Case study

Where the lines are drawn

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In the early 1800s, the new Republic of Texas was saddled with scores of debts and no means to settle them. In lieu of monetary payment, the republic issued its creditors land grants. Expertly crafted maps delineated property lines for new owners. By 1836, more than 4,200 land grants were issued, and the state established the Texas General Land Office (GLO) to watch over and protect these documents, which now exceed 36.5 million hard copy records and 45,000 maps, sketches, and surveying documents.

Read about the HD Ultra X used by the Texas GLO


More than 45,000 maps, sketches, and surveying documents reside at the General Land Office in Texas, too far away for most to view in person. In 2000, the organization embarked on a large-scale project to share these documents online. The project was fruitful, but efficiently capturing the agency’s oversized documents remained a challenge.


A Contex HD Ultra X 60-inch CCD scanning solution has helped staffers reduce pre-scanning preparation and significantly boosted the scanning workflow. The extra-wide scanner can easily handle the oversized documents that once took up to 6 people in its ScanLab to manage.


Today, the General Land Office’s ScanLab is 25% more efficient than ever. The team is able to post more of its archive of maps, sketches, and surveys for online viewing and for purchase. Increased revenue opportunities helps to preserve the archive for future generations to enjoy.


“The HD Ultra X is ultra-fast, and we are able to produce the highest-quality scans the market has to offer, which says a lot about the quality of the Contex scanner.”

— Jonathan Palmer,
Team Lead for the ScanLab,
Texas General Land Office

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