BNSF Owns One Of The Nations Largest Map Collections
I think everyone collects something - from objects with monetary value to items that only hold sentimental significance. Imagine if your collection numbered over one-million!
It should probably come as no surprise that one of the nations largest landholders also maintains that title when it comes to maps, property deeds, contracts, and photographs. The BNSF Railroad of today is a compilation of more than 400 different rail lines that has an almost 200 year history.
As the railroad and it's land acquisitions grew, so did its' collection of paper maps and documents.
About five years ago, the company started a move towards digital mapping. It's already incorporated the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map technology into it's toolbox. GIS is probably most-familiar to people who have utilized property or satellite maps online; the digital program allows not only layered-mapping but also cross-referencing of databases to provide as much information as possible right at the click of a mouse button.
Along with the conversion to modern digital mapping, BNSF has also undertook the process of digitizing their massive collection of paper documents. An article on their website details the process that went to the project as well as the way that their treasure-trove of paper is currently stored.