NYPL has a new toy tool for rectifying digitized historic maps from their collection called the NYPL Map Rectifier.
After creating an account, browse through the various maps and collections, choose a map to rectify, clip or mask the image, and finally export out to either a KML (for Google Earth) or a WMS base URL for use in a GIS software. Some maps have the option to export into either PNG or TIF formats as well.
There is also a vectorize option for a few of the rectified maps (I didn’t see this option on most maps, I’m guessing because it’s still in beta). For these, the vector layers can be downloaded in several formats including shapefile.
NYPL has also created a site called Relief Map Warper and has uploaded maps for Haiti which after georeferencing, the maps will become available in Open Street Map for tracing, and also made available for use on the ground by relief workers. I highly recommend joining and helping out if you can.
This Friday we will be conducting a new GIS workshop in the EDS lab Digitizing, Georeferencing and Creating New Spatial Layers. This will be an ArcMap-centric introduction to creating new spatial data layers from paper and other sources with an emphasis on hands-on exercises in georeferencing and digitizing. Some familiarity with ArcMap is required. The workshop will be at 10:30-12:30 April 10 in 215 Lehman Library, register through the GIS Workshops page.