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Nova totius Terrarum orbis tabula

During the week of November 4th, Julie Sweetkind-Singer hosted the California Rare Book School (http://www.calrbs.org/) with several sessions held at Stanford University Libraries. The CalRBS is an ongoing program founded by UCLA that educates students interested in the field of rare books. This specific course was designed to provide a general overview of the history of maps in the western world, as well as their use in modern-day teaching and research.

Image of Diablo install disk

An update on Stanford's Cabrinety Software Preservation grant was recently presented to the Digital Library Federation conference in Austin, Texas. Highlights from the first year of this two year project include the successful forensic imaging and digital photography of almost 900 software titles representing over 116,000 unique files.  The slides from the presentation are now available via slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/molsontravel/dlf-snapshot2013draftcombined.

Image of Retrode

Forging collaborative partnerships with like-minded institutions can often yield unexpected and gratifying results. Stanford’s work with NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) on the Cabrinety Project is entering its second year, and recently one member of the NIST team discovered an important solution to a complex problem – how to extract forensically viable data from game cartridges. Christopher Fox, an intern at NIST, shares his discoveries in "How to Give Cartridge-Based Video Game Data an Extra Life," a guest post on the October 24, 2013 edition of Stanford's How They Got Game blog.

xSearch enables Stanford students and researchers to search multiple resources at one time.  The 250+ resources in xSearch include abstracts and indexes, full-text ejournal and ebook sites, patents, technical reports, reference materials, plus more.  In September 2013, a test version with an new interface and more content became available.  Check it out and let us know what you think.  Go to xSearch-test

San Francisco Ferry Building and streetcar: one of thousands of images used by the Image, Video, and Multimedia Systems research team to test image search algorithms

Some of the items most recently deposited to the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) include thousands of images that are nothing short of, well, ordinary. For instance, in the Names 100 Dataset, you can download a folder containing 80,000 small images depicting the faces of ordinary people. In another case, there are millions of snapshots of San Francisco street scenes and buildings. Each image is notable for its lack of distinction.  It’s as if anyone could have captured these images using their smartphone. And that is precisely the point.

Delineatio Omnium Orarum Totius Australis Partis Americae, Dictae Peruvianae, a R. de la Plata, Brasiliam, Pariam, & Castellam . . ..

We were recently approached by Blair Hedges, a professor of Biology at Pennsylvania State University, who requested high resolution files for over 200 maps depicting the Caribbean that were part of the Barry L Ruderman Collection for his Caribmap website.  "Caribmap is a mobile-friendly resource for exploring historical map images of Caribbean islands. The site has evolved since 1999 and now presents images of approximately 1800 maps of the islands printed over five centuries (16th–20th). This is still a small sampling of the thousands of different maps that were printed." The site includes links to resources and a bibliography.

You can see the Stanford-contributed maps here, and visit caribmap.org to view other maps of the Caribbean; you can also look at the Barry L. Ruderman Collection in more detail and browse for other maps from that collection.

We are pleased to have the maps featured on caribmap.org! Many thanks to the staff at Branner and DLSS, especially Deardra Fuzzell, Bess Sadler and Cathy Aster for their efforts in being able to use systematic methods to provide high resolution images to caribmap.org.



Obsolete tape cleaning equipment packed for the move

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) is making good progress in setting up shop at our new location in Redwood City. 

SMPL moved from Page Mill Road in Palo Alto -- along with HighWire Press, Stanford University Press, LOCKSS, and parts of both Preservation and Special Collections -- to 425 Broadway over Labor Day weekend. (Shortly thereafter Stanford announced plans to redevelop the Redwood City site and create a major auxiliary campus.)  We're very excited about the new space!  It provides us with several opportunities to streamline and improve our facilities, workflows and services. More about that in a future post. For now, here are some photos illustrating our progress. 

Segmented Map for Vectorization Study, Stanford University Libraries

 The discovery of a particular scanning defect called Bayer moiré, occured while creating image files at Stanford University Library's Map Scanning Lab and prompted a more focused study. The Bayer moiré defect affects the ability of software to lift features from maps digitally. An analysis of findings has supported developing a better understanding of color filter array technology and some of its associated quality issues: rationales for on-demand file remediation of affected image files, options for map imaging in the future, an effective and open-source approach for vectorization, performance improvements for producing and vectorizing raster images.

An article on this study, authored by Matt Pearson, G. Salim Mohammed, Renzo Sanchez-Silva and Patricia Carbajales, which includes additional quality control measures for imaging large maps and a refinement of the topo raster image specification is now published in the Fall 2013 issue of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections & Archives, entitled "Stanford University Libraries Study: Topographical Map Vectorization and the Impact of Bayer Moiré Defect."  For more details please read the article.

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