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News & Notes

Current Issue: July - August 2009   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit

Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • In light of recent retirements at UC map libraries, the following changes have been made. At Berkeley, Brian Quigley, the current Head of the Mathematics-Statistics Library, accepted a 50% time position as interim Head of the Earth Sciences and Map Library. Nothing will change except the hours. At Riverside, Lizbeth Langston, Head of Information Services at the Science Library, will step in as the temporary map librarian. The map collection will continue to be staffed by Margarita Yonezawa, Map Collection Assistant and map cataloger. There is hope the UCR position will be replaced in the future. And there is a job search underway at Santa Barbara.


New Maps of the WAML Region


Publications about Mapping

  • No new list of articles from Phil this month.
  • The current issue of the Journal of Location Based Services is a special edition entitled, NeoGeography and Web 2.0. See link for details. (At UCSD, this is available via the InformaWorld journal database. Check your library.)


Other Map Organization Journals

  • CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
  News | Conferences | Cataloging | Canadiana | New Maps & Web Sites



  • The WAML Fall Meeting will be held in Cody, Wyoming September 15-18. That’s very soon! For complete conference information see the WAML 2009 Fall Meeting wiki. Registration is now closed. Final Schedule.
  • A note from Tami Morse McGill:
    Some of us from the planning committee will be arriving at The Cody on Monday, and we'll be assembling the conference packets there.  The packets will be available Tuesday afternoon at the hotel, and Wednesday morning at the Park County Library before our sessions begin.  Be sure you get one; we've got some good schwag this time!

    As you can see on the schedule, we'll be touring the Buffalo Bill Historical Society on Wednesday afternoon.  Part of your registration covers admission to the BBHC, and they've graciously given us access for the entire time of the conference, Tuesday through Friday.  Your name tag serves as your admission pass, so if you'd like to go to the BBHC on Tuesday before the conference, ask for me (Tami Morse McGill) at The Cody, and I'll give you your name tag.
  • A note from the Education Committee concerning the meeting:
    The Cody meeting is right around the corner and the Continuing Education committee is hard at work on an exciting session.  What we'd like to do for the 2 hours is to ask all of you to think about a "lightning" presentation of 5-10 minutes to show a resource or talk about a project that falls into one of the following categories.

1.  Cool new thing that you're doing at your library: new maps scanned, new features on your web site, innovative reference service.
2.  Useful resource or reference that helps you with your patrons: CSU Chico's geologic map index to the USGS 7.5 & 15 minute maps of California, USGS Publications warehouse.
3.  Tips and tricks to make your job easier: Handouts you've made to assist patrons in finding maps, searching techniques on google to find maps (anyone tried BING?).

Those who are attending the meeting are encouraged to present in person.  Those that aren't going can submit their presentation idea to any member of the committee with notes on what they find compelling or interesting about their contribution and it will be presented for you.

Please consider participating!  The more participants we get, the more lively the session will be.  This will help all of us learn about new resources, share innovative practices, and generate new ideas. 

Send your ideas in to any of the committee members.  We'll set up the order of events. 

Looking forward to hearing from you SOON!

The Continuing Education Committee:
Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Mary Douglass, Kathy Rankin, Paige Andrew

  • From Matt Parsons, WAML President:
    Sorry for the belated announcement:
    But, it is none-the-less my pleasure to inform you that our new Vice President/President-Elect is Mike Smith, Map Librarian, UC San Diego and our new Secretary is Russell Guy, Omni Resources.  Both Mike and Russsell will serve in these positions during the July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010 term.  Congratulations to both of them!

I would like to thank the Nominating Committee: Mary Douglass, Chair, Jim O'Donnell and Chris Thiry for their work; and John Kawula, past-Secretary, for mailing the ballots and tabulating the results.

  • Congratulations to WAML member Katie Lage for winning the GSIS Best Paper Award.  The official announcement posted to the Geonet listserv:

The Geoscience Information Society Best Paper Award Committee has selected Kathryn Lage's article titled "Zoom!: Remote Sensing Imagery in the Geosciences" for its 2009 Best Paper Award.  The members of the committee found it to be a very useful, general overview of an important topic, with helpful links to resources. The paper will be published in volume 38 of Proceedings of the Geoscience Informations and was based on a paper given at the 2007 meeting of the Society.

