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Report from the 64th IFLA General Conference

Revision of the ISBD(CM): International Standard Bibliographic Description for Cartographic Materials

65th IFLA General Conference, Bangkok 1999

Nominations to the Standing Committee

Appendix : Geospatial data archiving

Newsletter of the IFLA Section of Geography and Map Libraries (On-line)

Newsletter 42
June 1999

Report from the 64th IFLA General Conference

Amsterdam RAI Congress Centre, 1998

The 64th General Conference at Amsterdam was attended by 3300 participants.
For Section officers, business started already on Friday, August 14, with the Special Libraries Coordinating Board I at the Hotel Okura. It was my first meeting with the Division Chairman Ed Valauskas, whom I had corresponded with on financial matters, and with the officers of the other sections. The content of the meeting was mainly administrative information on the actual conference, some information on the Bangkok conference 1999, some argument on the management of workshops, admonitions to sections to discuss terminology of membership (there are observers, corresponding members etc) and think of future Standing Committee members. The financing of external speakers has to be discussed also. Plans for a Division Program on The Availability of Digital Data was mentioned.

Saturday, August 15

Geography and Map Libraries Standing Committee I
Meeting was held in the Novotel Amsterdam, Europaboulevard 10, at 8 in the morning.

David McQuillan, Chair, Olivier Loiseaux, Secretary, Göran Bäärnhielm, Treasurer, Natalia Kotelnikova, Pierre-Yves Duchemin, William Lamble, Henrik Dupont, Lothar & Gudrun Zögner, Patrick McGlamery

  1. Report from Copenhagen 1997: Chairman distributed a report including a Scandinavian travel diary intended for publication in the US Special Libraries Association Geography & Maps Bulletin. This however had been discontinued to be replaced by a Newsletter.

  2. Chairman's Report 1997-1998. Section now has 42 registered members.

  3. Secretary's Report 1997-1998: World directory of map collections, 4th ed., will be published at the end of 1999. 271 questionnaires from 55 different countries had been received, including 39 new entries. Additional addresses could preferably be sent to Olivier Loiseaux at the Bibliothèque National de France.

  4. Financial Report
    Date     Admin GEO-1 GEO-2 GEO-3 GEO-4 Bank balance
    20 Aug 97 Balance 100 1800 273.28 798.60 224.89 3196.77
        SEK 1289.77 23190 3520 10290 2900 41189.77
      From HQ   +2451.68          
      Interest   +3.93          
      Expenses   -2923 -5569.79   965.53    
    15 Aug 98 Balance SEK 822.38 17620.21 3520 9324.47 2900 34187.06

    Figures are in Swedish Crowns except the first row.


    The World Directory of Map Collections (Olivier Loiseaux)

    Catalogue of Electronic Cartographic Products (David McQuillan)

    Digital Chart of the World on the Internet (Patrick McGlamery)

    Geographical Indexing of Cartographic Documents (Olivier Loiseaux)

    Expenses were for the Copenhagen excursion and workshop and for the mailing of the World directory questionnaries.

  5. Requests for new projects for 1998-1999. No requests had come forward.

  6. Information from the Professional and Coordinating Board was given.

  7. Information and discussion on the present conference program.

  8. IFLA/ICA: Next International Cartographic Conference will be in Ottawa, Canada, the week before IFLA. The US Congress of Cartographic Information Specialist will have a meeting there. Patrick McGlamery, Alice Hudson and Alberta Wood will be engaged in this.

  9. The Geo & Maps leaflet. Discussion on production and financing. It was decided to spend $500.

  10. Discussion on the Bangkok conference 1999.

  11. Discussion on the meetings in Jerusalem (2000), Boston (2001), Glasgow (2002), Berlin or Budapest (2003).

In the evening Section officers (chairman, secretary, treasurer) attended the Officer's reception at the Amsterdam City Library including a boat trip on the canals.

On Sunday, August 16, we had been recommended to attend the Round Table on Audiovisual and Multimedia Workshop Looking for digital images, (reported at: http://archive.ifla.org/VII/rt5/annual/ann98.htm) with among others a paper by Patricia Alkhoven (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague): Atlases: images from Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the British Library. This was a project for the digitisation of two compiled atlases: Atlas Van der Hagen and Atlas Beudeker, and the result can be viewed by searching the Index of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek website: http://www.konbib.nl/home-fe.html.

