Benchmarks: People &
- Nothing to report. If you have items, please send them to me.
- Job Announcments:
A GIS Librarian position appears to still be open at Washington Univeristy in St. Louis. See https://jobs.wustl.edu and search under GIS or ID: 23477 to apply.
New Maps of the WAML Region
Publications about Mapping
- A new list of articles from Phil Hoehn.
- Two announcements from Paige Andrew:
* Just a general announcement that our latest issue of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries, a theme titled "Crisis Mapping" or volume 8, no. 2, is now available in online form at the journal's website.
We believe you will find the content of this issue very timely, as well as very useful in many research contexts. We wish to thank Patrick Florance, Manager of Geospatial Technology Services at Tufts University, and Editorial Board member for JMGL, for serving as the Guest Editor of this issue, helping us to bring it to fruition over several months of hard work. And of course for the several authors and co-authors who have shared their expertise and insights into a realm that will always require collaboration and cooperation if we are to survive and learn from a host of different types of natural and man-made disasters, or "crises".
Happy reading and go out there and make good use of this knowledge! Plus please spread the word through other channels!
* The Journal of Map & Geography Libraries is dedicated to gathering and sharing information regarding geospatial information in any format as it pertains to its collection, preservation, collocation, distribution and use, not the least of which is use. In 2011 the journal expanded to three issues per volume, thus the need for more article submissions is greater than ever.
We welcome papers from librarians, cartographers, historians, geographers, or anyone who has a role in the lifespan of geospatial information (maps, atlases, globes, GIS, datasets, geospatial standards, cataloging/metadata, etc.). The content broadly addresses the role of libraries, however, related topics associated geospatial information are also appropriate.
As stated in our "Aims and Scope", the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections & Archives publishes international research on the collecting, organization, and utilization of geographic and cartographic materials and information. The journal covers topics including, but not limited to:
• Research, discussion and innovations involving: Use, collecting and access to historical and contemporary maps and atlases; and the use, collection, access and standards regarding geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial data in general, and specialized subject areas
• The role of the library and librarian, archivist or data manager in the exchange of cartographic and geographic information
• Methodologies for access to, and delivery of, geospatial information
• Innovations in tools and software in the manipulation and presentation of maps and geospatial data
• Metadata for, and cataloging and preservation of, print and digital cartographic materials
All manuscripts are put through a rigorous double-blind review by a prestigious international review board. Once published, papers are widely available through Taylor & Francis’ informa database and other outlets.
Submissions can be provided through the ScholarOne online journal management system, either directly from the ScholarOne site for the journal, or by clicking on the "Submit Online" link at the JMGL website.
We look forward to receiving inquiries and submissions from around the globe!
Paige Andrew and Kathy Weimer
Co-editors, Journal of Map & Geography Libraries email@example.com
United Nations Five to Ten Year Vision on Geospatial Information Management: This is an interesting look at the five and ten year vision of geospatial information management from the United Nations, a collection and summary of industry expert opinions. According to its website, "the UN initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) aims at playing a leading role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and to promote its use to address key global challenges. It provides a forum to liaise and coordinate among Member States, and between Member States and international organizations." (GPS World)
Other Map Organization
- GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
- CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
- ANZMaps: The Australian and New Zealand Map Society Newsletter
- To all WAMLites:
Information about the upcoming 2012 meeting is now on available on our website. More details will be forthcoming as we get closer to the meeting date. We are looking forward to seeing many of you in October.
WAML 2012 Planning Committee
The complete schedule has already been posted! Please note the pre-conference on Tuesday, October 30. Conference hotel rates close on September 30th. Checking current airfares, a direct flight from San Diego is about $550.
- The ballots have been counted and the results are in. It is my pleasure to inform the membership that Katie Lage was elected Vice President/President Elect, Lisa Lamont was elected Treasurer, and Tami Morse was elected Secretary. Terms begin July 1. Congratulations to the newly elected officers. Here is your Executive Board for next year.
WAML Executive Board (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013)
University of California, Berkeley
Vice President/President Elect
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of California, Santa Cruz
San Diego State University
University of Wyoming
Brian Quigley, Secretary
- The WAML Scanning Projects Clearinghouse has been merged with the ALA MAGIRT Map Scanning Registry at the Univeristy of Arizona. The technical work is done and the new registry is now searchable. A new portal page will be completed soon (I think the URL will remain the same, but when the page is done I will report it).
- The ultimate coffee table book: Earth Platinum - Largest Limited Edition Atlas Scheduled to Release in May. Who got one? I didn't have $100,000 in my map budget this year...
