Citing Maps

Introduction

Maps are found in a wide variety of materials throughout the library: as single sheets in a map collection, as government publications, as plates in atlases, as illustrations in books or journals. Digital maps are found on any of numerous web sites, in online research collections, or can be dynamically generated using online mapping services. Just as in written work, ethical scholarship demands that the source of information be cited.

When maps are used as part of a document, like maps you might include in a scholarly assignment or paper, the maps must be referenced (cited) in two places:

First, maps must be given a caption. Typically, tables, figures, or maps are labeled with a sequential number in a document (e.g. Map 1, Map 2, etc.). They are given a short caption, which briefly identifies the source and contains a descriptive title. These captions follow specific style. When maps are identified in this way, it is possible to easily refer to the map in the text (e.g. population densities, as shown in Map 3, continue to...). This is one form of inline citation and is the form used in Geography 222.

Brief inline citations allow the reader to refer to a reference list (or bibliography) to find out more information about the source of a map. All scholarly papers contain a reference list. This second citation is where complete documentation and credit for an information source is given. Reference lists also follow a specific style. The style used in Geography 222 and by most scholarly journals in Geography is called Chicago Style, taken from The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. While all Chicago Style citations follow a similar form, there are specific differences based upon the source of the material.



Citing Maps from Print Sources

When creating citations, it is important to follow the form as precisely as you can. Here are some Rules of Thumb:

  • If the author or editor of a work cannot be determined it is okay to leave it out.
  • If the map does not have a formal title, you will have given it one for your caption. Use this derived title for the map title and place it brackets [ ] to indicate it is a derived title.
  • The format of works like maps must always be specified in brackets [map].
  • The scale must be documented if known and if the scale is not known, you must use the phrase "Scale not given".
  • Edition numbers are used only for editions newer than the first, e.g. 2nd ed., 3rd ed., and the word edition is abbreviated to a lower case "ed."
  • Volume numbers are expressed as just the number, e.g. 3.
  • The date may or may not be encased in ( ), pay attention to the form.
  • Page number(s) may or may not include the abbreviation "p." Where necessary, the range of pages is given.


Map in a Book

  Citation diagram down arrow
Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a map in a book

Map Author if known. Title of Map [map]. Scale if known. In: Book Author. Title of Book. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher, date, page number.

Baum, Frank L. The Yellow Brick Road [map]. Scale not given. In: Frank L. Baum. The Wizard of Oz. Kansas City: Munchkin, Inc., 1938, p.32.

Map in a Periodical Article

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a map in a periodical article

Map Author if known. Map Title [map]. Scale if known. In: Article Author. "Article Title," Journal Title volume (year): page.

Verne, Jules. The Bottom of the Sea [map]. ½" = 20 leagues. In: Jules Verne. "Fantastic Voyage," Travel and Leisure 56: (1852): 127

Map or Plate in an Atlas

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a map in an atlas

Map Author if known. Map Title [map]. Scale. In: Author of Atlas. Atlas Title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher, date, page number.

Sin City [map]. 1:62,500. In: Dante Alighieri. The Under-World Atlas. 2nd ed. Hades: Firestorm Press, 1298, p. 13.

Author. Title. Editon. Place of Publication: Publisher, date.

National Geographic Society. Atlas of the World. Washington, D.C: National Geographic Society, 1999.

Author. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, date

Meridian, Merry. Lines for All Occasions. Greenwich: Straight Shooter Press, 1985.

Periodical Article

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a map appearing in a periodical article

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal volume number (date): page.

Krygier, John B., David H. Hickcox, and Richard D. Fusch. "Go Up Yonder and Turn Right or Left: Directions for Successful Field Work." Journal for the Edification of Geographers 3 (1998): 1-27.

Topographic Map

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a topographic map.
Eastford quadrangle, Connecticut

Map 1. USGS. "Eastford quadrangle, Connecticut" 1:24,000.


Author. Sheet title from series [format]. Edition. Scale. Series, number. Place of publication: Publisher, date.

U.S. Geological Survey. Eastford quadrangle, Connecticut [map]. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Washington D.C.: USGS, 1971.



Citing Maps from the Web


In your work, you will be using two kinds of maps obtained through the web.

The first kind of map is a static digital map. This is a map that you might find in a digital map collection. These maps are pre-existing, scanned images and are not interactive: they are a digital snapshot. Often, these maps are from paper sources. Even if you zoom in on such a map snapshot, you have not changed the image as it was originally scanned.

The second kind of map is one that you generate interactively, like those found on MapQuest or in the American FactFinder. In this kind of map, you are building the map you want online, adding and subtracting layers, by interacting with the site.

