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News & Notes

Current Issue: March - April 2010   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit


Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • Jon Jablonski (UC Santa Barbara) Awarded Fulbright

    Jon will be in China from August through February and will teaching at a library school and starting a research project to examine how portable map devices (read: smartphones) are affecting people's relationships with their urban environments.


New Maps of the WAML Region


Publications about Mapping

  • There is no new list from Phil Hoehn this time around.
  • "March 25, 2010 --  A new report from the National Research Council presents 11 questions that should shape the next decade of geographical sciences research. Reflecting a time when populations are moving and natural resources are being depleted, the questions aim to provide a more complete understanding of where and how landscapes are changing to help society manage and adapt to the transformation of Earth's surface." (National Academies of Science)

    An article about the announcement can be found at Science Daily.

    The full report and summary is available at the National Academies Press.

  • "She Does a Better Job Than Map Quest!" Wonderful hand-drawn maps from firefighters, club-hoppers, Boy Scout dads, grandmothers, and Alexander Calder. (Slate Magazine)

  • Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Draw Me My Life Freelance writer Jenna Schnuer thinks mapmaker Connie Brown is one of the most creative map geeks she has ever come across--and, really, she means that as the ultimate compliment. Working under the company name of Redstone Studios, Brown translates her clients' travels, lives, businesses, and interests (marathon running, antique cars, even dung) into hand-painted maps on canvas. "It's safe to say you can map any aspect of your life," says Brown. (National Geographic Traveler)

  • Mapping Ancient Civilization, in a Matter of Days (New York Times)
  • A new book by geographer Mark Monmonier, No Dig, No Fly, No Go, has just been released. There is an e-book version available for as little as $5. From the publisher's website: Rooted in ancient Egypt’s need to reestablish property boundaries following the annual retreat of the Nile’s floodwaters, restrictive mapping has been indispensable in settling the American West, claiming slices of Antarctica, protecting fragile ocean fisheries, and keeping sex offenders away from playgrounds. But it has also been used for opprobrium: during one of the darkest moments in American history, cartographic exclusion orders helped send thousands of Japanese Americans to remote detention camps. Tracing the power of prohibitive mapping at multiple levels—from regional to international—and multiple dimensions—from property to cyberspace—Monmonier demonstrates how much boundaries influence our experience—from homeownership and voting to taxation and airline travel. A worthy successor to his critically acclaimed How to Lie with Maps, the book is replete with all of the hallmarks of a Monmonier classic, including the wry observations and witty humor.

  • Another new book of interest: Rethinking the Power of Maps by Denis Wood, with John Fels and John Krygier. A contemporary follow-up to the groundbreaking Power of Maps, this book takes a fresh look at what maps do, whose interests they serve, and how they can be used in surprising, creative, and radical ways. Denis Wood describes how cartography facilitated the rise of the modern state and how maps continue to embody and project the interests of their creators. He demystifies the hidden assumptions of mapmaking and explores the promises and limitations of diverse counter-mapping practices today. Thought-provoking illustrations include U.S. Geological Survey maps; electoral and transportation maps; and numerous examples of critical cartography, participatory GIS, and map art.

Other Map Organization Journals

  • GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
  • CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
  News | Conferences | Cataloging | Canadiana | New Maps & Web Sites



  • A good time was had by all at the recent WAML meeting in Eugene, Oregon. If you would like to share photos from the meeting, please remember the Wamlites' Photostream. Contact Katie Lage on how to upload photos. See below for a list of websites mentioned as part of the conference.

  • CUAC will be meeting on June 24-25 in Arlington, VA. WAML will be represented by Katie Lage and Julie Sweetkind-Singer.

  • A Stolen Maps Task Force has been established to redistribute stolen maps, recently acquired by WAML from the FBI, back to their home libraries. Jon Jablonski is in possession of the maps and will be leading the task force.

Other News

Future WAML Meetings:

Conferences and Classes

  • See reports below for the ACMLA/CAPDU conference and a cataloging pre-conference at ALA.

  • Fellowships for 2011 at the American Geographical Society Library

    Applications deadline October 18, 2010

    The American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, welcomes applications for two short-term fellowship programs:

    McColl Research Program fellowships: This is a short-term fellowship program available to individuals who wish to communicate their geographical research results to a broad, educated general audience.
    Awards of $3,300 for four-week fellowships will be provided to support residencies for the purpose of conducting research that makes direct use of the Library, and results in publication in a mutually agreed outlet.

