Monday, May 31, 2010

Have book will travel part ii

By Mirela Roncevic

Apart from growing in numbers, travel series are rapidly specializing to take advantage of niche markets and travel trends. In contrast to 36 series covered in the November issue (see LJ 11/15/2000, p. 32), the 30 series below are aimed at travelers with an interest in a specific activity. And, like most of the general series, they, too, strive to balance practical tourist information with background information on culture and history.

A recen
t Dorling Kindersley study revealed the increasing popularity of family travel and the concomitant need for guides that offer a wealth of ideas for traveling with kids of all ages. Moreover, the American road trip is alive and well. According to Jane Glennon of Fodor’s, “A whopping 79 percent of Americans travelling domestically do so by car, truck, or RV.”

New York Public Library’s Marsha Spyros recognizes a unique role for many specialized guides in libraries. “Besid
es being checked out for travel guidance, as they are often replete with useful information on the subject rather than the location they cover,” says Spyros. This explains why some of the series below would make a successful crossover into another collection. For example, some of the food guides could go in cooking collections. Stars are explained more fully within the annotations.
Legend: * Poor/Insufficient ** Satisfactory/Bare Bones *** Good/Ample **** Excellent/Comprehensive

Adventure & Recreation Guides
Adventure Guides. Hunter Pub. pap. $12.95-$19.95
Hunter’s signature series aims to mimic the general
guides while emphasizing outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and canoeing in national and international tourist spots. However, while these do provide plenty of information in a succinct writing style, the cluttered format and bulky size make them impractical as carry-ons. Further, the black-and-white photographs are often indecipherable, and the impressive number of maps does not make up for their clumsy design. For the independent daredevil. Updated biannually. 48 titles.
Writing ** Photos * Maps ** Index **** Binding & Paper **
Ease of Use ** Insider info ****

NEW! Bicycling America’s National Parks. Countryman Pr. pap. $17.95-$18.95
The first of its kind, this series launched in 2000 with guides to Utah/Colorado and California and added Washington/Oregon and Arizona/New Mexico this fall. Besides recommending bicycling treks in various national parks, they include rides outside the parks’ borders for more ambitious bicyclists. The maps feature easily recognizable symbols and nicely compliment the text. Though the photographs could have been more relevant, the books are clearly organized and practical for traveling. Updates planned every five years. 4 titles.
Writing *** Photos ** Maps **** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use *** Insider info ***

NEW! Cycling Guides. Lonely Planet. pap. $19.99-$21.99
This series sets out to suggest the most exciting (and daring) bike rides and to provide enough rudimentary information on accommodations, dining, and culture to obviate the need for another guide. These resemble the staple Lonely Planet guides in format, quality of photos, and direct writing. The most distinguishable chapter “Your Bicycle,” provides in-depth information on bike preparation, maintenance, and safety. Locations covered include New Zealand, France, Britain, and Australia. Updates planned every two years. 4 titles.
Writing *** Photos ** Maps **** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use *** Insider info ***

Discovery Travel Adventures. Langenscheidt. pap. $19.95.
Published in conjunction with the Insight Guides, this is the only series that stresses what to do over where to do it. Hence, each is named after an activity (e.g., Bird Watching, Backcountry Treks, Scuba Diving), rather than a North American destination. The books consist of two clearly defined sections; first, preparation; second, the main attraction. The crossover value of these books makes them a unique addition to all adventure collections. Their eye-catching photographs, ample tourist information, glossy paper, and superb binding enhance their appeal. Most likely to be updated biannually. 11titles.
Writing *** Photos **** Maps *** Index ** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use *** Insider info ***

50 Hikes. Countryman Pr. pap. $16.95
This series, which began in 1973, covers about a dozen U.S. states, including Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina. Aimed at day-hikers and
backpackers, it provides meticulous directions and suggest 50 hikes, ranging from enjoyable strolls to several-day backpacking trips. For each hike there is information on total distance, hiking time, and vertical rise as well as a map, which tends to be a bit cluttered. The format is consistent, the writing slightly uneven. These do not include accommodations, but many embarking on such hikes may want to camp outside anyway. Updated every five years. 21 titles.

