While Google Print and the Open Content Alliance have recently been the subject of big headlines about their plans to digitize old books, the David Rumsey Map Collection already has 12,600 historic maps online:
“The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North and South America maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia and Africa are also represented. Collection categories include antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall, childrens and manuscript maps.”
One can search, view, and juxtapose maps on the Web, as well as download high resolution images in MrSID format. The images are posted under a Creative Commons license. Read more from Rumsey on oreilly.net.