According to Heyworth, the team has divided the map into 55 overlapping regions, or tiles, that will be composed of 22 shots per tile. He said that the camera technology, which Boydston helped to design, is novel in its ability to focus across the entire spectrum of light. Laser focusing also allows for improved image quality at wrinkled parts of the map.
Van Duzer said that the team has already imaged the entire map once and is currently in the process of re-imaging in order to reduce the prospect of errors. He said that while the large size of the map was perceived to be a challenge, an upright easel has been useful in counteracting the problem.
The images are to be processed with the support of the Lazarus Project at the University of Mississippi, using algorithms designed to increase the resolution of the previously illegible text. Afterwards, they will be rendered into natural light, gray-scale, and false-color images for enhanced contrast viewing.
In conjunction with the Beinecke Digital Library, metadata will be assigned to the images taken in order to provide more information about the imaging conditions. The images will eventually become available through the Beinecke Digital Library website. Heyworth estimated that the process of developing versions of the map targeted for researchers would take about six months, with a small jpeg image ready much earlier.
“We try to take images that will be part of the historical record for many generations to come so that the object will not have to be reimaged and exposed,” Heyworth said.
Members of the imaging team are giving talks, which are open to the public, at the Beinecke this week about the various aspects of the project.