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Earth Sciences & Map Library Scanning Services: FAQ

The Earth Sciences & Map Library offers self-service printing, scanning, and copying options. Find more information within this guide.

Large Format Scanning FAQ

You'll find frequently asked questions on large format scanning regarding Customer Service Questions, Scan Questions, Cost/Payment Questions, and Digital Files Questions.

Customer Service Questions

Can rush orders be requested if I’m short on time?

We may be able to handle your request, but it depends on our schedule and workload. Feel free to ask us if we can fulfill the request by your deadline.

How will I know when the job request has been completed?

Once the job is completed, you will receive an email confirming that your job is ready to be downloaded. If you gave us your own maps to scan, this message will also mean that those items are ready for pick up.

What specific map information is needed in order to submit a request?

Please be ready to submit the call number and title of each map. It is also helpful to have the author or publisher. For individual sheets in a set, please have the specific map sheet numbers ready at the time you submit your request. This information can be found by using UC Library Search.

Is it possible to get my digital files printed?

We no longer offer large-format printing. Please consult the Moffitt Copy Center or other local copy shops for your large-format printing needs.

If I am not a UC Berkeley student, faculty, or staff, but am able to come in person to the Earth Sciences & Map Library, can I request the job directly with the library rather than with Interlibrary Services (ILS)?

Yes, you can request a scan in-person directly with the Earth Sciences & Map Library. Costs will be the same as ILS charges for its orders.

Is the delivery time a guarantee or expectation?

We attempt to complete requests in 1-2 weeks, but you should always emphasize when submitting your request if you have a pressing deadline.

Can I bring my personal portable scanner or digital camera to the library to get digital files of maps?

Yes. You are welcome to bring in portable scanners or digital cameras to document our library materials under the following conditions:

  • You request permission in advance
  • You exercise care with our materials
  • Your equipment and its use do not interfere with other patrons
  • You limit your digitization (i.e., you do not scan for continuous hours or days)
  • You agree to comply with copyright laws

Can I make a color copy of a map rather than pay for a scan and print?

Yes. The Earth Sciences & Map Library offers self-service printing, scanning, and copying options up to 11 x 17 for library materials via a BookScan station and printer. Cal 1 Cards, Cal 1 Guest Cards, or Cal 1 Department Cards are required for these services. Please see the central library Print/scan page for more information.

Scan Questions

Can large books or maps in folios be scanned?

No. The scanner is a sheet feed scanner and can only scan individual sheets of paper that do not have a cover.

Is it possible to use the scanner myself instead of paying for your service?

No, only trained library staff may use the scanner.

If my digital scan is not to my satisfaction, can you re-scan the map to get a higher quality file?

The files we provide are 400dpi JPEG or TIFF files (or 600dpi upon request), which are very high quality digital images. As such, they provide a digital representation of the paper maps in our collection, including imperfections and blemishes. We do not alter the images in any way, so that you can be assured the scan is an accurate reproduction of the map. If you are not satisfied with the digital image, please contact the library.

Why can I only get up to 10 maps scanned at a time?

The library offers these services to support and enhance academic research. We can not provide individuals with full reproduced map sets within the scope of the law, our mission, or our staffing levels.

Cost/Payment Questions

I can not find a credit card/payment form online, how can I submit my credit card information?

The form is not available online. We can only accept credit card information over the phone or in person due to California commerce laws. When you place an order, be ready to provide the credit card number, the expiration date, the name that appears on the card, and the billing address.

How will I know when my credit card is charged?

If you receive an email that your orders is ready for download, your credit card was charged. You will be contacted directly if there are any issues concerning payment. Paper receipts can be picked up in person at the library.

Who should I contact if the charge on my credit card is incorrect?

Please contact the circulation supervisor at (510) 643-7041 or Please include your name, the date of the credit card charge, and the problem; we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Can a UC Berkeley department use a chartstring to pay for their request?

Yes. In fact, if you are using university funds, you must pay with a chartstring. We cannot accept bluCard payments.

Questions about Digital Files

Can you provide assistance opening and editing the digital files?

No. The images produced during scanning are high quality JPEG or TIFF files. The TIFF files require significant computing power and sophisticated computer imaging software, such as Adobe Photoshop, in order to display and manipulate the files. The library cannot provide individuals with technical support in working with image files.

How long do I have to download the map files from the web before they expire?

You have 30 days from the time you receive the email message informing you that the files are ready for download.

I ran out of time and couldn’t download my files before they expired. Can I get those files uploaded again?

Yes, but you may have to wait another 1-3 days for us to process your order. Please download files before they expire to avoid this situation.

How come I can’t provide my own USB drive or DVD when receiving digital files of scanned maps?

We cannot accept your personal USB drive or DVD due to the potential risks and complications.