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News & Notes

Current Issue: March - April 2009   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit

Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • Mary Lynette Larsgaard and Paige G. Andrew, co-editors of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries (JMGL), are very pleased to announce the addition of Kathy Weimer as Associate Editor! Kathy holds the rank of Associate Professor, and is the Coordinator of Map and GIS Collections and Services at the University Libraries of Texas A&M University. Mary and I have had active working relationships with Kathy over the years, primarily through our joint membership in the Map and Geography Round Table of ALA.

    Kathy brings to the job excellent related experiences as a former editorial assistant for the Public Library Association's official journal, Public Libraries, from 1989-1990. She is also an active researcher on a wide variety of map librarianship topics and has authored several published articles, appearing in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, Reference & User Services Quarterly, Library Resources & Technical Services, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, Documents to the People, Magazine for Libraries and the WAML Information Bulletin.

    Kathy is currently Chair-Elect of the Map and Geography Round Table of ALA, and recently served as Compiler and Lead Editor of "Map, GIS and Cataloging/Metadata Librarian Core Competencies" prepared by the Education Committee of MAGERT. I had the pleasure of serving under, and working closely with her on this latter publication, which now resides as one of about a dozen professional core competencies documents on the ALA website.

    Please join us in congratulating Kathy for stepping up into this role, as it will allow the journal to continue its life into the future. As always, if you have suggestions for or wish to contribute to JMGL please contact any of the three of us!

    Paige Andrew
    on behalf of Mary Larsgaard and Kathy Weimer


New Maps of the WAML Region


Publications about Mapping

  • 35,000,000 Flickr Photos, Mapped: Scientists at Cornell University have super-computed the geotags of 35 million Flickr photos, creating photography heatmaps for locations around the world. Their conclusion? People really, really like taking pictures of landmarks. (from Gizmodo: The Gadget Blog) See full report, Mapping the World’s Photos (via Cornell).
  • Something fun: A recent novel with a historic map and espionage: The Map Thief by Heather Terrell. From Booklist: Art sleuth Mara Coyne goes in search of a rare Chinese map in Terrell’s follow-up to The Chrysalis (2006). At the behest of right-wing power broker Richard Tobias, Coyne travels to Europe and the Far East in pursuit of the map, which dates from a fifteenth-century expedition led by Admiral Zheng He. The document, which was stolen from an archaeological dig, is precious, indeed; it is reportedly the first map in history to represent the entire world. Mysterious circumstances seem to have landed the map in Portugal, where Vasco da Gama used it to find a sea route to India. Lots of bad guys want to prevent Mara and her cohort, archaeologist Ben Coleman, from recovering the map. The unlikely pair (chic, well-dressed Mara and scruffy academic Ben) always seem a step ahead of the villains, but it’s only a matter of time before their luck runs out. Terrell, a Pittsburgh-based attorney, presents a clever premise, but her novel is short on momentum and suspense, shifting awkwardly between Coyne’s investigation and the historic journeys of da Gama and Zheng He. --Allison Block


Other Map Organization Journals

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



  • Organized by Ken Rockwell, the WAML Spring Meeting took place April 29-May 2 at the University of Utah in beautiful Salt Lake City.  There were 30 attendees. Photos should be forthcoming. See below for a list of websites mentioned as part of the conference.
  • Congratulations to longtime WAML members Sue Haffer, Wendie Helms, Mary Larsgaard, and Linda Newman, who will all be retiring in the next few months.

