is a new section devoted to the Lewis and Clark expedition, and 3D viewing and interactive flythrough capabilities.

Visit www.davidrumsey.com/gis for more information about the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection and the Internet GIS service. For more information about The Webby Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement, please visit www.webbyawards.com/main/webby_awards/nominees.html#tech.

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About Cartography Associates, Inc.

Cartography Associates, founded in 1996, promotes the distribution of digital facsimiles both in print and electronic media. Specializing in both primary source documents and cutting-edge technology, Cartography Associates is committed to developing tools that integrate cataloging with visual images on the Internet. CA’s vision is to offer users the best of both worlds: the powerful searching, access, and user functionality made possible by technology, combined with the visual beauty, technical mastery and intellectual richness of original source materials.


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