Writing ** Photos ** Maps *** Index ** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use *** Insider info ***

Foghorn Outdoors. Avalon. pap. $15.95-$20.95

These U.S.-oriented guides comprise several series that cover camping, hiking, fishing, boating, golf, waterfalls, beaches, and other outdoor fun. Written by local experts, they are easy to read and teem with practical information. The thorough index and abundance of useful maps make the absence of photographs less noticeable; the tone is at times reminiscent of Bill Bryson. The diversity of interests make these valuable to collect. Updated every two or three years. 31 titles.

ting *** Photos NONE Maps *** Index **** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use ** Insider Info ***

Frommer’s Great Outdoor Guides. IDG. pap. $16.99-$17.99.
Like Frommer’s destination guides, these U.S.-based books are very detailed but have a more decipherable format. And like the Cycling Guides, they aim to provide enough travel information to serve as self-sufficient sources. But, unlike the majority of series, which target one activity, this one packs a variety of outdoor experiences into each guide (e.g. birdwatching, canoeing, rock climbing). It even includes references to other sources, such as books and videotapes. Regrettably, there are no photographs. Ideal for travelers looking for a constant change of scenery and pace. Updated biannually. 5 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ****

Inside Out. Sasquatch. pap. $16.95-$18.95.
These bulky guides to the West Coast are written by and for locals traveling in their state. Highlighting a wealth of outdoor experiences, they uncover the wild, unexplored side of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Coverage of urban areas emphasizes their natural riches, such as parks, beaches, and rivers. The restaurant and lodging reviews (sans sponsors) are condensed from the publisher’s Best Places guides and feature a useful star rating system. A lack of maps in many of the guides contrasts with valuable insider’s information. A good purchase for regional libraries. Updated every four years. 6 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ****

Mountain Bike America TM. Globe Pecuot. pap. $10.95-$14.95

Covering the United States by state (Vermont, Indiana, Colorado) or town/city (Moab, Boston), these scrupulously describe each location’s 50 best bike rides and include lists of campgrounds and local festivities. Thorough introductions stress safety. The plentiful photos are blurry and muddling at the best, and the index is skimpy. The maps, on the other hand, are conveniently large and unadorned with symbols. Similar to the Cycling Guides, these are not as visually alluring. Updated every two or three years. 12 titles.

Writing **** Photos * Maps *** Index * Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ***

Nature Walks/Hikes. Appalachian Mountain Club. pap. $10.95-$14.95.

In contrast to other walking series, this emphasizes traveling with children of all ages and explores natural history. Covering various U.S. regions such as New York City, Northern Vermont, etc., the series provides detailed information on how to help children enjoy walking
as much as adults do. The regions in each guide are divided into five or more walks. Unfortunately the personal-style writing is a bit clich├ęd, and the maps are rudimentary. Updated every five years. 14 titles.

Writing ** Photos ** Maps *** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ****

Periplus Action Guides. Periplus Editions: Tuttle Pub. pap. $24.95.

This dynamic-looking series includes four guides on diving (Indonesia, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Bali); two on surfing (Indonesia and Australia); and one on birding (Indonesia). Written by experts in the field, it radiates with stunning
photography, superb large-scale marine maps, and an abundance of useful charts. The ads are rather annoying, and the concluding section on practicalities is overbroad. Like the Discovery Travel Adventures, these stress activities over locations. Updated biannually. 7 titles.

Writing ** Photos ** Maps *** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ****

Time Out Books of Walks. Penguin. pap. $14.95.

This series targets urban travelers who prefer to see the world’s greatest cities – London, New York, Paris – by walking. The design is similar to the staple Time Out guides, but each guide here offers 20 or more walking tours by a different contributor – usually a novelist or a historian. Some of these are theme walks, and many make for great armchair reading. The practical maps clearly show the route of each walk. Updates planned every two or three years. 4 titles.

Writing ** Photos ** Maps *** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insid
er Info ****

Winter Trails. Globe Pequot. pap. $14.95.

This small but thriving series targets winter sport aficionados, highlighting such activities as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. While providing detailed information on terrain, facilities and local events, the guide skimp on accommodations, dining, and culture. All feature a three-tier classification system for trail difficulty (easy, more difficult, most difficult) and large black-and-white maps, which are somewhat hard to decode. A comprehensive index would significantly increase the guides’ overall usefulness. Locations covered include Wisconsin, Colorado, and Vermont/New Hampshire. Updated every three years. 7 titles.

Writing ** Photos ** Maps *** Index NONE Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use ** Insider Info ***

Guides for drivers

NEW! Signpost guides. Thomas Cook Pub., dist. by Globe Pequot. pap. $22.95.