On Sunday, there was also a Cataloguing Workshop providing the background for the recently published ISBD(ER), that is the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources. This is of great importance for the map community also, as demonstrated by one of the speakers, Sten Hedberg, who used cartographic examples.

Happy company at one of the parties at the Congress Centre: Henrik Dupont, Royal Library, Copenhagen, Patrick McGlamery, University of Connecticut, Chris Baruth, American Geographical Society Collection, Milwaukee.

Monday, August 17

saw the Geography and Map Libraries Open Session in the morning with three papers:

  1. English and Dutch Cartographic Resources at New York Public Library; or "What's Happening in New Amsterdam!" - Alice C. Hudson (Chief, Map Division, New York Public Library). - Among other things on the recent exhibition "In thy map securely saile": Maps, Atlases, Charts, and Globes from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection. URL: http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/map/map.html

  2. The American Geographical Society Collection -- two decades after the move. - Christopher M. Baruth (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, USA). - The AGS was founded in 1851 and moved to the Golda Meir Library, Milwaukee in 1976-78. Collections contain ca 475 000 maps, 8 000 atlases. 81 globes, photographs, digital spatial data etc. Among interesting items are the Giovanni Leardo Mappamundi, Venice 1452, Captain Cook's manuscript charts 1770-1778 and Charles Lindbergh's flight navigation charts 1927. Chris Baruth is the author of the Geodex cataloguing system for map series and the editor of Current Geographical Publications. URL: http://leardo.lib.uwm.edu/

  3. Le Nouveau Centre de Documentation de L'Institut Geographique National. - Pierre Planques (Chef, Service de la Documentation Geographique, Institut Geographique National, Saint-Mandé, France)

The papers were highly appreciated by the audience of about 15 listeners.

Before lunch we could also attend the Special Libraries Division Open Forum on the theme What's Special About Special Libraries?, with speakers from various American library associations: David Bender, Carla Funk and Roger Parent. Their papers were all published in INSPEL, 32(1998), No, 4, available at: http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s5/conf/sessamst.htm

Tuesday, August 18

was our Excursion day, with a 2 hour train trip eastward to Enschede, a town famous in the history of printing. But our destination was the International Institute for Aerospace Surveys and Earth Science (ITC), which is primarily an education center in geoinformatics, directed to the developing countries. It is situated in an impressive building with a modern architecture influenced by Southeast Asia.

ITC entrance
ITC entrance.

ITC interiour court with garden
ITC interiour court with garden.

After coffee we had a tour through the ITC with its well-equipped GIS and cartographic laboratories including the library and map collection, where the librarian Marga Koelen demonstrated to us their classification system:

    Atlas types: topographic, geographic, national or regional, thematic and historical Map types: topographic, navigational, tourist, city, geographical, political, regional, planning, geological, geomorphological, soils, climate, vegetation, hydrological, oceanographic, demographic, economic, agricultural, mining, transport, urbanization, historical.

Demonstration in the Cartographic laboratory. Among others Jan Smits, David McQuillan, Natalia Kotelnikova, Henrik Dupont, Chris Baruth, William Lamble.

After lunch, we were given three presentations:

WWW: Offering and Finding Maps. - Menno-Jan Kraak (Chair, Dutch Cartographic Society, Professor at the ITC). He presented a model for the cartographic process, where spatial data, by a process of visualization (through the instrument of cartography or map design) is transformed into an image, i.e. a map. Much of Prof. Kraak's presentation can also be found in his paper Exploratory cartography - maps as tools for discovery, at the ITC website: http://www.itc.nl/kraak/

A Project Teaching Remote Sensing Classification Techniques: Monitoring Land Cover in Southern France. - Barend Köbben (Utrecht University and the ITC) (see: http://www.itc.nl/~kobben/).

Archiving Metadata: From Ideas to Implementation. - J.P.G. Bakx. (See Appendix.)

After tea, there was a demonstration of ILWIS, a GIS for land and water information.

Map displaying distribution of ITC students.

