Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Georeferencing: The Geographic Associations of Information, Linda L. Hill. Jane Kolbas. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2006. 260 pp, paper back. ISBN 9780262083546
The book Georeferencing: the geographic associations of information, an MIT press publication, is an introductory level book that is centered on the concept of geographic location.
Linda Hill, the author of this book, a retired specialist in the Department of Geography at University of California, Santa Barbara, is an authority in the georeferencing subject area. This book actually evolved from a tutorial she developed to introduce the concepts of georeferencing to the digital library community. The author mentioned that the tutorial is an Alexandria Digital Library project at the University of California, Santa Barbara to bring together geographers, computer scientists, librarians, information professionals and various user groups to work and understand each other’s vocabularies.
There are a total of eight chapters in the book, each one beginning with an overview and ending with a summary. This book has two detailed indexes, including one index for geographic examples along with a glossary, references, figures and tables, and a list of sources for further information at the end of most of the chapters.
The term "georeferencing" is used to establish a relationship between information on place names and geographic locations.
The very first chapter of the book offers us a history, overview, and different meanings and terminology used in georeferencing. The chapter on "Spatial Cognition and Information Systems” focuses on various understandings of geographic information in relation to spatial cognition. The author brings our attention to different types of geographic knowledge to explain the various ways of classifying human spatial cognition. Chapter 4 of the book provides an introduction to geospatial location in a non-technical way that can attract a broader range of readers for this book. The two chapters, "Georeferencing Elements in Metadata Standards’ and "Geographic Information Retrieval’ present useful information for metadata librarians and map librarians. The novel approach of "unified georeferencing" by using both place names and geospatial coding interchangeability makes this book a unique one. The author also discusses in great detail how gazetteers are useful aids to cataloging and indexing in the context of coordinating metadata. The book ends by highlighting the future of georeferencing in different areas including metadata standards and information retrieval systems.
The numerous examples used in this book are mostly from California, though the subject matter of the book can be applicable anywhere in the world. However, the author is aware of this limitation. The primary audiences for this book are librarians, information professionals or anyone who is interested in learning more about geographic information retrieval systems. This book is worth collecting in any map and geography library's collection.