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Reference Services / Reproduction Services / Digitization

Reference Services

The Yale Sterling Memorial Library Map Collection has recently combined its traditional print map reference service with its Geographic Information Systems (GIS) service. Patrons can now receive simultaneous service for both print and digital map resources as well as assistance converting print and other formats of data for use in GIS. For example, a patron seeking maps for a research project on water resources in the country of Zambia could consult with one of the Map Collection staff and be provided access to topographic print maps of Zambia, scans of those maps, GIS data layers for Zambia such as hydrology, digital Elevation Models, and spring locations. Additionally, the patrons can be provided with GIS software and instruction to use the Zambia data in a GIS, all in one reference consultation. For more details on specific GIS services provided see the following page.

Data from the Map Collection, whether it is digitized print maps of GIS layers, is currently distributed on media such as CD or DVD. However, the Map Collection staff is working toward providing a network solution to data distribution. We have acquired a new server on which we are currently loading standard GIS data sets and scanned maps. This server is also being configured to work with software that will allow patrons to perform spatial searches for data, download the data, or directly access the data via client desktop GIS software or web-based server software. This will provide patrons with expedient and efficient access to our holdings. The Map Collection plans to have this service available by summer of 2007.

Patrons are free to come into the Map Collection at any time during our hours of operation. However, priority is given to patrons who have made appointments for consultations or to view print maps, so it is best to e-mail or call ahead to plan a visit. For consultations, patrons should plan on spending at least one or more hours at the Map Collection. If an appointment is made for viewing maps, the staff will have the material immediately ready for viewing, but with no appointment, a patron may end up waiting for some time to view materials or may be required to set up an appointment for another day. For more information on planning a visit, see the following page.

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