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News & Notes

Current Issue: May - August 2010   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit


Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • Congratulations to WAML member Jim Coombs on his recently published book, Great Moments in Map Librarianship: cartoons from the first 30 years of base line. Cost is $25. As Jim is also MAGERT's Publication Distribution Manager, to order please contact him at:

  • Jim Coombs
    Maps Library
    Missouri State University
    901 South National Avenue
    Springfield, MO 65897

  • WAML Jobs Blog


New Maps of the WAML Region


Publications about Mapping

  • Two new articles recently appeared in MAGERT’s Coordinates: "Juan de la Cosa's Projection: A Fresh Analysis of the Earliest Preserved Map of the Americas" by Luis A. Robles Macias and "Geospatial Web Services, Open Standards, and Advances in Interoperability: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography" by Cynthia Dietz.

  • There are two new titles available in MAGERT's Electronic Publications Series: No. 8 Map Collection Security Guidelines and No. 9 GIS in EVERY Library: Making it Happen - The Top 5 GIS Resources from our panelists and MAGERT Board Members. See also: presentation materials from conference panelists.

  • In addition to Jim Coombs' Great Moments book, MAGERT also recently published Cartographic Citations, a Style Guide (Second Edition). Cost is $20. To order, please contact Jim at the above address.

  • NACIS has recently put all but the last two years of its journal Cartographic Perspectives online. This represents 58 total issues.

  • My Head Is A Map: Essays & Memoirs in honour of R.V Tooley, originally published in 1973, is now available at Kunstpedia.com.

  • New from ESRI: The GIS 20: Essential Skills.

  • There is a new series of atlases for historical maps called "Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress (Mapping the States through History)". Several states have been released, including California and Colorado, and more are forthcoming this fall.
  • The Agnostic Cartographer: How Google’s open-ended maps are embroiling the company in some of the world’s touchiest geopolitical disputes. (Washington Monthly) See also: NPR broadcast, Making Maps, the Google Way.

  • Note new link below to e-Perimetron, the international quarterly e-journal on sciences and technologies affined to history of cartography and maps.

Other Map Organization Journals

  • GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
  • CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
  • ANZMaps: The Australian and New Zealand Map Society Newsletter
  News | Conferences | Cataloging | Canadiana | New Maps & Web Sites



  • The results are in and the WAML Executive Board is set for 2010-11:

  • President: Michael L. Smith
    Vice President/President Elect: Cynthia Moriconi
    Treasurer: Yvonne Wilson
    Secretary: Brian Quigley
    Past Presient: Matt Parsons

  • Thanks to the work of Ken Rockwell and others, the Index for the Information Bulletin [PDF] is now freely available online. The index covers the years 1969-2004. For more infomation about the Information Bulletin, see the WAML Publications page. For information about purchasing back issues of the IB, please contact our Subscription Manager, Jim O'Donnell, at wamlsubsmgr@yahoo.com.

  • WAML's spring meeting next year will no longer be a joint meeting with ACMLA. However, WAML will still be meeting May 17-20, 2011 in Vancouver, BC, hosted by Tim Ross.

Other News

  • University of Hawaii-Manoa Map Library Re-Opens

    Manoa MAGIS (Maps, Aerials & GIS) is pleased to announce the opening of its new area in the basement of Hamilton Library. Our maps are all in one place now and we now have a brand new MAGIS lab featuring 8 GIS workstations. The workstations feature ArcGIS, ENVI, MS-Office and Adobe Creative Suite. The lab will be open Monday to Thursday, 1-5 when school is in session for Fall 2010 starting September 6, 2010. For details on software support, please check out http://magis.manoa.hawaii.edu/common/facilities.html or download our brochure at: http://magis.manoa.hawaii.edu/common/MAGISatUHMLibrary2010.pdf

    To help us commemorate our new (old) area, we have put a set of new georeferenced maps on-line. These are much sought after Historical Maps of Hawaii, 1885-1904. These can be viewed or downloaded here: http://magis.manoa.hawaii.edu/gis/georeferenced