    Helen and John S. Best Research Fellowships: Stipends of $400 per week, for periods up to 4 weeks, will be awarded to help support residencies for the purpose of conducting research that makes direct use of the Library.

    The AGS Library, the former research library and map collection of the American Geographical Society of New York, has strengths in geography, cartography and related historical topics. More information on the AGS Library is available at the website:


    Applications must be received by October 18, 2010. All fellowships are tenable in 2011.

    Fellowship information is available at the AGS Library website at:


    or write, call or e-mail:
    AGS Library
    P.O. Box 399
    Milwaukee, WI 53201-0399
    Tel. (414) 229-6282
    E-mail agsl@uwm.edu

  • Since there will be no fall WAML meeting, if you find yourself close to Texas, you might consider:

  • The 3rd International Symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of
    Cartography will  take place at the University of Texas (Arlington), USA
    from 11-13 October 2010. The Symposium, which will feature contributions by
    the USGS (United States Geological Survey) and the ICA Commission on Maps
    and Society, will be preceded by the 7th Biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures
    on the History of Cartography (Friday, 8 October 2010), and the Fall Meeting
    of the TMS (Texas Map Society) (Saturday, 9 October 2010).

    Full particulars on the Programmes for the Garrett Lectures,  the TMS
    meeting, and the ICA Symposium, as well as the relevant Hotel Information,
    can be found at:


    Information on the Registration fee for the Symposium and the associated
    Technical and Social Excursions, appears on the website of the ICA
    Commission for the History of Cartography at


    Prospective delegates can register online for one or all of  the above
    events on


    We trust you will make a special effort to attend this veritable feast which
    has been prepared for lovers of (historical) maps.

    Elri Liebenberg
    Chair: ICA Commission on the History of Cartography

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Cataloging News

  • Bibliographic Standard Record (BSR) for Cartographic Materials

    Update to the last Newsletter: The BSR for Cartographic Materials standard was submitted in final draft form to the Library of Congress in April, an open comments period ended May 10. It is anticipated that all of the new BSR's will be released in final versions for use by catalogers at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. June 24-30, 2010.

  • Forthcoming Map Cataloging Workshops

    As a reminder:

    ALCTS Offers this Dynamic Preconference at 2010 Annual Conference
    Cataloging & Description of Cartographic Resources:
    From Parchment to Pixels, Paper to Digital 
    Thursday, June 24, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. (Basic Map Cataloging) and Friday, June 25,
    8:30 a.m.–Noon (Digital Cart. Materials Cataloging); Washington Conv. Center, 146C
    Event code:  ALC1

    Intended primarily for the novice, but including advanced topics of interest to experienced catalogers, learn map cataloging basics on day one, focusing on three areas of bibliographic description: title(s), mathematical data and physical description.  Additional areas/topics will be covered as well.  Day one sessions will focus on hardcopy maps; day two covers digital cartographic resources.  Principles covered on day one will be applied to digital items and expanded upon on day two. Instructors: Paige Andrew, Pennsylvania State University and Susan Moore, University of Northern Iowa; Mary Larsgaard, Librarian Emeritus, University of California - Santa Barbara. Cosponsored by OLAC and MAGERT. Registration for this preconference: Advance and Onsite: ALA Member $329; Division (ALCTS) Member $279; Retired Member $129; Student Member $129; Non-Member $389. Registration is through the ALA Annual Conference registration site at www.ala.org, click on the AC2010 icon and follow the links to the registration page.

    In addition, Paige Andrew, Maps Cataloging Librarian at the Pennsylvania State University, will be delivering a map cataloging workshop at the University of New Mexico on Monday, May 24, 2010.

  • Map and Geography Round Table (MAGERT) to Celebrate 30 Years!

    The Map and Geography Round Table of the American Library Association, or MAGERT, will celebrate its 30th Anniversary at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 27th at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. You must RSVP to the MAGERT Membership Chair, Roger Knouff at (roger.knouff@asu.edu) no later than June 11th.

  • Policy and Standards Genre/Form Headings Update

    In early 2007 the Library of Congress began a project to create genre/form headings, which describe what a work is rather than what it is about. To date, over 500 headings for moving images (films, television programs, and video recordings) and sound recordings have been approved.

  • Two years later, in 2009, the Policy and Standards (PSD) and Geography and Maps divisions of the Library of Congress began work on the next genre/form project to go into production: cartographic materials. PSD will be approving new cartographic genre/form headings (MARC 21 tag 155) and revised form subdivisions ($v) in stages over the late spring and summer of 2010, and plans to implement the new system no earlier than August 1, 2010. Be advised that LC will not implement any aspect of the cartographic genre/form headings until all of the elements are in place.

