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Citing Maps

Maps and Atlases

Citing Maps

Maps are available in a variety of formats and materials: as individual paper sheet maps; as plates or illustrations in atlases, books or journals; as digital image maps in CD-ROMs or on web pages; or as generated by users through online mapping services or GIS software.

As with all scholarly work, use of maps should be cited. A map should be referenced in two places:

  • Complete bibliographic citation at the end of your work, providing the map's author and publisher.
  • Brief inline citation providing a descriptive title. This helps readers to locate the full citation in the bibliography or reference list.

Choose from the examples* listed below to see citation styles closest to your situation:

Single sheet map Map from a Book Facsimile or Reproduction
Atlas citation Map from a Web Site Real Time Map
Map from an Atlas Map from a Periodical Aerial Photo
Topographic map (series) Map generators GIS-produced Map
Map ( in a series) CD-ROM/DVD maps CIA Outline Map Series

 

Single Sheet Map

Format:  Author. Title [map]. Edition. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.

Example:  U.S. Department of the Air Force. U.S. Army Forces in WWII, 1941-1945. [map]. Scale not given. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Air Force, 1993.

Atlas Citation

Format:  Author. Title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.

Example:  Orr, Douglas M. The North Carolina Atlas: Portrait for a New Century. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 2000.

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Map from an Atlas

Format:  Map Author. Map title [format]. Scale. In: Atlas Author. Atlas title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. page.

Example:  Hillsborough [map]. Scale not given. In: Universal Map (Firm). Street Atlas of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill & Vicinity: North Carolina. Williamston, MI: Universal Map, 1995. page 26.

Map in a Topographic Series

Format:  Author. Sheet title, Number [format]. Edition. Scale. Series title. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.

Example:  U.S. Geological Survey. Raleigh West quadrangle, North Carolina [map]. Photorevised 1993. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Reston, Va: United States Department of the Interior, USGS, 1999.

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Map in a Series

Format:  Author. Sheet title, Number [format]. Edition. Scale. Series title. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.

Example:  U.S. Geological Survey. The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain [map]. Version 1. 1:8,000,000. Geologic Investigations Series; I-2781. Reston, Va: U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS, 2003.

Map from a Book

Format:  Map Author. Map title [format]. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date (if known). In: Book Author. Book title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date, page.

Example:  Griffler, Keith P. Underground Railroad [map]. Scale not given. In: Front line of freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley. Lexington, Ky: University Press of Kentucky, 2004, page 30

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Map from the Web

Format:  Author if known. Map Title [map]. Date of map creation if known. Scale. “Title of the Complete Document or Site”. Date posted if known. <URL> (date accessed).

Example:  North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture. Agriculture Overview [map]. "North Carolina Department of Agriculutre and Consumer Services."  Last updated September 2003. <http://www.ncagr.com/stats/general/general1.htm> (accessed December 20, 2004).

Map from a Periodical

Format:  Map Author if known. Map Title [format]. Scale if known. In: Article Author. "Article Title," Journal Title volume (year): page.

Example:  Smithers, Jane.  Regional Cuisine of Spain [map].  Scale unknown.  In: Smithers, Jane. "Fabulous Flavors," Excellent Eating 11 (1999): 57.

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Map Generators

Format:  Author or statement of responsibility. Map Title [map]. Data date if known. Scale; Name of person who generated map; Name of software used to generate the map or “Title of the Complete Document or Site”. <URL> (date generated).

Example:  United States Census Bureau.  Median Age: 2000, Wake County, NC by County Subdivision [map].2000. Scale undetermined; generated by George McAllister; using “American FactFinder”. <http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en> (22 December 2002).

CD-ROM or DVD Maps

Format:  Author. Title. [format]. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.

Example:  ESRI Ltd. ArcCanada [CD-ROM]. Version 2.0. North York, Ontario: Environmental Systems Research Institute, 1999.

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Facsimile or Reproduction Maps

Format:  Author. Title. [format]. Scale. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date. As reproduced by: Publisher, Date.

Example:  Popple, Henry. 18th Century North America [facsimile]. 1 inch to 50 miles. London, England: 1733. As reproduced by: Harry Margary, 2004.

Real Time Maps

Format:  Author. Title [format]. Date produced and time if known. Scale. "Title of document or site". <URL> (date accessed).

Example:  North Carolina Department of Transportation. Current Wake County Traffic Conditions [map]. 03/10/04, 15:07:20. Scale not given. "North Carolina Department of Transportation". <http://apps.dot.state.nc.us/tims/> (10 March 2004).

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Aerial Photos

Format:  Source. Title [format]. Scale. Line/roll number. Photo number. Place of publication. Date.

Example:  UCLA Department of Geography. Malibu [air photo]. 1:30,000. Photo #17a. L.A., Calif. 1947.

GIS-Produced Map

Format:  Map Title. [format]. Scale. Database name [type of medium]. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Using GIS software: Title [type of software].

Example:  Virginia Railway Network. [computer map]. 1:25000. National Transportation Atlas Databases. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Transportation, 2000. Using ArcGIS [GIS software]. Version 8.3. Redlands, CA: Environmental Systems Research Institute, 1992-2004.

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CIA Outline Map Series

Format:  Title [physical/political] [format]. Base number. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.

Example:  India [Physical] [map]. Base 802510 (R00903) 12-96. [ca. 1:16,666,666]. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1996.


*The citation examples above are adapted from:

Clark, Suzanne M., Mary Lynette Larsgaard, and Cynthia M. Teague. Cartographic Citations: A Style Guide, MAGERT Circular No. 1. Chicago: American Library Association, 1992.

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