    We are trying out a few other ways to increase our on-line presence and to publicize our services, MAGIS now has has a blog! Please support it by checking it out at: http://blog.hawaii.edu/magis. We are also on facebook, please friend or "like" us at: http://bit.ly/magisfb. Last, and perhaps most importantly, we want to thank our donors who contributed so much to re-build our collection. Your name is on a poster in the Government Documents & Maps area and looks like this: http://magis.manoa.hawaii.edu/common/UHManoaLibraryThanksItsDonors.pdf

    -- G. Salim Mohammed, Maps/GIS Librarian

    See Also: After the flood, library is renewed: UH-Manoa's Hamilton Library was deluged a half-dozen years ago, but lots of hard work has its ground floor ready for an open house (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

  • Map and Geography Round Table (MAGERT) Celebrates 30th Anniversary
    Approximately fifty members of MAGERT attended a 30th Anniversary dinner celebration at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC on June 27, 2010, concluding a number of activities relating to this event. Quite a number of dinner attendees were very long-term members, with WAML member Mary Larsgaard (retired Librarian Emeritus, UC-Santa Barbara) also being a very early member of MAGERT present for this festive occasion. In addition to dining together and enjoying much cameraderie, MAGERT Chair Kathy Weimer (Texas A&M) and past Chair, Carolyn Kadri (Univ. of Texas at Arlington) oversaw presentations of the 2010 MAGERT Honors Award, given to Pete Reehling, GIS Services Librarian at the University of South Florida. Jim Coombs, Map Librarian at Missouri State University was also honored for the rollout of his new book, a compilation of his Great Moments in Map Librarianship cartoons that have appeared in MAGERT's newsletter, baseline over three decades. Carol McAuliffe, Head of the Map & Imagery Library at the University of Florida, also provided a very touching memorial in honor of the late Jan Dixon, who was the Map Librarian at the University of Arkansas until her death on October 21, 2009. From her obituary, "She will always be remembered for her energetic dedication to her work as well as for her constantly cheerful nature, her infectious smile and characteristic laugh." To see pictures of several anniversary celebration activities at the ALA Membership Pavilion go to: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/ala-members-blog/magerts-30th-anniversary-celebration
    In concert with the anniversary, MAGERT also rolled out a brand new logo and introduced a brand new marketing plan that had been worked on by members of an ALA Emerging Leaders group in tandem with the MAGERT leadership over the previous year, and additionally a formal Council Resolution was read by Pete Reehling at the Tuesday morning ALA Council meeting and adopted by Council.

    Paige Andrew, Pennsylvania State University

  • For readers of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries:

    Due to much increased interest in the journal and the fantastic support of the Taylor & Francis team, we are expanding to three issues in 2011.  If you have a paper that you would like to submit, please contact the co-editors.  The journal covers all aspects of map, geography and geospatial collections, their services and methods to collect, manage and deliver these materials to others.   Complete instructions for authors can be found on the JMGL web page - http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1542-0353&linktype=44  or you can contact either of the co-editors, Kathy Weimer at k-weimer@tamu.edu or Paige Andrew at pga2@psulias.psu.edu

    Also, we have a backfile of the early volumes of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries from the Haworth publisher days (volumes 1-4 / 2004-2008).  There are multiple copies and are available for donation to interested parties, libraries preferred.  Please contact Kathy Weimer at k-weimer@tamu.edu


    JMGL Co-Editors

    Kathy Weimer and Paige Andrew

  • The USGS Welcomes Input:

    I have been asked to address 2 different tasks before the end of our operating year (September 30) and am looking for your input and assistance to complete them:

    1. Prioritization of USGS Series Publications for digitization: The USGS will be restarting our digitization of USGS Series Publications in early 2011 and we would like to prioritize the work that needs to be done. Could you let me know which specific USGS Series should be digitized first and which Series you think can wait. You can find a complete listing of Series at the USGS Publications Warehouse: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ under the tab labelled "Contents."

    2. Identifying "game changers" in the realms of library services and geoscience research and describing them for my senior management. The topics that have been proposed to date include the following:

    Game Changers:
            Digital collections
            Good enough is good enough (most of the time)
            (Most) metadata is free
            Self-service (pros and cons)
            Alert Services
            User interface changes
            Copyright, Curation, and Distribution
            Cost of content and access management
            Governance and consensus on shared services Future Structure
            Embedded librarianship
            Access versus ownership
            Provision of virtual library services
            Collaborative approach to supporting research

    If you can contribute anything to one of these topics, please let me know. If you think there are other game changers, barriers, and suggestions for future structures that I should consider, please let me know that as well. If you are willing to contribute to the content of the report or if you would like to participate as a reviewer of the draft report, please contact me and I'd be happy to work with you to add your thoughts and perspectives.

