I am currently working on digitizing a river map that was published in an academic journal about 40 years ago. I have scanned the map and imported it into ArcGIS and am now working on georeferencing it and digitizing the lines of the river into a shapefile. The map I am digitizing is the hypothesized route of the ancient Teays River, a precursor of the present day Ohio River and is basically the 'best guess' of the original authors. I am an academician who would like to use the map for geospatial analyses involving this ancient river. I would ultimately like to make my digitization freely available to others with similar interests who would use it for display, geospatial analyses, etc in their own studies. I would communicate the availability of this map by publishing it as a short note in an academic journal. I have absolutely no interest in selling or profiting financially in any way from this digitization - it is essentially for dissemination to the academic community (i.e., biogeographers) who might have some use with it for their studies.
Here is my question:
Can I legally do this? I am worried about potential copyright infringement/legalities of publishing a digitized version of a map that has previously been published elsewhere, albeit 40 years ago.
Does anyone have any guidance/experience with this? I would like to know whether this is possible before attempting it. I just have no idea regarding the legalities, but expect that others may know something.
Thanks a lot - any advice is greatly appreciated.