ACAT Best way to catalog geographic information?

Posting to Autocat

On 20/10/2014 22.45, Julie Huddle wrote:

I will be starting an internship which will involve cataloging. I have been asked to help develop the best way to record the geographic coordinates of research items so that patrons can find resources about a geographic area of interest. After reading Bidney’s 2010 article, I now have the following questions:
1. How difficult and effective would the official form of geographic terms be for this?
2. If I record the geographic coordinates of a resource, should I use the center or corner of the area covered?
3. Would using a geographic search interface such as MapHappy or Yahoo!Map be worth the trouble This is the sort of problem where linked data should ride to the rescue.

Instead of adding coordinates to each and every bib record (a terrifying notion!), those records should contain links to–something else–where the coordinates exist. This would normally mean links from the bib records to authority records, but unfortunately, this information does not exist in many, many, many of our geographic records, e.g. there is nothing in the record for Herculaneum (Extinct city) http://lccn.loc.gov/sh85060358–one of the greatest archaeological sites in Italy–nor in the record for the little town in New Mexico where I grew up http://lccn.loc.gov/n80085226.

But all of this is in dbpedia, e.g. for the little town in New Mexico: http://dbpedia.org/page/Socorro,_New_Mexico. The ultimate way it can work can be seen in Wikipedia (where the dbpedia information comes from) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socorro,_New_Mexico.

Close to the top are the coordinates that you can click on http://tools.wmflabs.org/geohack/geohack.php?pagename=Socorro%2C_New_Mexico&params=34_3_42_N_106_53_58_W_region:US_type:city

and from here, there are maps of all kinds: weather, traffic, historic, terrain, etc. etc. I personally like Night Lights.

So, I think the solution to your problem is to add links from authority files to something(?!) and then see what can be built, using any of the tools Wikipedia uses, or something new. As we see, none of this needs MARC format and it may be more efficient to add links to dbpedia instead of any library tools. Otherwise, it is a huge amount of work.

There is a lot of information available on the web that we can use to help us.

-445

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