A Sea of Maps: A Collaborative Project with the Conrad Blucher Institute

Written by Shelby Gonzalez

Every morning the lights of the Archives Workroom come on at 8:00 am, and every morning the first thing (or should I say things) that greet me as I walk in are land surveying records. Not just a few, not just a couple hundred, but thousands of maps waiting to be processed, preserved and prepared for digitization.

As Library Specialist II, in the Special Collections and Archives department, my job is to serve as point of contact with the Conrad Blucher Institute on a massive map digitization project. Responsibilities include conducting appropriate… Read more »


S{Q}L Students take 2nd at National Surveying Competition

CBI Student Team with 2nd place NSPS trophy. From left to right; Joanna Scott, Jose Congo, Jensen DeGrande, Payton Johnson, Dani Mladenka, and Kevin Michael.

A team of students from the Geographic Information Science program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi took 2nd place at the National Society of Professional Surveyors Student Competition on April 11, 2019 in Washington D.C. Five of the six team members are employees of the Spatial {Query} Lab at Conrad Blucher Institute and all have worked under S{Q}L Mentorship during their academic tenures. This is the third year in… Read more »


A Fresh Look

While cataloging maps as a freshman undergraduate research assistant, Stevie Hinojosa recognized the area he was cataloging. For the first time, he came across a historic map of his hometown of Aransas Pass. The map showed a proposed right-of-way project by the Texas Department of Transportation in 1979. Stevie was intrigued by by the map and how different the road networks were from today. Stevie is studying Geographic Information Science at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and works as an undergraduate research assistant in the Spatial {Query} Lab at Conrad Blucher Institute.


The Other Half

We’ve been quiet over at Spatial {Query} Lab, but we haven’t been standing still. We’re putting the finishing touches on the last of the Blucher Fieldbook Collection, starting transcription up on the second set of Blucher Indices, and are staged for the other half of the Blucher Job Folders. Plus, thanks to the hard work done by Special Collections at the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Library, we will soon begin scanning the rolled maps in the Blucher Collection. What this means today is that every single surveyor and researcher with internet access now has access to… Read more »


Visualization vs Transparency

Spatial analysis and CAD-based-cartography sure have come a long way since 1897. Just like with any new technology, the seasoned professionals in a field aren’t going to embrace the new way of doing things. Cartographers are no exception here. Many cartographers will publicize their disdain for computer-based-map making, just like many fans of static maps are disapproving of interactive maps, and just like every industry before, the power of the future has pushed many of the Nay-Sayers out of industry. Luckily there are groups (Spatial {Query} Lab, for instance) that recognize the importance of historical documents. My time in… Read more »