    A tentative timeline for the approval of the cartographic genre/form headings, the revisions to the form subdivisions, and LC's subsequent implementation of them is available on PSDs web site at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/cartographic3.pdf.

    Additional information on the genre/form projects at the Library of Congress can be found on PSDs genre/form web page, http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/genreformgeneral.html. The page includes a timeline, an extensive FAQ, reports, discussion papers, and announcements. Questions and comments on the projects may be addressed to Janis L. Young, LCs genre/form coordinator, at jayo@loc.gov.

    Janis L. Young
    Policy and Standards Division
    Library of Congress

  • Library of Congress Documentation for the RDA Test

    The Library of Congress is sharing its files of policy decisions, training materials, etc., developed for its participation in the US RDA Test. Other libraries, whether participating in the RDA Test or not, are welcome to use and modify these files for their local situations. Note that these files represent decisions just for the RDA Test. If the Library of Congress decides to implement RDA, some of the decisions may be changed as the result of feedback from the Test.

    The files are posted at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/RDAtest/rdatest.html. Questions about the content of RDA and LC's documents for the US RDA Test should be sent to LChelp4rda@loc.gov

Paige Andrew, Pennsylvania State University

Canadian News

  • ACMLA’S 2010 annual conference will be held jointly with CAPDU, the Canadian Association of Public Data Users, at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, June 15 – 18, 2010. See the conference website for registation and developing details.

  • Recent announcement on topographic mapping:

    1. The topographic maps from Natural Resources Canada listed in the Weekly Checklist are new editions with revised and updated content. New maps are released by NRCan on a quarterly basis: approximately 500 will be released this fiscal year with the next release on March 31, 2010. More information about NRCan's recent mapping activities can be found at: http://www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/com/elements/issues/38/topograph-eng.php

    2. Not all topographic maps covering Canada will be updated. Only those with the highest demand will be targeted for revision, as determined in consultation with stakeholders. Additionally, there is a particular focus on completing mapping for areas in Canada's North that have not been previously mapped at the 1:50 000 scale.

    As noted in the Checklist, the maps are available to non-map depository libraries at $11.45 per copy though the Regional Distribution Centres and Certified Map Printers listed at: http://maps.nrcan.gc.ca/distribution_e.php

    Steve Westley, Natural Resources Canada, Centre for Topographic Information

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New Maps & Web Sites of Interest

  • Paris 26 Gigapixels is a stitching of 2346 single photos showing a very high-resolution panoramic view of the French capital.
  • Now online from the Texas A & M University Library's Map and GIS Collections and Services: The Geologic Atlas of the United States is a set of 227 folios published by the U.S. Geological Survey between 1894 and 1945.


Some web sites mentioned during the WAML Spring 2010 Meeting presentations:

  • Tactile Maps - download the software and find further information at the Spatial and Map Cognition Research Laboratory at the Univeristy of Oregon Geography Department.

  • Website: Archaeology and Landscape in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia. See also, the article, "From Oregon to Mongolia, Art History and Geography Experts Document Landscape."

  • Stanford University's Image Collections (beta)

  • Regional Land Information Database of Lane County

  • GIS at Lane Community College

  • What's new at the USGS? See powerpoint presentation: The National Map. See also: question and answer follow up about the historic topographic project with presenter Sherri Schneider:

  • Will the quads be available in a geotiff format?
            Yes, both with as a full sheet and without "collar".
    Are the indexes being scanned?
            Not at this time.  These may be added once the topographic maps are completed.
    The back of the quads often contained valuable information, is this being scanned?
            In general, yes.  However this information will need to be served separately.  Being reviewed.
    Are reprints being scanned or only editions?
            Anything with a separate date, including map plant imprint.  So -- Yes.
    Are the historical USFS quadrangles being scanned?
            Only those released as part of USGS - Forest Service agreement. I do not have access to a separate Forest
            Service Archive. Good point to explore (thanks).
    Are the geologic quadrangles being scanned?
            Yes but NOT as part of this project. Dave Soller, National Geologic Map Database and I, representing
            Publications Warehouse, are proceeding on this.  I hope to convert and release as GeoPDF.

    Sheri Schneider, USGS OR Geospatial Liaison
    503-310-1531, fax: 503-251-3470
    USGS, 2130 SW 5th Ave., Portland, OR, 97201


Regarding discussion of Libguides & Delicious pages, here are a couple of examples:

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