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Chapter I. Geography and Librarianship > Maps and Map Libraries

Maps and Map Libraries

The development of map librarianship paralleled the establishment of modern centers of geographic thought by associations in Europe and the United States, such as the Association of American Geographers and the British Geographical Society. Mid- 19th century concepts of geography were characterized by description of locations by detailed narratives and by graphical means.

A key component of research in the discipline of geography is the depiction of natural or manmade features of a particular surface area of the earth on flat sheets of paper or related material, otherwise known as maps. Reflective of the diverse nature of geography, maps may depict a variety of characteristics or themes, such as transportation routes, population distributions, income levels, and even climatic regions, or depict the topography of an area, for example, the natural shape and form of the landscape. Often, maps would have differing levels of data graphically depicted across their surfaces to illustrate the interrelationships shown on the maps. A topographic map could depict the natural contours of a particular area and the location of other features, such as cities, towns, or political divisions.


  

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