USGS Historic Map Project Leader Feted by Librarians

Retired USGS cartographer Gregory Allord was named the 2014 recipient of the American Library Association’s Map and Geospatial Information Round Table Honors Award. Allord was recognized at an Awards Reception held on June 28, 2104, at the ALA’s annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement and major contributions to map and geospatial librarianship. In granting the 2014 award, Kathleen Weessies, Chair of the Round Table, cited Allord’s key involvement as the driving force behind two major digitization projects at the USGS. The USGS Historic Topographic Map Collection (HTMC) and the USGS Publications Warehouse, both described by Weessies as critical resources in map librarianship, are ongoing, large-scale projects which deliver free, archive-quality digital images of historic map and research publications produced by the USGS since its inception in 1879.

The HTMC Project Team scanned and georeferenced approximately 180,000 USGS topographic quadrangle maps with scales 1:250,000 and larger as GeoPDF files and provides them freely available to the USGS and public via the web. The objective of this collection is to eventually include all available editions of the regular topographic quadrangle map series since the inception of the topographic mapping program in 1884 and amasses to more than 200,000 unique maps. This collection exists online as a digital collection and as a physical paper collection of maps in the USGS Clarence King Library in Reston, Virginia.

“I am honored to receive such an award from this prestigious organization,” said Allord. “The success of these projects would not have been possible without the partnering of several Federal and University Libraries plus countless hours and dedication of other USGS employees and university students too numerous to mention.”

The USGS Publications Warehouse is a searchable web application managed by the USGS Libraries Program that provides access to publications written by USGS authors since 1880 by linking to a variety of systems inside and outside the USGS that hold the actual publication files. The files are also indexed by web search crawlers, such as Google, to aid in content find-ability.  The Publications Warehouse cataloging team builds and maintains records based on data pulled from a variety of sources, and each publication has its own descriptive citation page that is dynamically generated. Of the over 132,000 citations in Publications Warehouse, currently more than 93,000 are available for full electronic access and free download in archival PDF format.

To learn more about these and other USGS projects and programs:

For more information about MAGIRT and past award recipients:

Published Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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