Map Scanning at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi


Originally published March 7, 2017 on the Spacial {Query} Lab blog.

One of the most historically significant collections of surveying maps and records in the state of Texas will soon be available online thanks to grants from the Ed Rachal Foundation and a partnership between the Mary and Jeff Bell Library Special Collections and Archives Department, Spatial {Query} Lab, and the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) for Surveying and Science, all at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC).

The Mary and Jeff Bell Library’s Special Collections and Archives Department is the repository for nine collections of surveying records, headlined by the Conrad Blucher Surveying Collection and the William S. (Bill) and Patricia Green Surveying Records. Maria and Felix A. von Blucher were pioneers in Corpus Christi, Texas. Three generations of the Blucher family worked as surveyors in the area and were followed in that role by protege William Green. These two collections essentially represent four generations of surveying history of South Texas. The collections contain thousands of maps and survey documents of ranches, coastal lands, counties, town sites, residential subdivisions, and other South Texas features, and constitute an unmatched resource for the study of how South Texas has changed over the past 200 years.

The records in the Blucher and Green collections are currently being scanned, cataloged, transcribed, and georectified by our {Map Scanning} Team. Our goal is to provide online public access to all nine map collections through the TAMUCC repository hosted by the Texas Digital Library.

In order to operationalize the scanning project, we have written our own in-house software: BandoCat. BandoCat is a web-based platform that provides a workspace for our team to catalog, store, transcribe, georectify, and publish maps and documents. For our managers, BandoCat provides statistics, audit trails, issue ticket system, and user-level security. Together, all of these features make BandoCat a soup-to nuts solution to operationalize our scanning operation. You can learn more about BandoCat here.

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