Staff Luncheon Geosources


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This is a presentation for a staff luncheon. The topic is on geographic resources located in our library. This is to help inform staff of what materials are available to them and to library users.

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Staff Luncheon Geosources

  1. 1. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Geographic Resources </li></ul><ul><li>A tour of geographic sources, both print and online, used in providing reference services to library users </li></ul>Royce Kitts
  2. 2. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Geographic sources can… </li></ul><ul><li>Help you locate a place </li></ul><ul><li>Tell you how to get there </li></ul><ul><li>Tell you about a location </li></ul><ul><li>Inform you about current events </li></ul><ul><li>Give you tips on business or recreational travel </li></ul>
  3. 3. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Geographic sources also deal with time periods </li></ul><ul><li>They can be current and/or historical in nature </li></ul><ul><li>They can also deal with historical geography in relation to genealogy, military history, and place name changes </li></ul>
  4. 4. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Political Change </li></ul><ul><li>The rate at which political changes occur in the world can make many print resources obsolete almost as soon as they are ordered </li></ul><ul><li>However, even out-of-date materials can be useful, as they provide historical information that may not be available in more current materials </li></ul>
  5. 5. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Search Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Reference librarians must be familiar with the geographical resources available to them </li></ul><ul><li>They should also remain flexible and creative in their search techniques </li></ul><ul><li>As always, a good reference interview can pinpoint the best resource for a given question </li></ul>
  6. 6. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Scale </li></ul><ul><li>With maps and atlases, it is important to consider scale </li></ul><ul><li>Scale is that ratio of the distance on the map to the physical distance between the two points </li></ul><ul><li>Scale can be critical, and will depend on the planned use of the map itself – the larger the scale, the less detail can be given on a single page </li></ul>
  7. 7. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Projection </li></ul><ul><li>Projection deals with how things on a flat map look differently than they would on a globe </li></ul><ul><li>The most well-known example of map distortion is the Mercator Greenland Distortion. </li></ul><ul><li>Greenland appears to be about the same size as Africa </li></ul>
  8. 8. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Projection (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>On a Mercator projection map, Greenland appears to be about the same size as Africa – which is actually 14 times larger </li></ul>
  9. 9. Geographic Sources – Evaluation <ul><li>Colors and symbols </li></ul><ul><li>Colors can be used to designate water, landforms and other man-made items </li></ul><ul><li>For example, many maps use blue for water, green for vegetation, and black for man-made items </li></ul><ul><li>Color can also be used to show elevation or population </li></ul>
  10. 10. Geographic Sources – Evaluation <ul><li>Symbols </li></ul><ul><li>The larger the area covered by a map, the fewer symbols that can be used, in order to avoid clutter </li></ul><ul><li>For example, a map of the U.S. printed on a single page may include only state boundaries and state capitals </li></ul><ul><li>By contrast, a map of a single state can accommodate roads and other symbols for the different towns </li></ul>
  11. 11. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Other types of Geographic Sources </li></ul>
  12. 12. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Historical Atlases </li></ul><ul><li>Popular historical atlases include: </li></ul><ul><li>The Times Atlas of World History </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Atlas of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Atlas of Kansas </li></ul><ul><li>Historical atlases can also focus on specific time periods and/or regions </li></ul>
  13. 13. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Thematic Atlases </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of thematic atlases include: </li></ul><ul><li>Road atlases, such as The Rand McNally Road Atlas </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Mattson's Atlas of the 1990 Census </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Moore's Atlas of the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>Nicholas de Lange's Atlas of the Jewish World   </li></ul>
  14. 14. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Gazetteers </li></ul><ul><li>A list of geographical names or features </li></ul><ul><li>Can be appended to an atlas or published separately </li></ul><ul><li>Can be locational or descriptive in nature </li></ul><ul><li>As with maps and atlases, out-of-date gazetteers can provide valuable historical information  </li></ul>