- I think I saw this in an X-Files episode: This spot is the only place on the planet that is blocked out from every single satellite map in the world. The location is in Siberia.
New Map of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io is Best One Ever: For the first time, scientists have created a global geologic map of Jupiter's moon Io, the most volcanically active object in the solar system. The map, which was published this week by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), shines a light on Io, the fourth-largest satellite in the solar system. Scientists hope the new tool will help them better understand the exotic moon, which boasts volcanic activity 25 times that of Earth. Gallery: Amazing Photos of Io
- In seemingly ubiquitous Google news: Google unveils full 3D Google Earth feature, Google Earth to bring cities to life in 3D and Google Reveals an Image-Capturing Street View Backpack and New 3-D Maps.
- Artist finds beauty in the Netherlands' Google Maps censorship: Instead of masking areas with ambiguous cloud or field textures like Google normally does, the Dutch have used brightly colored abstract pixelations and repeating geometric patterns to mask them.
- Do you like to cook and have several hundred dollars to burn? Well, it's Handmade "Made in America" State Shaped Cast Iron Skillets. Priced from $150 for Rhode Island (make one egg?) to $2500 for Texas (plus shipping). Ooof, the natural panhandles for Florida and Oklahoma are not used! Maybe something in a Dakota... Some funny comments at boingboing.
- Our Last Wild Places, and Why They Need to Stay Wild (Field and Stream), with a link to the USGS map Average Distance to the Nearest Road in the Conterminous United States.
- 18th Century shipping mapped using 21st Century technology: James Cheshire of Spatial Analysis* has visualised British, Dutch and Spanish historical shipping records to produce maps of 18th Century shipping trade routes. *Lots of great stuff here as well.
- Lost and Found: Three hundred year-old Mexican document found in Milwaukee
- Spatial Unmapped: Geographic maps aren't the only means by which to communicate spatial information. These alternatives to communicating geographic information revise space so that a singular focal point emerges, unfettered by the standard depiction of spatial entities.... I particularly like the depiction of the world's population by latitude and longitude. See also: Population Histograms
- This looks useful: Getting Started With QGIS: Open Source GIS (GIS Lounge)
- Scoop.it! has a page for Geospatial Technology News (including Maps, GPS, GIS, Lidar, Augmented Reality)
- I got an email from our local USGS office about the recent topo release for California and I thought it was a nice summary of the US Topo national map series and the digital historical topographic maps:
New US Topo maps for California have just been completed statewide. USGS announced in a News Release on Tuesday that the new digital topographic maps for California have been released. Please see the official statement here: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3214
US Topo is the next generation of digital topographic maps from USGS. Arranged in the traditional 7.5-minute quadrangle format, digital US Topo maps are designed to look and feel like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known. At the same time, US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and enable basic, on-screen geographic analysis for all users. US Topo maps are available free on the Web. Each map quadrangle is available as a GeoPDF® file created from key layers of geographic data – orthoimagery (2010 NAIP), roads, geographic names, contours, and hydrographic features - found in The National Map, which is a nationwide collection of integrated data from local, state, federal, and other sources. The National Map data layers make up the US Topo products and much of these data are available for download through The National Map Viewer (http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer/).
The US Topo News Release refers to the USGS Store as the place to go for the new maps. Visit the USGS Store site at store.usgs.gov. Then click on the "Map Locator & Downloader" in the center of the page. From there you can locate your favorite maps in CA by searching by map or place name or by pan/zoom on the viewer. Maps are available as GeoPDF® files for free download. Besides the map downloads at the Store, we have lots of information on US Topo and related products.
1. US Topo information is online at
http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/ (main page)
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3108/ (fact sheet)
2. A Users Guide to US Topo and other USGS GeoPDF® products is available here:
3. There is a good FAQ section too. It has information for queries such as bulk data downloads (Q2 under Product
Access and Download) and GIS formats (Q6 under Product Use). See:
4. News items and tweets on the USGS National Geospatial Program are at
5. We welcome your comments and suggestions about new US Topo maps. Please submit comments online at
While downloading US Topo maps and looking around the USGS Store. you will also notice that the digital historical topographic maps for California are available. We had announced the historical topo maps release before but this is a good time for a reminder. The historical map collection includes over 13,700 historic maps across the state with some maps dating back over 100 years. All published map scales are available, including: 7.5-minute (1:24,000), 15-minute (~1:63,000), 30-minute (1:100,000), and 1x2 degree (1:250,000).
