Field Books

If you ever have a chance to visit Corpus Christi’s Mary and Jeff Bell Library Special Collections and Archives Department and you look at the shelf that holds over 500 Field Books, you might think each book looks exactly the same. However, since our staff began scanning these Field Books in January 2016, many interesting discoveries have been found between the pages. In some cases, the book itself is interesting, such as Field Book 55 which features a rooster motif.

This Field Book contained a pressed flower that is over 100 years old.

 … Read more »


Rare 1853 Texas map acquired by Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi Caller Times wrote a story on a rare 1853 map of Texas by Jacob de Cordova that was acquired by Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. The map is in fantastic condition for its age. You can read the article at: http://www.caller.com/news/education/local/rare-map-obtained-by-am-cc-in-string-of-coincidences-3036c733-67bc-047b-e053-0100007fed76-376807461.html As we continue to work through scanning maps from our {Map Scanning} Project, I hope we can turn up a map of this caliber. We do have a few noteable Texas maps in our collection already, such as the map of the Santa Gertrudis Estate (of King Ranch fame), and we hope to have more… Read more »


S{Q}L Showcases Work at 2016 Spring Texas Map Society Meeting

The Spatial {Query} Lab showcased its {Map Scanning} work at the 2016 Texas Map Society Spring Meeting held on the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi campus April 2nd. Dr. Smith presented with Ann Hodges and Audrey Garza of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library about the Conrad Blucher Map Collection, how the parts work together, and the past, present, and future of the {Map Scanning} project. Bryan Gillis, Lillian Reitz, and Son Nguyen presented about the details of the {Map Scanning} project, such as our scanning procedures, scanning hardware, and custom software. Of particular note was… Read more »


A Map Transfer in Pictures

Ever wonder what a map transfer between S{Q}L and the Mary and Jeff Bell Library looks like? You are in luck. During our last map transfer, the Library photographer took pictures and I have selected a few to share. What is a map transfer? When we have completed scanning and cataloging the large-format maps and job folders, we have to transport them back to the Library and retrieve the next set. This involves a van, one Library personnel, and at least four S{Q}L workers to complete. Read more »


Texas Map Society Spring 2016 Meeting Agenda Available

The Texas Map Society‘s Spring 2016 meeting agenda is now available (click here). The meeting will take place at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi on April 1-2, 2016. The meeting primarily focuses on South Texas surveyors and their map collections. The Spatial {Query} Lab will be presenting the morning of April 2nd about our {Map Scanning} project. Specifically, Son Nguyen, Bryan Gillis, and Lillian Reitz will present about how the the map scanning project operates, and Dr. Rick Smith will present about the history and future of the project…. Read more »


Texas Map Society Spring Meeting – Save the Date

The Texas Map Society is having its 2016 Spring meeting at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi April 1-2. A major focus on this meeting will be the {Map Scanning} Project our lab is operating and will also include other presentations, a group tour of the Art Museum of South Texas, and a visit to the Special Collections and Archives Department at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. See the Texas Map Society Spring 2016 Meeting -Save the Date Flyer and we’ll let you know when registration opens.


{MAP SCANNING} Field Books to be scanned with Book Scanner

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s Mary and Jeff Bell Library Special Collections and Archives Department has purchased book scanner in effort to bring the Blucher Field Book collection to the World Wide Web. Our staff has started scanning the Field Book collection. We expect to begin cataloging this collection by the end of January 2016. Below is a time lapse video of Lilian using the book scanner.


{MAP SCANNING} 2015 Year-End Report

2015 was a successful year for our S{Q}L Map Scanning Project. The creation of the Auto-cropping application helped speed up the scanning process. Several new improvements were introduced on the Map Scanning Application, including the statistics page which help supervisor to monitor the work progress and the training section which improve the efficiency of employee training process. We are pleased to announce that we have reached 3692 documents input during October of 2015 (Figure 1). As of 01/03/2016, our server stores 27034 maps/documents, including ~10000 maps and 17158 job folder pages (Figure 2). Our resolutions of 2016 are: 1. Finish… Read more »


{MAP SCANNING} PRESENTED AT THE 12TH ANNUAL PATHWAYS STUDENT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

Son D. Nguyen, Web Developer & System Operator of The {Map Scanning} Project, presented at 12th Annual Pathways Student Research Symposium at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi on October 23rd, 2015. The presentation includes the foundation software – Map Scanning Web Application (MSWA) & the supporting software – Auto-cropping Application. The MSWA is now storing more than 20,000 maps & surveying documents. The Auto-cropping is a Java application that helps automate the process of cropping the image files after scanning.