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Over the course of the past fifteen years the role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has changed significantly. Initially the role of the map library was confined to that of building and providing access to collections of hard copy maps and imagery. Later, digital data, whether on CD-ROMs or network based, was added as a new type of resource within that collection and service model. By the late 1990s some academic libraries began to take on a Web map server role, providing interactive Web mapping access to collections of digital geospatial data. In the new era of distributed, interoperable map services, libraries will have an opportunity to explore new roles as portals to streaming content available in the form of geospatial Web services. At the same time, the increasingly ephemeral nature of digital geospatial content will make even more critical the need to address the long-term digital preservation challenges that are facing geospatial content.