GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCESWhat is Geographical Sources? Is an Inexpensive atlases and it may safely discarded after five to ten years. More expensive, expensive works are in available. In fact, many gain in both research and monetary value over the year. Geographical sources may be used at the mundane level, or in more sophisticated way to help clarify linkages between human societies. Reference librarians are with both approaches.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Geographical sources are generally graphicrepresentations which allow the imagination full reign.Indeed, many of them are works of art, and they provide atype of satisfaction rarely found in the purely textualapproach to knowledge. Geographical sources used in Ready-Reference worksmay be subdivided into three categories; • Maps and Atlases •Gazetteers •Guide Books
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES EVALUATION The same standards apply for universitymap collection, and medium to large publicand special libraries and will provide a usefulguide for both beginners and experts. Thestandards are published by the Special LibrariesAssociation, Geography and Maps Division. It givesdetailed instruction and suggestion on how “ tocreate , study, evaluate and recognize” a maplibrary
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Buying Guides The best relatively current to popular atlases is theGeneral Reference Books for Adults, which, as with encyclopediasand dictionaries, give detailed information on each of the works,as well as useful preliminary information on evaluation. From time to time, the “Reference Books Bulletin” in TheBooklist offers reviews of just-published atlases, such as the“World Atlas Survey”. The Geography and Maps Division, SpecialLibraries Association, issue the bulletin which frequently hasarticles of interest to librarians. Contributors covers new atlases,books, and related materials in each issue.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Publisher Map printing is a specialized department of the graphic arts;while simple maps can be prepared by an artist or draftsperson,more complicated works required a high degree of skill. Moreimportant, their proper reproduction necessitates expensiveprocesses which the average printer of reference work is notequipped to handle. When the cartographic firm’s reputation is not known, it isadvisable to check through over works it may have issued, or in abuying guide. The map market may differ from the publisher, andin the case of an atlas both should be check.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Scope and Audience As with all reference works, the geography section mustrepresent a wide variety of titles for many purposes and, in apublic or school library, for the appropriate age groups.Essentially, it is the matter of scope. Some atlases are universal;other are limited to a single country, or even a region. Other maps, even within a general work ,may be unevenlydistributed so that 50 percent or more of the work may giveundue attention to the United States or Canada, ignoring theweight of the rest of the world.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Currency and Standardization In effort to resolve the problem these problems in the UnitedStates, the Board on Geographic Names was established about100 years ago. Originally the purpose was to establish names forsettlements, mountains, and other geographical features in theUnited States, but as the years passed the board’s mandate wasextended. It now include standardizing all foreign and domesticnames for use by federal agencies on maps and in periodicals. Byextension, the board influences the commercial mapmakers. Inseeking to standardize foreign names, the board works withsimilar groups in other Western countries.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES FormatWhen one considers format, the obvious problem is to print amap in such a way that it is easy to read a mass of names whichcover a densely populated area. It is one thing to clearly printmaps of the north and south polar regions, and quite another tobe able to arrange type and symbols so that one can find a pathfrom point to point in a map of the areas around the New YorkCity, Paris, and London.• Color• Symbols• Projections• Grid Systems• Type• Binding• Marginal Information
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Index A comprehensive index is an important in an atlas as the mapsthemselves. A good index is in alphabetical sequence and clearlylists all place names that appear on the maps. In addition, thereshould be a reference to the exact page; the exact map; andlatitude, longitude, and grid information. A page number alone isnever enough, as anyone who has sought as exclusive town orcity on a map lacking such information will testify. The index in many atlases is really an excellent gazetteer; thatis, in addition to basic information, each entry includes data onpopulation and country.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Major- Size World AtlasesTimes Atlas of The World• is the best single-volume atlas available.• Is suited for American libraries because, unlike many other atlases, it gives a large amount of space to Non-European countriesThe New International• Has 160,000 entries in the index and 300 good to excellent maps.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCESIntermediate- to Small- Size AtlasesThe Medallion World Atlas• Is the largest of the numerous atlases issued by Hammond.• The atlas is the work horse of the line, with 324 pages maps and over 148,000 entries in the index.Citation World Atlas• Has 26,000 entries in the index as compared with Medallion’s 100,000.• There are other differences, and yet the maps are precisely the same.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCESThe International Geographic Atlas• Has much in addition to maps.• It is quite attractive, at least to many people and school children.• Here one finds numerous thematic maps and discussions of world resources.The Rand McNally Cosmopolitan• Has approximately 300 maps on a scale of from 1:3 million to 1:16 million.• Of all the atlases it may be the most familiar.• It has serviceable index (36,000 entries) and close to 400 alum, it is updated frequently.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Local and Regional Maps In evaluating a local map, the requirements are usually threefold. First, the map should be truly local and should show thearea in detail. Second, it should be large scale. Third it should berecent. Although this requirements may be difficult to meet, aneffort should at least be made to keep the local collection ascurrent and as thorough as possible.
GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES Gazetteer In one sense, the index in any atlas is a gazetteer, that is, it is ageographical dictionary for finding lists of cities, mountains,rivers, population, and the features in the atlas. A separategazetteer is precisely the same information, but usually without maps.Why ,then, bother with a separate volume? There are three reasons: (1) More detailed; (2) the information isusually more detailed; and (3) a single, easily manage volume is oftenwelcomed. Having made these point, one can argue with somejurisdiction that may atlas indexes often have more entities, that theyare more up to date, and they contain a larger amount of informationthan one finds in a gazetteer. The wise librarian will first consider whatis to be found in atlas before purchasing any gazetteer.
Government documents Organization and SelectionThe organization and selection of government documents in allbut the largest of libraries is relatively simple. Librarianspurchase a limited number of documents, usually in terms ofsubjects of interest to users, such as the Statistical Abstract ofthe United States. If they are pamphlets, they are usually aredeposited by subjects in a vertical file. If books, they arecataloged and shelved as such.