    Richard Huffine
    National Library Coordinator
    U.S. Geological Survey (MS 159)
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192 Tel 703-648-7182
    Email: rhuffine@usgs.gov

  • Scientists to create the most detailed map of California coastline ever assembled

  • Time-Lapse Twitter Visualization Shows America’s Moods

  • From Kathy Rankin, here are several map-related objects: from the Signals catalog, there is a globe clock made of glass with jet planes on the hands. They also have an etched glass globe fishbowl that could also be used to float flowers, hold candies, or display a pillar candle and a personalized official geocacher doormat that they will put a person's lat and long on. The Smithsonian Store has a gemstone globe key ring set, wine stoppers with hand-carved opalite globes, and gemstone globe paperweights.

    Expressions has a map of the world clock. It's a battery-powered wall clock with a modern map on the face that has been antiqued. There is a MTA New York City Subway Map Puzzle from Bas Bleu. From Acorn Online: Your town necklace. A map showing the town where you were born, where you live, or where you want to be is set in a sterling silver frame and covered with a protective coating. It shows on both sides. And finally, a leatherbound national parks atlas. Sized to fit in the palm of your hand, includes maps of all the U.S. national parks, and the back half includes information and blank pages for recording your experiences.


Future WAML Meetings:

  • No Meeting, Fall 2010
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, May 17-20, 2011
  • Hawaii, November 2012
  • WAML Meetings Web Page

Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions

  • The International Network of Crisis Mappers will have their 2nd conference, entitled ICCM 2010: Haiti and Beyond, October 1-3 2010 in Boston. Included will be participants from WAML institutions (Univ. of Colorado and Stanford).

  • The prelimimary program is now available for NACIS 2010, to be held October 13-16 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

  • Geoscience Librarianship 101 –- a free seminar on earth science information resources and their organization –- will be presented by the Geoscience Information Society on Saturday, October 30 in Denver, Colorado. Registration is open to all information professionals as well as students in library and information studies. The seminar occurs a day before the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition begins at the Denver Convention Center.

    The workshop is aimed at librarians new to the geosciences and those already in the field who want a refresher. A team of experienced geoscience librarians will cover topics in collection development, reference and instructional services, maps and geographic information systems (GIS). Presenters include Lisa Dunn (Colorado School of Mines), Adonna Fleming (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Lura E. Joseph (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana), and Linda Zellmer (Western Illinois University). After the formal presentations participants will have the opportunity to engage in open discussion and to give feedback. Clara McLeod, earth and planetary sciences librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, is coordinating the event.

    Geoscience Librarianship 101 will be held from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM in the Auraria Library, 1100 Lawrence St., Denver. Pre-registration is required; no walk-ins will be admitted. Registrations must be received by October 15. To sign up, please provide your name, daytime contact information, and professional (work/school) affiliation to: Shaun Hardy, Carnegie Institution-Library, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015, telephone 202-478-7960, e-mail shardy@ciw.edu.

    The Geoscience Information Society is an international professional organization devoted to improving the exchange of information in the earth sciences. Information about the Society may be found at its website www.geoinfo.org.

    Shaun J. Hardy
    Publicity Officer
    Geoscience Information Society

  • Fellowships for 2011 at the American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries

    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

  • The Seventeenth Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography will take place at the Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography in Chicago, November 4-6, 2010. The theme of the conference is Mapping the Transition from Colony to Nation.

    Lectures will feature eight scholars, who will examine how peoples and states around the world emerging from colonial status used maps to define, defend, and administer their national territories, to develop their national identities, and to establish their place in the community of nations. Scholars in all fields, educators, and members of the general public are cordially invited to attend. A full program schedule is available on The Newberry Library’s website at http://www.newberry.org/smith/nebenzahl/neb17.html.

