Are there companies which scan large format maps and plans?
All office paperwork takes up a lot of storage space but large format documents such as maps and plans require even more space simply because of their size. The furniture used to store maps such as plan chests and filing cabinets occupies substantially more floor space than conventional filing cabinets.
Locating documents in paper format can be time consuming and finding a desk top with sufficient space to view the item can also be problematic.
The simple solution for storing large format paperwork is to convert it into electronic format so it can be accessed via a PC. There are document scanning bureaux which specialise in scanning over sized material such as maps, plans, technical drawings and posters and they have scanning equipment which is specially designed to handle large format documents. Many scanning companies will collect the paperwork from you and deliver the scanned images on a CD or DVD. Once the documents have been scanned and indexed they can be easily retrieved and viewed on screen. Zoom and enlarge tools will allow you to pan in on specific areas of the item eliminating the need to find acres of space to lay the document out on. Common index references can also relate the map or drawing to other paperwork, thus creating an electronic file of information.
As well as saving physical storage space, storing this type of material electronically protects it from damage or destruction. The fact that many large format documents are of historic value and are irreplaceable provides yet another reason to convert the documents into electronic format in order to preserve them for the future.