Other News

  • Journal of Maps names "Best Map 2008": a full litho print run has now been completed and is ready for purchase. There are a limited 900 folded copies available for sale at £6 including worldwide delivery (surface mail). A further 100 flat (unfolded) copies are available, principally for targeted at library collections; please contact the editor if you wish to purchase an unfolded map. Purchase details and article w/ PDF map (requires registration).
  • Maptote is a company that sells tote bags with city maps on them. San Diego just added!
  • A forthcoming mapping product for Macs: I found out about Ortelius from MapDiva, a MacOSX-only software described like this: "It is a dedicated map-making illustration program exclusively for Mac OS X that knows geography. Instead of building maps from lines and primitive shapes, you draw directly with roads, railways, boundaries, buildings, woods and streams. Generate contour lines from elevation points. Label items using a consistent style. Roads (for example) know how they connect to each other and junctions are drawn properly, fully automatically. If it needs moving, it will move all of its connected feeder roads, labels and symbols with it, maintaining junctions as it goes. Want to insert a bridge? Highlight the road and insert a bridge - no need to fiddle about trying to build one from tiny bits of curves and lines. Ortelius isn't a GIS. [...] The intention is to release standard and “pro” versions with a starting price of $79."
  • From Kathy Rankin: Signals, the Public Television catalog, has several cartifacts in its summer preview catalog. They have map plates of different European countries that fit together to form a map of Europe, they have personalized US and world traveler wall maps (a person could use the pins they include to mark the locations of WAML meetings attended), and they have necklaces with sterling silver charm maps of US states, Canadian provinces, and quite a few countries. They will mark a location you choose on the map with laser-cut black star. They also have doormats that they will put the lat and long of your city or town on.
  • The University at Buffalo's Department of Library and Information Studies announces one-credit, non-degree courses to be delivered entirely via the internet in Fall 2009, including two courses related to maps:

    • Teaching with Maps and Cartographic Materials
    • Map Cataloging.

    • Limited tuition assistance may be available, so if you are interested in registering call (716) 645-2110 ASAP for more information. Registration information and full course descriptions can be accessed at the URL above.

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

  • If you find yourself in Washington, DC next week: There are a couple of days to register for the Waldseemuller Symposium to be held May 14th and 15th at the Library of Congress. Registration is free; just send an e-mail to specialevents@loc.gov with the words 'Waldseemuller Symposium' in the subject line. Give your name and the dates you are interested in coming in the body of the e-mail. See: Sessions and Speakers.  Note: “The Symposium Proceedings will be published and the paper presentations podcast for all of you who are interested but cannot make it.”
  • The U.S. National Committee to the International Cartographic Association (ICA) invites you to submit your current publications of maps, atlases, and other cartographic products to the Cartographic Exhibition at the 2009 International Cartographic Conference in Santiago, Chile. The 24th International Cartographic Conference will convene in Santiago the week of 15-21 November 2009.

    The ICC Cartographic Exhibition is the premier international forum for displaying maps, atlases, and other cartographic products. It provides an excellent opportunity to feature the superior quality and diverse range of American cartography. Awards will be given by an international panel of judges to products exemplifying excellence in cartography. We encourage you to contribute to this exhibit.

    Entry Forms must be submitted to US Cartographic Exhibition coordinator no later than June 15 to reserve space for your entry. A separate Entry Form should be submitted for each item. The information on these forms will be included in a printed catalog of exhibit items for conference participants.

    *What to enter*
    US Map Exhibit items must be received by June 30th, 2009. Please provide two (2) copies of any maps or panel displays, and one copy of any table display (atlases, globes, etc.) or digital products (see below). After completing the online Entry Form, send exhibit items to the US Map Exhibit coordinator at the address at the bottom of this announcement.

    *Digital maps*
    Digital map entries may be submitted on a CD/DVD (or via FTP option) to the US Map Exhibit coordinator. Each CD or DVD must be labeled with the map titles, and simple, explicit directions on how to view the map. FTP instructions will be provided to map authors as required.

    *Entry restrictions*
    Although we are encouraging all entries, space allotted to the United States at the Santiago exhibit is restricted. Therefore, please limit your choices to your most outstanding products. Any item produced after January 2005 that was not exhibited at the A Coruña or Moscow conferences is eligible for the exhibit. All items selected for display will be donated to university libraries in Santiago. following the conference.

    *Contact U.S. Map Exhibit Coordinator*
    Max Baber, Ph.D.
    MS GIS Program
    University of Redlands
    1200 East Colton Avenue
    Redlands, CA  92373
    Email: Max_Baber@redlands.edu
    Phone: 909-748-8525

Cataloging News

  • Again, I’m sure there was probably news somewhere, but none was reported to me. Please submit your cataloging tidbits!

