Library's Digital Geologic Atlas of the U.S. Enhanced with Google Earth

Marketing and Communications | July 24, 2012

The historic, multi-volume set Geologic Atlas of the United States is now accessible through the Texas A&M Digital Repository.

Published by the U. S. Geological Survey between 1894 and 1945, the 227-folio publication includes descriptions of surveyed locations, along with photos and maps. 

Due to age, printing history and heavy use, the maps were digitized for preservation by the Texas A&M University Libraries’ Map & GIS Library and the Digital Initiatives department.

“This jewel in the Libraries’ map collection is a valuable resource to researchers, students, leaders and citizens,” Kathy Weimer, curator and associate professor, said. “We knew it was in danger and we saw the need to come up with a solution."

“In addition to the greatly improved access to the content of this valuable resource by a wide range of scholarly communities, libraries across the country now have the option to consider the shelf space required by this immense print resource and, potentially, free up valuable space on shelves for other resources and uses,” David H. Carlson, dean of the University Libraries, said.

The Repository platform provides a secure online environment for the maps, and supports long-term archiving, according to Weimer.

“With the map interface, users can browse, zoom in and view, in graphic detail, the diversity of our country’s landscapes in selected locations from coast-to-coast,” Weimer said.

The maps capture mining sites, rural and urban areas, local cemeteries, and more. 

The Libraries also created map overlays for Google Earth.

“Now these historic maps can be appreciated in a state-of-the-art environment,” Weimer said.

Read more about the Libraries’ process of digitizing of the Geologic Atlas of the United States.

The Texas A&M Digital Repository collects, preserves, and distributes the scholarly output of the university, including scholarly articles and books, electronic theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, technical reports, and digitized library collections.