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Geography and Map Reading Room (Geography & Map Division)
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Center for Geographic Information

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress


Statement of Purpose

As the premier collector of the nation's cartographic heritage and as the principal provider of geographic and cartographic information services to Congress, the Geography and Map Division has an important role to play in the evolving geographic information systems community. Its collections of four and one-half million maps, sixty thousand atlases, and thousands of other cartographic items comprise an unmatched resource for geographic information about the earth, dating from the 1300s to the present. Its holdings continue to grow through the most extensive network of cartographic acquisitions contacts of any library in the world, ensuring that the collections will represent the geography of the present and the future as well as that of the past.

Information About the Center

For information about the Center for Geographic Information or the Geography and Map Division, contact: the Chief of the Division at 202/707-8530. Materials can be faxed to 202/707-8531. Email: [email protected]

Creation of the Center for Geographic Informaiton

The Center for Geographic Information has been established jointly by the Library of Congress and several firms interested in geographic and cartographic information to promote and enhance the collections and services of the Geography and Map Division. The first meeting of the Center was held on January 12, 1995. The Center is operated by the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress. The Division's Specialist in Geographic Information serves as the Executive Secretary. A "Steering Committee" comprised of industry participants, the Chief of the Division, and the Division's Specialist in Geographic Information has been created to provide guidance and direction. Industry participants on the Steering Committee are the representatives of those firms which have status as Members. Membership in future years will be determined informally by representatives of the firms that participate in the Center. Participation in the Center is wholly voluntary. The Library of Congress will not give preferences in contracting for services or supplies to participating firms nor will it deny consideration in such matters to non-participating firms.

Mission of the Center for Geographic Information

The purpose of the Center for Geographic Information is to coordinate the contribution of resources and knowledge from a wide spectrum of firms interested in geographic and cartographic information to:

  • Aid the Geography and Map Division in its transition to the age of electronic maps and digital forms of geographic information through advice and financial support for acquiring hardware, software, and data sets.
  • Facilitate sharing the rich cartographic resources of the Geography and Map Division electronically.
  • Promote the use of electronic forms of geographic information by many sectors of the nation, including libraries, academia, industry and commerce, education, and the general public.
  • Encourage deposits of digital spatial data sets by American and foreign government, industry, and academic producers.
  • Advance the Library's publication, education, and exhibition programs in geographic information and cartography.
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  August 9, 2010
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