Other News

  • The Vinland Map is back in the news, such as it is. Note comment here by Dr. Kenneth Towe, a scientist directly involved with major Vinland Map ink studies.
  • The Old Map App for the iPhone is in beta development. “The application displays layers of geo-referenced historical maps projected onto a modern coordinate system, so that the same location can be compared over time. Layers can be faded, adjusted, and explored freely. If the user is located within the region of the historical map, the user's position will be mapped on the old maps to the position of the compass indicator.”
  • A note from Kathy Rankin: The National Geographic catalog has a personalized map puzzle. It says the puzzle is 400 pieces, is of a six-by-four-mile area using USGS maps, and a house-shaped piece in the center represents the address the customer chooses. The map shows main roads, contour lines, water features, vegetation, and notable buildings. It arrives in a presentation box and includes space for a personal message. It costs $39.95 and is available by phone orders only. The phone number is 1-888-225-5647.
  • A major new BBC television series, "The Truth About Crime", will be one of the first such TV series to use GIS-based approaches to deliver an accurate picture behind the statistics about crime in Britain today. The programs will explore the reality behind the tabloid headlines. In each case it will contrast actual crime statistics with public perceptions of crime and use digital maps to present the findings.

Future WAML Meetings:

  • Cody, Wyoming, September 15-18, 2009
  • Eugene, Oregon, Spring, 2010 (dates TBD)
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, May 17-20, 2011 (joint meeting with ACMLA)
  • WAML Meetings Web Page

Conferences and Classes

  • The Texas Map Society Meeting will be October 2-4, 2009 at the Central Library at The University of Texas at Arlington. The deadline to register is September 25th.

    The meeting this fall is extraordinary! We are celebrating the life and work of Alexander von Humboldt with a number of events, including a host of great speakers beginning with The University of Texas at Arlington’s own Imre Demhardt, along with Ralph Ehrenberg Chief Emeritus, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress; Ben Huseman, Cartographic Archivist for UT Arlington’s Special Collections and curator of the new exhibition on Humboldt; and Jan de Graeve, the President of the International Institution for the History of Surveying and Measurement.

    A Gallery Tour of the Humboldt exhibition is also on the agenda as is the Member’s Map with host David Finfrock. As a special section this year, TMS is adding a Collector’s Forum on Sunday morning.

    A copy of the registration brochure in a downloadable pdf format is online at the TMS web site http://libraries.uta.edu/txmapsociety/.

    Follow the links to /Upcoming Meeting. / For additional information, please contact: Kit Goodwin, at goodwin@uta.edu
  • The Society for the History of Discoveries announces the opening of registration for its 50th Annual Meeting to be held October 10 - 13, 2009 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Non-members are welcome to register and attend the several days of events and meetings.  See meeting events, paper session listings, presentation abstracts and registration details at their program page.
  • Geoscience Librarianship 101 – a one-day introduction to earth science information resources and their organization – will be presented by the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) on Saturday, October 17, 2009 at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Registration is free and open to all information professionals as well as students in library and information studies. Workshop schedule. The GSIS Annual Meeting follows October 18-21.

    Clara P. McLeod (Washington University in St. Louis) is the coordinator for this year’s workshop, which features presentations by three experienced geoscience librarians. Lisa Dunn (Colorado School of Mines) will discuss collection development and managing electronic resources.

    Lura E. Joseph (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana) will provide an overview of reference and instructional services. Linda Zellmer (Western Illinois University) will speak about maps and geographic information systems, both data sources and applications. There will be ample opportunities throughout for open discussion and networking.

    The program is set for 10:15 AM to 5:30 PM in PSU’s Branford P. Millar Library, Room 160, 1875 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon. There is no charge for the seminar, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. The deadline to register is October 1, 2009. To reserve your place or to request additional information contact Shaun Hardy, GSIS Publicity Officer, telephone 202-478-7960, e-mail shardy@ciw.edu.

    Geoscience Librarianship 101 is made possible in part through the generous support of the Portland State University Library and ESRI.


