Who's saving the files? Towards a new role for local map collections?

Robert B. Parry

Abstract


Today's geography is tomorrow's history. As spatial data become digital, we are in danger of losing that history. The high profile of government mapping agencies has ensured the preservation of present and future time slices of our evolving topography, but there are many other data sets to consider: thematic, often ephemeral, and sometimes of only local significance. Digital data are more easily lost than paper-based records. Should it be the responsibility of the data providers to archive their data, or do national and local map collections have a role to play in acquiring, archiving, and making such data available? The paper considers these issues, taking examples from the UK and from the author's local region.

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