    The Nebenzahl Lectures are free. However, all persons wishing to attend are required to make a reservation. For reservations and further information please contact the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, 60 W. Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610 USA; e-mail smithctr@newberry.org; phone 312-255-3659.

  • First Announcement: The Mapping of North America: Westward Expansion

    The Rocky Mountain Map Society, the Denver Public Library and the University of Denver (the oldest and largest private university in the Rocky Mountain region) would like to announce the above noted map conference, to take place in Denver, Colorado on the dates of July 26 - 27, 2012. This conference will be immediately followed by the "Map Fair of the West" on July 28 and 29. Further details will be shared with the list as they are confirmed. Please note these dates on your calenders.

  • Don McGuirk

  • Strait Through: From Magellan to Cook & the Pacific is the online version of an exhibition at Princeton University's Firestone Library main gallery, running through January 2, 2011, which documents the story of Magellan's circumnavigation of the world and the drama of the unfolding exploration of the Pacific Ocean that followed the discovery of the Strait of Magellan. See also: Princeton Library Puts Art On The Map

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Cataloging News

  • Bibliographic Standard Record (BSR) for Cartographic Materials

    In yet another update to the ongoing saga of establishing new BIBCO cataloging standards for all materials beyond the BSR established for print materials early this year, we've finally reached the end! A notice was sent out on the Library of Congress' PCC list today (Aug. 27th) indicating that the BSRs for other formats, including one for Cartographic Materials, are now considered complete and final, but they will not be implemented officially until October 1, 2010:

  • Revised Implementation Date for New BSRs:  October 1, 2010

    PCC web pages to support the new BIBCO Standard Record models are being prepared.  It was not possible to post these documents to the PCC web pages and have them pass the quality assurance procedures by mid-August as originally announced.  The new BSR documentation will be posted by mid-September to support the new implementation date of October 1, 2010.

  • Text adapted from the original BSR Implemementation Announcement:

    The PCC Policy Committee (PoCo) has approved the final reports submitted by Standing Committee on Standards Task Groups for BIBCO Standard Records for a variety of materials.  These reports appear on the PCC BIBCO homepage:  http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/bibco/bibco.html

    WAML member Susan Moore chaired both of the BSR-creation committees, one for non-digital cartographic materials and one for digital, with WAML members Paige Andrew and Louise Ratliff (UCLA) as committee members for both.

  • WAML Members to Co-Author Book on Cataloging Cartographic Materials Using RDA

    Mary Lynette Larsgaard and Paige Andrew announced at the ALA Annual Conference in June that they were recently approached by ALA's publishing arm, ALA Editions, about possibly writing a book or manual on cataloging cartographic materials using the forthcoming new international cataloging standard, Resource Description and Access or RDA. They met with a representative from ALA Editions during the conference and are currently working on a formal book proposal. If accepted, they hope to complete their work and see this manual published in late 2011 or early 2012, if not sooner.

  • Coordinates Data Now Part of Authority Records

    Earlier this summer a long-anticipated move to place coordinates information into authority records for place names residing in the Library of Congress' Name Authority File was begun. This important step towards making bibliographic records able to be repurposed in a variety of ways, as well as hopefully allowing automatic input of this data into bibliographic records when a placename is typed into a subject field sometime in the near future, was reported in the most recent edition of MAGERT's baseline newsletter:

    "Relating to cartographic materials, [Barbara] Tillett reported that with the assistance of OCLC, coordinates have been added to approximately 50,000 authority records  that have been redistributed. In the future, coordinates will be added to the LC subject authority records as well." From page 11 of baseline newsletter, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/magert/publicationsab/baseline/31_4.pdf

Paige Andrew, Pennsylvania State University

Canadian News

  • In July 2010 the Canadian federal Dept.of Natural Resources announced the release of 300 new, updated and re-released topographic maps covering various parts of Canada, including far northern regions previously unmapped at the 1:50,000 scale. Because of sovereignty issues around the increasing interest of several other nations in Canada’s high arctic, the completion of 1:50,000 scale topo mapping is a government priority. These new and many existing Canadian topographic maps are available for free download at GeoGratis  http://www.geogratis.ca in GeoTIFF (newer maps only), TIFF, PDF and  GeoPDF formats.

