Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Checking out Historic Map Works and Historic Map Works publicized their partnership yesterday - you can read the press release here. It is unclear how users will access the Historic Map Works site through - will it be through a search or browse on, or through the FamilyLink Plus subscription (which may or may not be different from the WVR subscription - I don't know!).

I decided to look into the Historic Map Works site. I registered for a Free Account, and the welcome page showed:

The site notes that:

"Your account has been successfully created with the username rjseaver. An email containing your login information has been sent to the email address you provided. We have automatically logged you in. You can manage your account by clicking the "My Account" link in the menu. We have added $0.90 of Bonus Credit to your account to get you started (that's 45 map views)! To get started,
add credit to your account or buy an inclusive subscription.

"Why Should I Add Credit?
When you add credit to your BASIC PAY-PER-USE account, it can be used to access our premium features such as Enhanced Zoom, Address Search, Directory Viewing, Downloads-at-Home, and Print-at-Home functions. When you use one of these features, the appropriate amount of credit is automatically deducted from your account. Credit can also be used toward the purchase of any print, framed print, or gift item on the site."

The site offers a pay-per-view option (you add money with a credit card) , a monthly subscription ($29.99) or a yearly subscription ($249.99):

What are the relative benefits between a pay-per-use account and a subscription: The table below shows the benefits:

The pay-per-use account permits Collection Viewing, Research Functions, and a way to keep track of favorites.

The additional features for a subscriber include bookmarking maps in Historic Earth, 50 "Prints at home" per month, 10 PDF (72 dpi) downloads per month, 10 JPEG (72 dpi) downloads per month, and 1 300-dpi JPEG download per month.

For the pay-per-use account, the user has to pay 99 cents per Print-at-Home print, $4.99 for a PDF or JPEG (72 dpi) per download, or $19.99 for a JPEG (300-dpi) download.

The user can search for a given city, county or state - the "Search" page has a simple search box:

I input Killingly, Connecticut to see what was offered , and received this list of maps available:

I clicked on one of these maps, and was able to see the requested map in an (approximate) 8 inches high and 11 inches wide window. The image has a watermark on it. The user can zoom in on the image and move it around - to the extent that you can see the family names on the maps.
I did not show you a screen shot of the Killingly CT map because it might violate the copyright notice. The copyright notice is here. The Terms and Conditions note that:

"You may not download, print, take, use, or copy any image from this website without reading, understanding and complying with the following image usage terms. All images created by Historic Map Works™, either electronic images or artworks, product and web design, shown on this website or elsewhere, are ©Historic Map Works™."

and notes that:

"All images are watermarked.
* For better quality prints and higher detail you can crop this image
* High quality prints can be obtained by ordering from our
purchase page.
* If you require an image without watermark or you wish to use an image for a use which is not covered in the terms and conditions above, please consult our FAQ section

This copyright policy seems to preclude any use of the map images in another online or published work without their approval."

Does Historic Map Works own the copyright to the original maps? I doubt it. Other companies sell these same images in publications. The copyright is likely for the images of the pages, and any improvement to them, and the indexing involved. Does any reader know more about this?

Many of these maps are also offered, often freely, on county and state websites, although without the indexing or the viewing capabilities offered by Historic Map Works.

Back to the issue of access through

* Will users be able to view and download images through the FamilyLink subscription?
* Will users be limited to a number of views or downloads each month?

* Will the images be with or without the watermark?

In my opinion, this collection will be a major boost for FamilyLink IF it is included as part of the WorldVitalRecords subscription, and if unlimited downloads are permitted.

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