Covering various European and North American regions, these are designed to serve as tour guides for those who prefer traveling by car and alone. Chapters focus on a specific locale (e.g. Key West), with major sites and suggested tours. The photos are varied and engaging, the numerous maps well-designed. Updates planned biannually. 20 titles.

Writing *** Photos ** Maps **** Index *** Binding & Paper **** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ****

Travel Smart Guides. John Muir Pub. pap. $16.95
This series only covers North America, but unlike Signpost, it is more suitable for families and for
shorter trips, lacking much information on lodging or dining. Minor differences aside—the maps are not as attractive, and there are few photographs – the two series are quite similar and will attract similar audiences. Updated every two or three years. 33 titles.

Writing *** Photos * Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ****

NEW! Fodor’s Road Guides USA. Fodor’s. pap. $16.

Kicking off in April 2001, this series is geared toward those driving through small towns with little time to spend and covers three or more states in each guide. Although it includes some information on attractions, it places special emphasis on lodging and dining. In contrast to other Fodor’s series, this one has a cluttered format and undersized fonts, and looks rather parsimonious. The upside is the short, snappy writing and the many helpful road maps. Planned annual updates. 15 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps *** Index NONE Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use ** Insider Info **

Road Trip USA. Avalon. pap. $19.95-$24.

The most adventurous of the driving series, this one focuses on less-traveled two-lane highways. Laden with historical and cultural information and high-quality maps and photos, this series consists of the original comprehensive guide, Road Trip USA, which belongs in libraries that can order only one book from the series; the regional guide to California and the Southwest, and the pocket-size versions, called USA Getaways, which focus on one city and are intended for weekend escapes. Updated biannually. 7 titles.

Writing *** Photos *** Maps *** Index *** Binding & Paper **** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ****

Guides for art and book lovers

NEW! City secrets. The Little Bookroom. $19.95.

What sets this series apart are the opinionated (even biased), passionate recommendations from some 100 prominent architects, archaeologists, and historians emphasizing hitherto ignored artwork. The writing is elegant and the maps, though smaller than average, are useful. Another unique quality is the clothbound old-fashioned cover. The section for jotting notes will surely get used up quickly by patrons. There is some info on restaurants and shops. Forthcoming titles will cover Florence, Venice, and the towns of Italy and New York. Planned to be updated annually. 4 titles.

Writing **** Photos NONE Maps *** Index *** Binding & Paper **** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ****

Little-Known Museums In and Around… Abrams. pap. $19.95.

This series only focuses on major metropolitan areas of Europe. Written by Rachel Kaplan, an international journalist who heads a cultural tourism company in Paris, this too, focuses on the unnoticed. It should appeal to locals as well as regular visitors looking for new discoveries. What immediately stands out are the expert photos, which reveal each museum’s contents. Disappointingly, each guide contains only one map showing museum locations, but it inadequate for directions. No updates planned. 4 titles.

Writing **** Photos NONE Maps *** Index *** Binding & Paper **** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ****

The Used Book Lover’s Guide. Book Hunter Pr. pap. $17.95-$19.95

Made up of seven regional guides (e.g. New England, Mid-Atlantic States, Pacific Coast States), this series covers over 7900 used book dealers in the United States and Canada. It provides useful information for those visiting in person, searching for books online, or ordering by phone or mail. Bulky, heavy, and with a handbook format, the guides are organized geographically by state and alphabetically by location and dealer. For each dealer there is a description of the stock, owner and payment information, travel directions, and more. The maps, although quite useful, are scarce and do not compliment the driving directions. Revised every three or four years. 7 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps * Index **** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ***

Guides for family travel

NEW! Around… with kids. Fodor’s. pap. $10.

These fun, pocket-size guides suggest 68 things to do with kids in major U.S. cities. The sites covered include museums, toy stores, puppet theaters, and much more. Scattered throughout are useful sections on trivia about each site (“Hey Kids!”) and info on “Kid-Friendly” restaurants. Written in a friendly tone, these are suitable for both adults and their children. Kids will find the cheerful illustrations amusing. Note: these small, light books won’t stand up to heavy use. Planned to be updated biannually. 7 titles.

Writing **** Photos NONE Maps NONE Index ** Binding & Paper * Ease of Use *** Insider Info **

Fun places to go with children. Chronicle. pap. $11.95.