Canadian News

  • No new news. Repeating conference info: See ACMLA for information on their 2009 Conference, to be held in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, June 9-11. The 2010 conference will held at a university in Ontario; the meeting location and dates are to be determined. The 2011 conference will be at the Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, from May 17-20. Host is Tim Ross, and will be held in conjunction with WAML.
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New Maps & Web Sites of Interest
  • An exciting announcement from Matt Fox at the Google Earth Library: I'm in the process of importing all 50,000+ 7.5-minute USGS topographic maps into Google Earth. As of today, I have about 25,000 of them complete and will be adding a few 1,000 more each week until finished.  Each map is a separate KMZ file, that can be downloaded and viewed from an index in GE that covers the entire US.  These are high resolution SuperOverlays of the full maps, and include all the information in the collars.  Simply download this file into Google Earth to get started.  More information on this Project.
  • The first Google Maps alphabet, featuring all 26 letters, has been created from satellite images of natural features and buildings by Rhett Dashwood, a graphic designer from Australia.
  • A newly relaunched GIS tool called NYCityMap2.0 is bursting with souped-up mapping features for the citizens of New York, N.Y. Accessible on the city's Web site, NYCityMap2.0 offers information about the city's capital construction projects and the addresses, hours of operation, services offered and language access capabilities of walk-in service centers for various city agencies across the five boroughs. Added application functionality includes search history, distance measuring, and users' ability to save and export their maps. Full story.
  • Mapping the African American Past: The Mapping the African American Past (MAAP) project, produced by a team of researchers and specialists at Columbia University, offers a marriage of African American history and geography in New York City.
  • An announcement that the main access point to the Iowa Maps Digital Collection has changed. All maps (9,000+ items, including aerial photo indices) in the Iowa Digital Library are now accessible via one search page with enhanced functionality. Patrons can now browse by a number of specific criteria, including place names and map formats.
  • Public Policy Institute of California: Map Room
    The Public Policy Institute of California provides timely research papers and policy briefs on various issues affecting the Golden State, including those related to public education financing, economic development, immigration, and transportation.  As of late, they have also been beefing up their online map room area, which is a great resource for those with an interest in policy matters, geography, and urban studies.
  • Namemapper maps baby names by state beginning in 1960 to the present.
  • MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has a new Map Room to supplement reported stories. Also note the Adversity Index, which tracks economic performance by state since 1994.

U.S. Forest Service
Online Interactive Maps allow users to easily create their own geographic views of specific areas or resources. Visitors to this site can view a forest at various scales while selecting a variety of geographic data, thus enabling better communication and understanding of resource management issues.
Online Interactive Maps bring the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and resource information to everyone's fingertips. Just a few minutes of orientation can provide the ability to view and query data, and make simple maps. Those who don't have the time or inclination to learn technical GIS software, don't need to.
This site provides an index of many of the online interactive maps created by the Forest Service at the Geospatial Service and Technology Center. These interactive maps serve a variety of purposes from supporting the resource management planning process to serving custom recreational maps.
Here you can view, query, and download vector and raster data, access USFS maps of various scales, and obtain data from Forest Service research and development scientists, state GIS resources, and the Automated Lands Project .

Family Search
Keep track of digital initiatives in genealogy at the Family History Library, including those with geospatial components.

Geospatial Multistate Archive and Preservation Partnership (GeoMAPP)
An effort involving the Library of Congress and various states, aiming to address the preservation of “at risk” and temporally significant digital geospatial content.  The project also intends to identify other geospatial data sets that would be valuable to preserve due to their utility in analysis such as land use, land cover or population change or content that would be valuable for historic mapping or cultural preservation.  Funded by LC’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP)

Nevada in Maps

Utah Avalanche Center

Western Soundscape Archive
The Western Soundscape Archive (WSA) recognizes the vital connection between places and their soundscapes and features audio recordings of animals and environments throughout the western United States. Begun in November of 2007, the archive is housed at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library and features recordings contributed by volunteers, state and federal agencies, and conservation groups. The website continues to grow and currently includes representative sounds of approximately 80% of the West's bird species, 90% of the region’s frog and toad species, and numerous mammals and reptiles.

Wild Utah Project 
Links to some of their GIS map products.

Jon Jablonski’s graphic index to U.S. Nautical Charts

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Last modified: May 11, 2009
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