Like with US Topo, we have lots of additional information on the historical map collection and the program that produced them. For example:
1. Information about the USGS historical topographic map collection and the historical quadrangle scanning project can be found here:
http://nationalmap.gov/historical/ (main page)
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3009/ (fact sheet)
2. We have a 19 minute video from the September 2011 International Map Trade Association Conference on distribution of USGS historical topo maps:
3. See a press release on the historical topographic map collection. The article is from late 2011 but provides good additional information on the project:
Future WAML Meetings:
Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions
- The ALA Annual Conference will be held June 21–26, 2012 in Anaheim. MAGIRT's schedule features the usual committee meetings, an Angels' game, a banquet and the program The Nuts and Bolts of Map Scanning: Building Your Map Scanning Toolbox.
- The Rocky Mountain Map Society and Texas Map Society will hold a joint conference on
"The Mapping of North America: The Westward Expansion"
at the University of Denver on July 26-27, followed by The Map Fair of the West on July 28-29 at the Denver Public Library. See http://www.rmmaps.org/ for details on both events.
- There will be several map sessions at the Society for the History of Discoveries 53rd Annual Meeting from September 27-29 at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. See the meeting website for an updated list of speakers and topics. See also previous News and Notes for more details.
- NACIS Annual Meeting 2012 will be held in Portland, OR from October 17-19.
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No report. Paige promises a post-ALA spectacular.
I will include this cataloging tool here as it was unbeknownst to me, maybe to you: Bounding Box Tool for Metadata Enrichment: Visual selection of the latitude / longitude coordinates for geotagging of a bibliographic record for cartographic documents.
Although Canada’s current economic situation is good compared to that of many other nations, there are issues of concern in Canadian political, legislative and administrative realms. The federal majority Conservative party, after “watering down” legislation such as the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Assessment Act, has now turned its attention to statistical, cultural and heritage matters.
Following last year’s unpopular and ideologically-driven changes to Canada’s national census, the Federal Government has now embarked on a program of reducing programs and staff in government libraries in Ottawa and regional centres, in some cases closing libraries permanently. The combined National Library & Archives will eliminate between 200 and 400 jobs over the next three years, on top of its previous downsizing efforts such as not filling vacancies among archivists, including cartographic personnel. Interlibrary loan programs will cease at the National Library, and not only will reference hours be reduced, but will not be available at all without a formal appointment.
Of further concern to librarians is the fact that the federal government will no longer distribute publications in “tangible formats” by the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year, and the national Depository Library Agreement will become null and void. It is this agreement which facilitates the distribution of federal government-produced paper maps to participating libraries.
Detailed commentary on these and related issues can be found on the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) website at: http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/
Further comment from Jack Granatstein, an eminent Canadian historian, can be found in the Globe & Mail, which is Canada’s national newspaper, at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/who-will-preserve-the-past-for-future-generations/article4249438/
Tim Ross, University of British Columbia
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Maps & Web Sites of Interest
Map of Life: This demo allows you to map and produce list of species anywhere for 25,000 species, including all described birds, mammals and amphibians.
Monographs of the United States Geological Survey (published 1882-1929) are being put online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
- Videos on GIS and Public Health from the Empire State Public Health Training Center (SUNY-Albany & Buffalo).
- An excellent looking resource for Teaching With Maps (SUNY-Buffalo Map Collection).
- Free Map Tools is an online resource that enables visitors to easily and quickly use maps in order to measure, search and overlay mark-up elements on maps for a wide range of useful applications.
- ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World is a new website which allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity. Taking account of seasonal variation and accommodating a wide range of modes and means of transport, ORBIS reveals the true shape of the Roman world and provides a unique resource for our understanding of premodern history.
- Illustrated Maps is a website by a freelance illustator in Cyprus. Beautiful imagery!
- Here is a neat interactive map showing American Migration at Forbes. Close to 40 million Americans move from one home to another every year. Click anywhere on the map below: blue counties send more migrants to the selected county than they take; red counties take more than they send.
- ESRI's Storytelling with Maps site has many interesting examples, including Battlefields of the Civil War, Obesity and Diabetes, and Geography, class, and fate: Passengers on the Titanic.
- Holy Post: Graphic: A demographic breakdown of the world of religion (National Post, Canada)
A Booklover's Map of Literary Geography circa 1933. See other map stories at Brain Pickings' maps tag.
A map of where lightning strikes most across the globe (io9)
- If you haven't seen the wind map have you been living under a rock?
- If you are a fan of the Game of Thrones series on HBO but are not sure what is exactly going on, this map may help.