In Brief: Download these Open Access Maps

By Norman Chan

There's a wealth of great cartographic art online.

Late last week, the New York Public Library announced that its Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division was releasing over 20,000 cartographic works from its archives as high-resolution downloads. These historic maps are offered with no copyright restrictions, and the NYPL is distributing them under a Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication. They are completely in the public domain. The collection of New York and Mid-Atlantic maps can be viewed on the NYPL's Digital Collections site. I also want to use this opportunity to call out another one of my favorite maps resources (I love cartographic art), the David Rumsey Map Collection. This collection includes maps of the San Francisco Bay Area currently on display at the SFO International Airport, Terminal 2, and are all available for download at very high resolution. There are so many wonderful finds in this database; it's easy to lose an afternoon just browsing. One recent favorite of mine: a photo of Bett's Portable Terrestrial Globe, circa 1852.