In terms of preserving our digital cartographic heritage, the last quarter of the 20th century has some similarities to the dark ages. In many cases, only fragments or written descriptions of the digital maps exist. In other cases, the original data have disappeared or can no longer be accessed due to changes in technical procedures and tools. Where data has not been lost, as with the Canada Land Inventory, the cost of recovery has been high. Based on experience gained through participation in a major research project focused on preservation, the development of several digital cartographic frameworks, systems and artifacts (e.g. Maps and atlases), multidisciplinary work with archivists, data preservationists, data librarians, public officials and private sector cartographers, the authors discuss possible strategies toward the preservation of maps, geospatial data, and associated technologies – cartographic heritage. The chapter also discusses the findings of two International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES 2) studies: Case Study 06 The Cybercartographic Atlas of Antarctica and General Study 10 on Preservation Practices of Scientific Data Portals in the natural and geospatial sciences. The chapter concludes with an overview of some of the questions and research opportunities that are emerging from the discussion.

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Series Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography
Lauriault, T.P, Pulsifer, P, & Taylor, D.R. (2010). The preservation and archiving of geospatial digital data: Challenges and opportunities for cartographers. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-12733-5_2