Geographic Search: Catalogs, Gazetteers, and Maps

Michael Buckland, Aitao Chen, Fredric C. Gey, Ray R. Larson, Ruth Mostern, Vivien Petras


Libraries need to support geographic search. The traditional reliance on place names and political jurisdictions needs to be complemented by greater attention to space, using latitude and longitude. If place name authority files are linked to (or developed into) place name gazetteers, spatial coordinates can be added, places can be located in space, similar and multiple place names can be disambiguated, additional spatial relationships can be established (for example, near, between). Map visualizations used to display geographic aspects of retrieved sets can also provide a more flexible way in to specify the geographic facet in search queries. Analyses show that library catalog records contain geographic data that remains unused. Recommendations and prototype interfaces are presented.

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