One difference between now and then, between the world before the WWW and now, is access to data. It used to be that there were not that many data sets that were online and available. Just collecting the data, or inputing the data was a task of monumental scale. But today, we have detailed maps of the United States down to the most amazing level of detail readily available. A variety of people must have worked on that project for years and years, and there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of people working to maintain accuracy of that data as it changes with time. But we do not see that and, somehow, we do not seem to have to pay for it. Someone does, but not us.
The table of contents, in image form, is:
I plan to download all these and make a giant tar available on the internet of all of them. Why? Because I believe that everything that exists on the WWW will go away, one day, whether we know it or not.