  • The Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia Library is now accepting applications for an NEH-funded "Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship," to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia in November 2009 and May 2010. Track 1 will be directed by WAML member Julie Sweetkind-Singer. Unfortunately, the deadline for the November tracks has passed.

    This program will bring together humanities scholars, software developers, and librarians and other cultural heritage professionals to discuss and develop geospatial tools, content, methods, policies, and infrastructure, in the context of open source and open access. Thirty-one leading academics, developers, and higher-ed administrators serve on the faculty and advisory board of the Institute.

    The National Endowment for the Humanities will support travel, working meals, and lodging for 40 attendees as well as Institute faculty members. Special funding is available for graduate students. The University of Virginia Library will also fund up to 5 short-term scholar- and developer-in-residencies at the Scholars' Lab to complement the Institute's focus on humanities GIS.

    Three four-day Institute tracks are planned:

15-18 November 2009:
Track 1: Stewardship (for library, museum, GIS and digital humanities center professionals)
Track 2: Software (for Web developers, designers, systems administrators, and information scientists)

25-28 May 2010:
Track 3: Scholarship (for humanities scholars, advanced graduate students, and post-docs)

Application DEADLINES are September 1st (for Tracks 1 and 2) and December 1st (for Track 3).  Special consideration will be given to those who apply as part of an institutional team, as the curriculum is designed to foster robust technical and social infrastructure, at a local level, for geospatial scholarship in the digital humanities.


  • The J.B. Harley Research Fellowships in the History of Cartography

The Harley Fellowships - the only one of their kind in Europe - provide support of up to four weeks (normally at GBP 400 per week) for those, from any discipline, doing the equivalent of post-graduate level work in the historical map collections of the United Kingdom.  See website for more details.

Harley-Delmas Fellowships
For the period 2007-2011, in addition to the normal J. B. Harley Fellowships there are also Harley-Delmas Fellowships funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Successful applicants researching the history of cartography during the European Renaissance to the Enlightenment c.1400-c.1800 will be eligible for a Harley-Delmas Fellowship.  All applicants, however, should apply for a J. B. Harley Fellowship.  Eligibility for a Harley-Delmas award will be decided by the Selection Committee of the Trustees.

The closing date for applications is 1st NOVEMBER.  The Fellowship website includes an Application page that should provide all the necessary information as well as answering many frequently asked questions:

It would be helpful if you could say where you saw this notice.
Email: rose.mitchell@nationalarchives.gov.gsi.uk
Rose Mitchell
Honorary Secretary, J.B. Harley Fellowships
Map archivist
Advice and Records Knowledge Department
The National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU

Cataloging News

  • No new news this month. Send ‘em if ya got ‘em.


Canadian News

  • Tim says it’s all good up north.


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New Maps & Web Sites of Interest
  • A very interesting post at BiblioOdyssey blogspot on Puzzle and Game Maps produced before 1900. There are several very beautiful and interesting images to be found here.

  • When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear? A sobering interactive map of vanishing employment across the country (at Slate.com).

  • A map of Active U.S. Hate Groups from the Southern Poverty and Law Center.

  • The recently launched website, A Vision of Britain Through Time, covers the period 1801-2001 and includes a statistical atlas, historical maps, census reports, election results and travel writing showing how 15,000 places in the United Kingdom have changed.

  • The National Geological Map Database (NGMDB), a collaborative effort between the USGS and the Association of American State Geologists, is now publically available for the first time. The data Portal features include:

    • National-scale bedrock and surficial maps, and four state-scale maps,
    • a Dynamic Legend that shows only the map units within the field of view,
    • a new Geologic Materials classification, designed to help the layman by bringing these maps into a unified view, using simple terms and definitions,
    • a simplified back-end database whose design and science terminologies are related to the new "NCGMP09" design,
    • integration with other NGMDB databases (Map Catalog and Geolex) that provides users with information about the geologic units and source maps, and
    • links to the source maps and related Web-mapping systems, in the state geological surveys.

    Additional information (includes GIS data bundles): Database of the Geologic Map of North America and Map database for surficial materials in the conterminous U.S.
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Last modified: Sept 10, 2009
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