Packed with information on anything and everything related to traveling with kids, this is the most thorough of the sites in this category. The straightforward, unadorned writing, the lack of amusing illustrations, and the clear maps suggest that they are meant to be ready by adults rather than the kids they travel with. Although their size is standard, their cluttered format is not user-friendly nor practical for walking around. Locations covered include New England, Washington DC, and Colorado. Updated biannually. 6 titles.

Writing ** Photos NONE Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use ** Insider Info ****

Accommodation & food guides

Best places to stay. Houghton. pap. $19.

These cover “best places” to lodge in North America and the Caribbean. Although oversized, they are well organized and provide much more diverse information than the series’ name suggests. Besides including the most luxurious hotels, the guides also emphasize the many rewards of lodging in smaller – and in many cases cheaper – hotels, inns, and motels. The maps are sloppy and sketchy. Locations covered include Florida, Mexico, Hawaii, and California. Updated biannually. 7 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps * Index ** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ***

Charming Small Hotel Guides. Hunter Pub. pap. $12.95-$14.95.

This “charming” series sparkles with photographs that stress the beauty of the finest – but not necessarily the costliest – small hotels across Europe (by country) and the United States (by state). Most hotels get a full-page with a clear, revealing photograph, one or two beautifully written descriptive paragraphs and a shaded section with contact info., prices, etc. Librarians need not be put off by the guides’ petite size – these have been bound to last. Updated biannually. 12 titles.

Writing **** Photos **** Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ****

NEW! World Food. Lonely Planet. pap. $11.95-$12.95.

Meant “for people who live to eat, drink, and travel,” these include information on culture, the history of drinking, and each region’s specialties. They pay close attention to the way in which the culture is shaped by the food and vice versa. This series omits restaurants – except for a very few – but Lonely Planet makes up for this lack in another series on dining, Out To Eat. Planned to be updated biannually. 10 titles.

Writing **** Photos **** Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper *** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ****

Guides for budget traveling

Cheap Eats & Cheap Sleeps.
Chronicle Bks. pap. $12.95-$13.95.

These are all written by Sandra A. Gustafson, an avid traveler. Each guide kicks off with a list of valuable tips on traveling inexpensively, followed by extensive general travel information. “Cheap” does not mean shoddy but unextravagant and adventurous. Lacking photos, illustrations, or easily recognizable icons, these are laden with useful text. Besides offering plenty of information on lodging and dining, they also include a glossary and a section on low-cost but high-quality shopping. Updated biannually. 11 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps * Index *** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ***

Let’s Go. St. Martin’s. pap. $16.99-$23.99.

This series dates back to 1960 when it comprised only one guide, Let’s Go: Europe. That title has since been updated 40 times and remains the world’s best-selling international travel guide. In fact, the series as a whole outsells all other budget series. The guides are packed with practical information, and their impressive range, high-quality maps, and laid-back, even humorous tone – especially appealing to students – make them comparable to the major general guides, with an emphasis on spending money wisely. A few annoying ads aside, this is, by far, the most comprehensive, authoritative budget series. Updated annually. 34 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps * Index *** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use **** Insider Info ***

Mr. Cheap’s. Adam’s Media. pap. $9.95.

This user-friendly, thorough series covers sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, dining out, and lodging. The sheer amount of insider’s information will please most bargain hunters, but the poor mass-market binding will not stand the test of circulation. Updated every three or four years. 7 titles.
Writing ** Photos NONE Maps NONE Index *** Binding & Paper * Ease of Use ** Insider Info *

upClose. Fodor’s. pap. $13.50-$17.50.

Unlike other budget series, this one covers many off-the-beaten-path locations and emphasizes seeing locals and their way of life. Featuring a warm and amiable tone, these cover all aspects of economy travel. Similar to the Let’s Go guides, these, too, are sufficient in themselves, though they are aimed at a more traditional traveler. The format is a bit jumbled. Updated biannually. 15 titles.

Writing *** Photos NONE Maps ** Index *** Binding & Paper ** Ease of Use *** Insider Info ***

Monday, May 24, 2010

Have book will travel

Roncevic, Mirela. “Have Book Will Travel.” Library Journal, Nov. 15, 2000 pp. 32-36. Available from Library Journal.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Staying current with travel

Roncevic, Mirela. “Staying Current with Travel.” LibraryJournanl, 8/15/2003, Vol. 128 Issue 13, p114,3p. Available fulltext on EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier, and from LibraryJournal Website at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Atlases and maps of Canada

Atlas of Canada
Atlas of Canada and the World
Detailed maps showing Canada’s provinces and territories, plus statistical spreads consider various natural and man-made themes, such as geology and climate, population and industrial output. Provides data on Canada’s geography, history, economy and culture. Includes maps of the provinces and territories. Whitecap, 1999.