After this really instructive and generous visit there remained the two-hour train ride back to Amsterdam, and in the evening the Ministry of Culture Event at the Science and Naval Museums. At the latter, maps were indeed prominent. I found on display the four Vingboons 17th century manuscript maps covering the world, which were published by Leo Bagrow in 1948. They had been in Swedish private possession since the 17th century, but their location was unknown until they came out on the market and were bought by the Amsterdam Naval Museum at an auction in Stockholm.

Wednesday, August 19,

started with a visit to the Amsterdam University Library Map Room, located in the city center, where Map Librarian Jan Werner demonstrated his Abraham Ortelius Fourcentenary Exhibition, displaying all the Ortelius maps, and the Map Department itself. Exhibition Catalogue: Jan Werner, Abraham Ortelius, (1527-1598) : aartsvader van onze atlas (ISBN: 90-6469-739-6).
  • http://www.uba.uva.nl/nl/collecties/kaarten/
  • http://www.uba.uva.nl/nl/collecties/kaarten/ortelius/overzicht.html

Jan Werner
Jan Werner lecturing in front of the Blaeu Atlas case. Audience: Alice Hudson and Olivier Loiseaux.

After this profoundly historical visit we took the train to The Hague, where Jan Smits, Map Curator at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The Royal Library) and the indefatigble organiser of our study program, demonstrated the Map Department, and held a presentation regarding the management of modern maps, cataloguing and metadata.

  • http://www.konbib.nl/kb/skd/karto-en.html
  • http://www.konbib.nl/persons/jan-smits/homepage.htm

Jan Smits
Jan Smits lecturing in the Royal Library Map Department...

and his audience
... and his audience.

The Digital GeoData workshop, scheduled for Thursday, August 20, had unfortunately been cancelled because of too few registrations.

I had signed up for the Art Libraries workshop instead, which took place in the Rijksmuseum and happened to be also to a large extent on digital matters, i.e. digital image libraries.

On Friday August 21

there was the Standing Committee II meeting, where it was decided that the Section should undertake a revision of the ISBD(CM) to include electronic resources, inspired by the recent publication and presentation of the ISBD(ER). A committee was selected with Göran Bäärnhielm, Lothar & Gudrun Zögner, Pierre-Yves Duchemin, Henrik Dupont, Olivier Loiseaux, to meet in Paris at the end of the year for further discussion. Chairman encouraged those present to look for new Section members for the next conference, when the term of office will expire for many of us.

standing committee
Standing Committee after second meeting. From the left: David McQuillan, Pierre Planques, Olivier Loiseaux, Helmuth Bergmann, Patrick McGlamery, Gudrun Zögner, Lothar Zögner, Henrik Dupont, Natalia Kotelnikova .

Then followed, for Section officers, the Special Libraries Coordinating Board II, with the summing up of the conference, financial advice, previews of the plans for the next conference, including themes as business intelligence and family history. There was a presentation of INSPEL, the International Journal of Special Libraries, now also on the Web: http://www-fh-potsdam.de/~IFLA/INSPEL/.

Later the same day, Patrick McGlamery and I visited the remarkable exhibition The Wonderful Alphabet in the New Church of Amsterdam, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. It consisted of 26 constructions inside the church, one for each letter of the alphabet presenting one aspect of the library. Under the letter B you found the Blaeu atlases, and also the digital presentation of the Atlas Van der Hagen and Atlas Beudeker, mentioned above, was on display. The exhibition can also be found by searching the Royal Library website: http://www.konbib.nl/home-fe.html.

Wonderful Alphabet exhibition

Wonderful Alphabet exhibition
Two views of the Wonderful Alphabet exhibition in the New Church.

Saturday, August 22

was the day for excursions to cultural sites. For my own part that meant a tour to the Kröller-Müller art museum with several van Gogh paintings and a sculpture garden including Jean Dubuffet's 'Jardin d'Email', and to the Loo palace, the former Royal summer residence, now a museum with a restored baroque garden including two fountains in the form of globes, one terrestrial and one celestial.

Loo garden terrestrial globe fountain

Loo garden terrestrial globe fountain
Two wievs of the Loo garden terrestrial globe fountain (with California as an island).

Due to its size, we have separated this document into 2 separate files.


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