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Geo Edition is now world’s largest collection of historical GIS-enabled urban maps

“Sanborn Maps are the go-to historical U.S.maps in academic and public libraries. Now with this new geo-referenced content and layering technology, they are exponentially more useful for research,” said Chris Cowan, ProQuest, Vice-President. “The technology conquers traditional map research bottlenecks, where comparative reviews and data connections are difficult and time-consuming. This is a significant advancement for not only geographers, but social scientists, environmentalists, urban planners, and genealogists.”

Founded in 1867, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years. Popular among researchers because of their detailed descriptions of streets, buildings, and properties in U.S. towns and cities, the maps were digitized by ProQuest to make them more accessible and searchable. Now, the geo-referencing in ProQuest® Sanborn Maps Geo Edition overcomes the challenges of finding historic areas that have been renamed, remodeled or wiped away over time by enabling users to search and compare these locations using modern addresses, geographic coordinates and geographic maps.

Geo Edition includes a new search interface that enables users to access more than 60,000 geo-referenced maps, covering some of the most populous and historical cities in the United States.  Maps can be viewed individually in greater detail with rotation, panning, cropping, and dynamic zoom in/out features. An integrated dynamic overlay map viewer allows maps to be compared and contrasted over time with multiple maps from the same city and against modern day street, satellite, and hybrid views. Geo Edition also connects with other geo-spatial content through GeoTIFF files that can be used to import data into the map files.

Geo Edition is an all-new product that’s available through subscription or permanent site license. Learn more at It is part of ProQuest’s larger initiative to continually innovate with technology, unlocking the full potential of legacy research tools.

About ProQuest

ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that provide the most successful ways for people to search, find, use, and share information.

A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as UMI®, Chadwyck-Healey™, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.

More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any level and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others.

The company is nearing launch of an all-new platform that will transform delivery of several highly-regarded individual platforms into a consolidated research experience that will encompass all ProQuest family products over time.  Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.

For more information, please visit

18 May 2010

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Beth Dempsey
Public Relations Manager