The Danish MapCurator Group
In the past two years the Danish Mapcurator Group has arranged two meetings. Apart from the useful exchanges of news among the institutions to which the members are attached and the mutual presentations of the various collections, the following topics from the agenda are worth mentioning:
- A workinggroup dealing with the standardization of place names reported that the complexity of the matter and the diversity of the institutions involved make the introduction of standardized place too intricate a matter to be considered. Information regarding the standard works used in the various organisations was, however , exchanged.
- The lecturer, Thomas Balstroem, from the Geographic Institute of the University of Copenhagen gave a lecture on The use of different materials, (topographical and geological) maps and satellite images in assessment of soil conditions in the open lands. By means of his computer and some rather simple software he has been able to extract information from various cartographic materials and transform it on his monitor into new thematic maps. This lecture together with a demonstration of the digital mapping in The Danish Cadastral Survey led to much discussion of mapcuratorship in the future. One certainly has to realize that modern mapping medias will represent new challenges to mapcurators.
- In November 1989, as the most important result of the work in the group the Guide to Danish Map Collections was published. The purpose of the guide is to provide thorough information about Danish map conections. It has been the idea that the guide should be of use to researchers, first and foremost, but also to the staff of map conections. It is only now that we have got an overall view of what is to be found in other collections. This will certainly make it easier to assist the user in eventuany finding what he is looking for, if the search in ones own collection has not been satisfactory. It has furthermore been the intention that the guide should encourage the development of useful professional contact among the colleagues of the various collections.
80 map collections are included: collections in libraries, archives, museums, as well as the collections of public and private map-producing organisations. Only those local collections considered to be of more than purely local interest have been included.
In addition to the mere directory information such as name, address, telephone number, and services available, each entry provides extensive information about SCOPE AND NATURE (the character and function of the collection, the potential users); SIZE; LIMITATIONS (geographical, in time and in theme); CONTENTS AND HlSTORY, ARRANGEMENT (according to chronology, region or topic); CATALOGUES; STORAGE- AND CONSERVATION PROCEDURES; COPYING-PACILITIES and LITERATURE AND PUBLICATIONS: Danske kortsamlinger : en guide / red. Marie Louise Brandt, Joergen Nybo Rasmussen og Lizzi Schwenger. – Koebenhavn : Dansk Kartografisk Selskab ; Det Kongelige Bibliotek, 1989. -77 p. : ill. ,. 21 cm. ISBN 87-7023-547-3 : Dkr. 80,-.
National Survey and Cadastre – Denmark
In 1986 in the Vienna report and again in 1988 in Uppsala it was mentioned, that preparations were going on to unite the three Danish governmental map-producing agencies into one organization. This merger has now been effectuated: The Geodetic Institute, the Danish Cadastral Department, and the Royal Danish Hydrographical Office are now united in the Kort- og Matrikelstyrelsen (KMS). For international use the name 'National Survey and Cadastre -Denmark' has been chosen.
National Standard Format for Cartographic Material
With the purpose of creating a national minimum standard format for cartographic material, a working group was formed in January 1989. The group consisted of: Jytte Aunsbjerg from the map department of the State Library in Arhus, Per Mogens Petersen from the Computer Department, Danish Research Libraries, Lilly Riget from the cataloguing department in Alborg University Library, and Susan Vejlsgaard from the Royal Library, Map department.
In Denmark there is a joint cataloguing praxis, meaning that almost all research libraries contribute bibliographic data to a common database called ALBA, and it was for this purpose that the standard was created. After 3 meetings, the group agreed upon a minimum format for cartographic material. The format used in Denmark is a Danish version of the MARC format called danMARK. The Royal Library map room had already worked for some time on a format for maps, inspired by a two week study trip to the British Library, Map Library. Therefore the standard format to a great extent was based on this work. It was generally agreed that the most important access point for cartographic material are area, scale, year, and subject, but also information on size and note- information on base maps were made mandatory. The group suggested that map series are considered as monographs and to use a multi level description cataloguing them.
The Royal Library, Department of Maps, Prints and Photographs
During the past year the Department and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation have co-operated on a interactive multi-media database project with Greenland as the subject. The Department contributes maps, pictures and information on the history of cartography of Greenland. The project is named SIULLEQ and is scheduled to be finished in January 1991. It will appear on a laser video-disc and a hypercard system on Macintosh. The idea of the project is to create an information-system on Greenland, its nature, culture and the history of its people and country. The system aims to provide several entries: a free text database entry, a subject oriented menu based entry, and eventually some other entries.
- Aerial Photographs
In 1990 the Department supplemented its collection of aerial photographs with the largest collection in Denmark, the Sylvest Jensen Aerial Archives of more than 2,000,000 photographs taken between 1935 and 1989 and covering all of Denmark. The majority of Danish houses and towns were photographed several times during this period. Together with earlier collections from the Geodetic Institute and some smaller private collections the acquisition of the Sylvest Jensen Archives means that the Royal Library now possesses virtually all historical aerial photographs. The collection covers the time span between 1890 to 1990 with pictures of detached houses, cities, towns, factories, large areas of the countryside, etc. All these collections of more than 3,000,000 photographs have been organized in a special self-supporting section. All expenses in connection with the section (such as furniture, labour costs, and reproduction) have to be paid by the user. As the arrangement only took effect last April, it is too soon to draw any conclusion yet.
- Computer cataloguing
The map room has finally managed to start computer cataloguing in spring 1990. The Danish National Bibliography, Maps, will be made from computer records that are downloaded from the Royal Library's database REX, and sorted in a different program. We are, however, in the situation that we have to practise formatting and computer cataloguing on something that has to end up with our bibliography. We hope, of course, that it will turn out to our satisfaction, but it will be a nervous first year.
From 1990 onwards the bibliography will be arranged alphabetically according to area, theme, and scale, with an author index. What is more interesting is, that the map records are accessible online from REX. One can search either in the base as a whole ( database 0) or in the base for cartographic material (database 33). What is special for REX is, that to a wide extent you can use free text search in almost all fields including the note fields. To specify ones search one may use search codes.
A problem that frequently arises when cataloguing maps is how to catalogue map series. In the bibliography, map series have been catalogued on two or three levels, and we thought it an ideal solution if we could continue this praxis online. The model we will try, is to use MARC-field 248 to describe the single sheets in a map series. Our software only allows us a limited amount of lines per record, so our model is to catalogue app. 50 sheets in one record, continue in the following records, only filling in the necessary fields for creating a record, and then go on filling in the 248 MARC-fields. The records for one map series will then be linked by an id-number in MARC-field 016. The consequences of this is, you may get 5 hits portraying only one map series split up on five records.
Lizzy Schwenger, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Map Room