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Lack of institutional support for Marek’s work and recognition of his vision were the primary reasons for these setbacks.

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Since then, things have changed for the better and, although the situation is far from ideal, the repository of WIG maps is currently the authority on topographic mapping of the Polish territory during the first half of the 20 century.

These early contacts, followed by extensive communication with vendors, digitisation project leaders, map librarians, and the cartographic community in New Zealand, helped to place our plans for a comprehensive map digitisation programme on the right footing from the word go!

Brian’s plan was to secure internal University funding towards a pilot project that would allow us to get off the ground and attract the support of external organisations and agencies to see the continuation of our map digitisation programme into the future, should we successfully deliver the goods.

He drafted a proposal to the Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund asking for funding towards “a pilot project to develop a repository of cartographic and geospatial materials for the University of Auckland.” This proposal, put forward collaboratively by the School of Environment and the University Library, was subsequently approved and the wheels were set in motion.

To clearly define the scope of our undertaking, the decision was made early to focus on capturing authoritative maps and charts produced by the New Zealand government and its agencies (Figure 1).

We believed these cartographic products would be the most useful in research pursuits and provide a quality resource for teaching and learning.

It was easy to imagine that such a resource would also support dynamic, innovative, and leading edge historical and GIScience research, facilitating scientific discovery and knowledge building. My initial contact with Marek Zieliński, the brain behind the WIG portal, quickly revealed countless traps and frustrations with his project.

Many map libraries and archives were reluctant to let their maps be scanned, particularly when contact scanners were to be involved.

It did not take long for me to envisage a similar development here at the University of Auckland, whereby systematic digitisation of New Zealand maps and charts could provide a window into the cartographic heritage of this country.

Furthermore, it could lead to a showcase of conceptual developments in cartography, surveying, photogrammetry, and other mapping, earth, and social science disciplines, highlighting their contribution to the development of the nation.

It was easy to imagine that such a resource would also support dynamic, innovative, and leading edge historical and GIScience research, facilitating scientific discovery and knowledge building. " / DOI: 10.14714/CP87.1444 Igor Drecki, University of Auckland | [email protected] Over 10 years ago, I received an intriguing email from Brian Marshall, then Subject (and Map) Librarian for Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Auckland Library.

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