  15. 15. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Here is a sample entry from the Historical Gazetteer of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Note that it includes: </li></ul><ul><li>town name </li></ul><ul><li>county </li></ul><ul><li>region of state </li></ul><ul><li>distance to nearest big city </li></ul><ul><li>important events in town history </li></ul>
  16. 16. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Useful gazetteers include: </li></ul><ul><li>The Columbia Gazetteer of the World </li></ul><ul><li>Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary </li></ul><ul><li>Rand McNally Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide </li></ul>
  17. 17. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Here is a sample entry from the Columbia Gazetteer of the World </li></ul><ul><li>Note that it includes: </li></ul><ul><li>name of place </li></ul><ul><li>place type (town, city, village, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>state, national, and world location </li></ul><ul><li>longitude and latitude </li></ul><ul><li>major industry or goods manufactured </li></ul><ul><li>some historical information </li></ul>
  18. 18. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Travel Guides </li></ul><ul><li>Includes travel literature by publishers such as Fodor, Frommer, Lonely Planet </li></ul><ul><li>Also includes the Let's Go series (Harvard Student Agencies) and Shoestring Guides (Lonely Planet) </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, includes specialized guides to tourist attractions, museums, trails, etc.  </li></ul>
  19. 19. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Other Geographical Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Other useful print sources for geographical reference include: </li></ul><ul><li>Background Notes (U.S. Department of State) </li></ul><ul><li>Longman Dictionary of Geography (Audrey Clark) </li></ul><ul><li>The Weather Almanac </li></ul>
  20. 20. Geographic Sources <ul><li>Online Resources </li></ul>
  21. 21. Geographic Sources – Online Resources <ul><li>Online Resources </li></ul><ul><li>The online environment has allowed for a figurative explosion of map resources on the internet </li></ul><ul><li>With the advent of new mobile technology devices, maps are everywhere you want to be </li></ul>Resources in the age of the World Wide Web
  22. 22. Geographic Sources – Online Resources <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Would you expect anything less than Google to be at the center of emergent geographic innovations? </li></ul><ul><li>In the age of 2.0 we call these innovations “mashups” </li></ul><ul><li>Google Maps and Google Earth are currently at the front of this mash-up phenomenon </li></ul>
  23. 23. Geographic Sources – Online Resources <ul><li>Mashups </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic Mashups are combinations of maps with other digital content </li></ul><ul><li>This screenshot is of the Darfur region in the Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>In this example, each flame symbol stands for a village in Darfur that has been destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>Clicking on the flame symbols will bring up information about that village or town </li></ul>
  24. 24. Geographic Sources – Online Resources <ul><li>Mashups (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>This is the information retrieved by clicking on one of the flame symbols in the previous example </li></ul><ul><li>In this case, it tells us the location, status, and number of structures destroyed </li></ul>
  25. 25. Geographic Sources – Online Resources <ul><li>Mashups (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>This mashup is between Wikipedia and Google Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Each little Wikipedia symbol is attached to a particular point of interest in New York City </li></ul>
  26. 26. Geographic Sources – Online Resources <ul><li>Mashups (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>This is the kind of information found by clicking on one of the Wikipedia symbols in the previous example </li></ul><ul><li>Provided is general information, location, history, and in this case an original drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Columbia Gazetteer </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Google Earth </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Google Maps </li></ul><ul><li>http:// /maps </li></ul><ul><li>Infoplease </li></ul><ul><li>http:// /atlas/ </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Public Library Maps </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Library of Congress Map Collection </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>MapQuest </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>National Atlas </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>National Geographic Maps </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Rand McNally </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>UN Atlas of the Oceans </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Gazetteer </li></ul><ul><li>http:// -bin/gazetteer </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Geological Survey </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Census Bureau Maps and Cartographic Resources </li></ul><ul><li>http:// /geo/www/maps/ </li></ul>Geographic Sources – Online Resources
  28. 28. Geographic Sources – Conclusion Thank you! Royce Kitts