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Geological Survey of Canada

In 1842, the Canadian government established the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). The mission of the GSC was to map Canada’s geology, with the goal of producing its mineral resources. The information collected by geologists and engineers over the past 1

Linking Maps & Documents

There are close associations between many of the individual items in the document and map series produced by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). One of the goals of this project is to reveal these connections in our metadata so that researchers will be able to:

  • Identify which other items are associated with a given item by looking at its catalogue record,
  • Determine if our library has holdings for those associated items by searching our catalogue.

We are also currently upgrading the metadata for map records in such a way that direct hyperlinking from them to their associated document records should be possible in the future.

Connecting Maps and Documents

Our primary method of connecting items in the various document and map series of the GSC is through detailed item descriptions. An important aspect of our upgraded metadata initiative is that records for documents list associated maps and records for maps list associated documents.

For documents, associations with maps are listed based on what is found in their tables of contents.  As such, related maps are listed in a "Table of Contents" note.  An example of this can be seen in the record for Bulletin No. 111, Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the lead-zinc-silver deposits of the Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory.

Catalogue record for Bulletin 111, Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the lead-zinc-silver deposits of the Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory, showing associated map in a Table of Contents note.

For maps, associations with documents are listed based on what is written on the map itself, and also on what is written in the tables of contents of their related documents. You will normally find this information in the "Notes" or "Related names" fields. An example of this can be seen in the record for map 1147A, Geology, Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory.

Catalogue record for map 1147A, Geology, Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory, showing a reference to its associated document in the Notes field.

Finding Associated Items

Once you've determined if a given map or document has associated items, you're next step is to determine if our library has a copy. The "Table of Contents" notes for documents list associated maps as being "In Pocket", because that's how they were distributed.  Sometimes our documents will still have duplicate copies of maps in attached pockets, but our primary collection of GSC maps is in the Map and Air Photo Collection, where maps can lie flat, unfolded.

It is our ultimate goal to provide individual bibliographic records for all maps associated with those GSC documents that also have their own records, so in principle, you should be able to find associated items by searching our catalogue using the descriptive information found in the "Table of Contents" or "Notes" fields.  In practice, this may require a bit of trial and error.

For example, if you were looking at the record for Bulletin No. 111, Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the lead-zinc-silver deposits of the Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory, and read the note "In pocket: Map 1147A: Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory", you could choose to use some or all of the words in the title and map number to find the related map.  As it turns out, searching by Title Keyword for "Map 1147A" takes you right to the map record, whereas doing the same search for "Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory" returns five different search hits.  One of these five hits is the related item, but reading through the list and figuring out which item is the correct one is an extra step.

On the other hand, if you were looking at the record for Map 1147A, Geology, Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory, and read the note "To accompany G.S.C. Bulletin 111, by R. W. Boyle", a different—but still successful—approach to finding the related item would be to search by Title Keyword for [Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 111]. Note that searching by Title Keyword for [G.S.C. Bulletin 111] would not return any results, and searching by Keyword for [G.S.C. Bulletin 111] would find the record for Map 1147A.

So the important take-away from these examples is that you may need to try a few approaches to finding related items in our catalogue before considering the possibility that we don't have it in our collection.

Planning for Future Search Functionality

Our creation and updating of bibliographic records for individual maps includes direct references to catalogued documents via a metadata field that allows for hyperlinking between records (MARC 700).  The way it does this is by combining the title and author information specified to search the catalogue for matching items.  While this is not a one-to-one record mapping in principle, in practice it is not likely that there would be multiple items found unless they were different versions or copies of the same item.

Looking again at the example of the record for the map Geology, Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory, in the "Related names" section, there is a hyperlink to Bulletin No. 111 by R. W. Boyle.

Image of Full Details section of catalogue record for the map Geology, Keno Hill-Galena Hill Area, Yukon Territory, showing a hyperlink to Bulletin 111.

Ideally, this hyperlink should provide an easy way to switch from the map to the document record. Unfortunately, our present catalogue does not function as expected.  Instead of combining the author and title to perform a search for the related item, it only uses the author information. This is still somewhat helpful, but it is a less specific a connection than we had hoped.  As our library is currently in the process of investigating a replacement for our catalogue, we are optimistic that this metadata enhancement will serve us well in the future.