Maps may not be our usual fare, though Simon’s posts on graphical representations of data are always interesting. Still, I remember a law firm library in Toronto that had a beautiful collection of extremely detailed maps of Ontario bound in large format.
Plus, there are a couple legal shadows falling over this picture… so this quote from a map librarian:
As of January 2007, Natural Resources Canada will discontinue the printing of paper topographic maps and will close the Canada Map Office. Our government wants to get out of the business of producing printed maps.
Many Canadians place a priority on the paper map service the Government currently provides. Natural Resources Canada’s digital mapping policy will effectively cut off access to the majority of Canadians. However, our politicians see this issue as a minor one. ACMLA, which represents both the public and research communities, would like to convince them otherwise. This policy will have an enormous impact on the Canadian public and our map users. The Minister of Natural Resources has a responsibility to listen to our point of view. This is not a minor policy amendment but a major change that has implications not just for map librarians but for the ordinary Canadian who is looking for a map for their cottage or who wants to go snowmobiling or hiking. Canada can be a vast and unforgiving country without a map in hand.
How you can help:
This is a political issue and we must get the message out to as many Canadians and organizations as soon as possible. An independent website has been set up to lobby and inform Canadians. ACMLA asks its members to support this initiative by sending emails to inform associations, university departments, schools, individuals, etc. of the Government of Canada’s decision to abandon printing paper topographic maps. Let your M.P. and your Minister of Natural Resources know what their constituents think of this decision.
Support Access to Maps for Canadians: http://www.mapsforcanadians.ca/
Maps, Data and Government Information Centre
Carleton University Library