Problems That Arise When Providing Geographic Coordinate Information for Cataloged Maps
Maps are not always published with coordinates. However, by following strict guidelines in the 034 and 255 MARC fields, and by using cataloging rules, one can interpolate this data in order to provide coordinates in bibliographic records. Bounding boxes and center point coordinates are key components in the catalog record, but problems arise with maps providing information outside of discussed or established standards, or maps not providing coordinates at all for different reasons. This article explores the importance of correctly understanding, using, and interpreting map cataloging rules to provide the most accurate information possible, with the goal of making it possible to find maps quickly and accurately—whether using database retrieval or a coordinate-driven search engine. It is proposed that we can find an efficient universal method to represent locations, addresses, and areas of the world through the use of geographic coordinates for print and digital cartographic materials. Finally, the article states the strong need to standardize spatial cataloging information to improve search query responses by providing uniform information and by addressing the problems discussed in this article.
Subjectbounding box coordinates
center point coordinates
mathematical coordinate conversion
cartographic coordinate data representation
Gonzalez, Jorge A. (2007). Problems That Arise When Providing Geographic Coordinate Information for Cataloged Maps. ALA Map and Geography Round Table. Available electronically from
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