When you use any of these maps in your work, you must cite the source - just as you would cite the source of a journal article. If you are using a map in a paper, you must cite the map both in a caption under the map and in a reference list at the end of the paper. What follows are specific directions for creating these citations. Because URLs can be unwieldy to text editing systems, it is permissible to left justify all lines of a citation, instead of indenting as in print.


Map Snapshots: Static Digital Map

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a static digial map.
An 1885 map of Delaware, OH from the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Collection

Map 2. "Delaware, Ohio." 1885. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1970 - Ohio.


Author if known. Map Title [map]. Date of map creation if known. Scale. "Title of the Complete Document or Site". Date posted if known. Computer Database Title. <URL> (date accessed).

Delaware, Ohio [map]. 1885. Scale not given. "Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1970 – Ohio". OhioLINK Digital Media Center. <http://dmc.ohiolink.edu/mrsid/bin/viewmap.pl?client=Sanborn& image=Bdg/SanMaps/reel28/6674/00001.sid&oid=Reel28-6674-00001& sessionID=2108467497&title=Delaware%2C+Ohio&date=February%2C+1885& format=list&results=20&sort=thedate&searchstatus=1&hits=136&count=1> (2 May 2005).


Map Generators and Browsers: Interactive Reference and Thematic Maps

These maps require a slightly different citation format in that the name of the mapping service must be identified as well as the name of the person generating the map.


Interactive Reference Map

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite an interactive reference map.
A MapQuest map of Delaware, OH

Map 3. "Delaware, Ohio" MapQuest.com, Inc.


Author or statement of responsibility. Map Title [map]. Data date if known. Scale; Name of person who generated map; Name of software used to generate the map or "Title of the Complete Document or Site". <URL> (date generated).

Delaware, Ohio [map]. 2001. Scale undetermined; generated by Deb Peoples; using "MapQuest.com, Inc". <http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&addtohistory=&searchtab=home&address=&city=delaware&state=oh&zipcode=> (2 May 2005)

Interactive Thematic Map

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite an interactive reference map.
Map of Merced, California A map legend

Map 4. "Merced, California, 1990 Household Size". U.S. Census Bureau


Author or statement of responsibility. Map Title [map]. Data date if known. Scale; Name of person who generated map; Name of software used to generate the map or "Title of the Complete Document or Site". <URL> (date generated).

U.S. Census Bureau. Merced, California, 1990 Household Size [map]. 1990. 1:91,302; generated by Deb Peoples; using 1998 TIGER/Line. <http://tiger.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapbrowse-tbl/> (7 Feb. 2002).


Real Time Maps and Images

Real time maps and images differ from map generators and browsers in that they consist of continuously updated images or maps usually focused on a particular topic or site. These are, in essence, "live maps."


Real Time Image

  Citation diagram down arrow
Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a real time image.
Ohio Wesleyan University from the JAYwalkCAM

Map 5. "Ohio Wesleyan University." JAYwalkCAM.


Author or statement of responsibility. Title [format]. Date produced and time if known. Scale. "Title of Complete Document or Site". <URL> (date accessed).

Ohio Wesleyan University. Ohio Wesleyan University [image]. 7 Feb. 2002. Scale not given. "The JAYwalkCAM". <http://jaywalkcam.owu.edu/> (7 February 2002).

Real Time Map

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Citation diagram illustrating how to cite a real time map.
Current Phoenix Freeway Conditions depicted on a real time map from the Arizona Department of Transportation

Map 6. ADOT, "Current Phoenix Freeway Conditions"

Author or statement of responsibility. Title [format]. Date produced and time if known. Scale. "Title of Complete Document or Site]. <URL> (date accessed).

Arizona Department of Transportation, Current Phoenix Freeway Conditions [map]. 2/6/02, 15:07:20. Scale not given. "Arizona Department of Transportation". <http://www.az511.com/RoadwayConditions/index.php> (2 May 2005).



References Consulted


Clark, Suzanne M., Mary Lynette Larsgaard, and Cynthia M. Teague. Cartographic Citations: A Style Guide, MAGERT Circular No. 1. Chicago: American Library Association, 1992.

Harnack, Andrew and Eugene Kleppinger, "Using Chicago Style to Write and Document Sources," In: Online: A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources 2001 <http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/cite7.html> (6 Feb. 2002).

Perry, Joanne. Map Librarian, Pennsylvania State University Libraries. Personal communication. 5 Feb. 2002.

U.S. Census Bureau. Suggested Citation Styles for our Internet Information. 2 Feb. 2001. <http://ww.census.gov/main/www/citation.html> (7 Feb. 2002).



Deb Peoples

Deb Peoples is the Science Librarian and liaison to the Geography and Environmental Studies departments at Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries.



You can reach Deb at dapeople@owu.edu or 740-368-3241.

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