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:
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
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.