  • Bill C-32, an Act to Amend the Copyright Act (short title: the Copyright Modernization Act), was introduced in the Canadian federal House of Commons in June 2010. It aims to ensure that Canada complies with international copyright treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, and also deals with technological changes presented by the Internet. A key provision would allow libraries and educators to make greater use of copyrighted materials in digital form, including digital interlibrary loans. Details at the Balanced Copyright site http://www.balancedcopyright.gc.ca

  • California-based XUMP.COM http://www.xump.com has a Canada map placemat on sale @ 42% off! Could it be because there’s been a major place name change in British Columbia and maps will have to be revised? The Geographical Names Board of Canada recently approved the name Salish Sea to identify the waters currently named the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Strait of Georgia in southwestern BC. A portion of the waters are actually in Washington state.  The former name Haida Gwaii (“Islands of the People” in the Haida language) was also recently restored to the northwestern BC chain of islands which had been known as the Queen Charlotte Islands since the 1780’s.

    Tim Ross, Map Librarian
    University of British Columbia

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New Maps & Web Sites of Interest

  • An exciting recent announcement from the Newberry Library in Chicago: the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries has been put online and made freely available. From their press release: The Newberry Library is pleased to announce the completion and release of its Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, a dataset that covers every day-to-day change in the size, shape, location, name, organization, and attachment of each U.S. county and state from the creation of the first county in 1634 through 2000. With the Newberry's Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, genealogists, geographers, historians, political scientists, attorneys, demographers, and many more now can find accurate county data that will greatly assist them in their research. The data are organized by state and are available online in four versions:

    * Viewable, interactive maps (electronic analogues to printed maps) on which the historical lines have been plotted against a background of the modern county network

    * Downloadable shapefiles for use in geographic information systems (GIS)

    * Downloadable KMZ files for use with Google Earth

    * Downloadable and printable PDF files (each full-page frame shows a map of a different version of each county, with the historical boundaries displayed against a background of the modern county network)

    Supplementing the polygons and maps for each state are chronologies, commentary on historical problems, long and short metadata documents, and a bibliography.

  • GIS Cloud: Real GIS in your browser is the first purely web based Geographic Information System powered by Cloud Computing. It provides full desktop GIS features in a browser enriched by new web capabilities. It eliminates upfront investments, high priced hardware and software, lengthy configurations and complex licensing agreements.

  • A very nice new online application from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: an interactive state and county map application available at http://beta.bls.gov/. Throughout this application, URLs are specific to the data displayed, so links can be bookmarked, reused, and shared. The application includes maps, charts, tables, and a link to standard BLS data tables and graphs. (via Free Government Information)

  • Georeferenced mosaiced aerial photo imagery of the Sacramento River corridor (circa 1938) is now available at Cal-Atlas. This image set covers the Sacramento River corridor from Cottonwood, Shasta County downstream to slightly north of Knights Landing, Yolo County. It was created from aerial photos flown by the USDA in 1937 and 1938.

  • North Carolina Maps is a comprehensive, online collection of historic maps of the Tar Heel State. Featuring maps from three of the state's largest map collections -- the North Carolina State Archives, the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center -- North Carolina Maps provides an unprecedented level of access to these materials. North Carolina Maps contains more than 3,000 maps, ranging in date from the late 1500s to 2000, and including detailed maps for each of North Carolina's one hundred counties.

  • Historic maps for students & teachers is a new site from the University of South Florida which should be of interest to not only students and teachers, but anyone interested in historic maps and time-series information.

  • Earth Snapshot: A Daily View of the Planet, is a new blog-style website featuring earth observation data from organizations around the world.

  • Dimensions from the BBC "takes important places, events and things, and overlays them onto a map of where you are."

  • Well, this is cheery: See the potential impact of nuclear weapons with the Ground Zero Google Maps applet. See also:

  • Animated map of nuclear explosions, 1945-1998

  • Mapping journalists killed in the line of duty: sadly, 46 so far in 2010. (Google mashup)

  • The map at Losing Libraries shows the depressing result of a downturned economy and budget cuts.

  • The great maps blog, Strange Maps, has changed its site address. Recent "strange maps" worth noting: A Nightclub Map of Harlem (1932) and Gangs of LA.

  • Catography: Maps Chartin Kitteh Behavyor

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