Scorching Hot Temperatures – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring a couple of pages from our Field Book collection. These pages are from the summer of 1937 and report the shocking temperature of 120° in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. The temperature for each day can be seen at the upper right corner of the page. Keeping track of the weather and temperature during a survey was very important because the length of the steel tape used for measurements could vary with temperature changes. The page dated June 11, 1937, even has two temperatures recorded for different times of the day.

First Find of the Week

Each week our {Map Scanning} team scans and catalogs hundreds and sometimes thousands of maps documents. Although the enormity of the project can at times seem overwhelming, our workers press forward and always keep an eye out for interesting or unique documents to share with coworkers. The {Map Scanning} team has always shared fun finds between themselves and now our workers would like to share with you. Each week a new “Find of the Week” will be featured on the blog. Our first “Find of the Week” is an itemized list of food. Surveyors would often spend several days… 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: 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 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.


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.