Big Book of Canada: Exploring the Provinces and Territories
Author Christopher Moore introduces the things that make this country unique. Each province and territory is explored and defined not only by its physical features, but also by its history, t he people that make up its population, and the industry and culture that distinguish each region. The book is lavishly illustrated by well-known artist Bill Slavin, and features 150 full color photos. Tundra, 2002.

Canada Atlas – Kids Edition
MapArt has specifically designed this atlas for kids. There are maps, plus puzzles and games. Each province has its own map, plus there’s a map of Canada. Bright colours and an attractive layout makes this atlas very appealing to younger children. Peter Heiler Ltd., 2000.

Canada Map and Place Name Index

Canada Recreation Atlas
The Canada Recreation Atlas is a compilation of the provincial recreation maps produced by MapArt. It features full-colour maps covering all of Canada, including inset maps of 51 major Canadian cities. In addition to the maps, the Atlas includes Gazetteer of over 11,000 place names, creeks, rivers, lakes, inlets, bays and islands. Peter Heiler Ltd., 2000.

Canada Road Maps

Canadian Communities Atlas
GeoAccess, formerly the National Atlas Information Service of Geomatics Canada, in partnership with a Teacher’s Advisory Group from the Canadian Council for Geographic Education, is offering this Internet based project to schools across Canada. By participating and creating a Community Atlas web site, schools will be able to be part of the National Atlas of Canada. The sixth edition, an Internet based version, is currently underway and will provide the very best geographical and geospatial information and data to Canadians.

Canadian County Atlas Digital Project
Begun in July 1998, the County Atlas pilot project initially encompassed ten atlases. Two subsequent Phases allowed the completion of the Ontario map, ultimately totalling forty-three atlases. The County Atlas Digital Project is a searchable database of the property owners’ names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners’ names in the database.

Centre for Topographic Information: Natural Resources Canada
As Canada’s national topographic mapping agency, the Centre for Topographic Information of Natural Resources Canada is responsible for the acquisition, management and dissemination of topographic information for the Canadian landmass.

Using information contained in the National Topographic Database, the Centre for Topographic Information in Ottawa produces topographic maps at scales of 1/50,000 and 1/250,000. In addition, the centre is the custodian of the federal aerial photography archives and offers aerial photography reproduction and distribution services.

Concise Gazetteer of Canada
Covers the whole country. Includes 47,000 of the 350,000 place names used in Canada. Produced by the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, Natural Resources Canada. Canadian Government Publishing, 1997.

Electoral Atlas of the Dominion of Canada (1895)

The Great Lakes. An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book.
Government of Canada and United States Environmental Protection Agency. 1995. Print copy available.

Historical Atlas of Canada.
The Historical Atlas of Canada was a three-volume collaborative publishing project, finished in 1993, which used maps, text and other graphics to explore themes in the history of Canada. The Online Learning Project proposes to make many of the maps and re search data created for the Atlas available over the Internet. At present the Online Learning Project is under development and seeking funding; only 15% of the proposed Tables of Contents is actively online.

Historical Atlas of Canada: Canada’s History Illustrated with Original Maps
Covers a period of a thousand years and contains the historically significant maps of Canada gathered from major archives and libraries from around the world. The atlas tells Canada’s history using maps. All of the major cities in Canada are represented. Douglas & McIntyre, 2002.

Infoplease Atlas of Canada and the Provinces

Scholastic Canada Atlas of the World
Contains over eighty maps, hundreds of colour photographs and thousands of statistics. Each topographical map indicates important cities, mountains, deserts, bodies of water, border countries and national capitals. Sidebars with essays and pictures help with understanding the different cultures. Information about each country is contrasted with Canadian data. Scholastic. Grade 4 and up.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Introduction to reference: World atlases

Required reading
World Atlas and Dictionary Roundup

Canadian maps and atlases
Required reading

“Atlases and maps of Canada”. School Libraries in Canada 2003 v. 27 no. 3 Available in pdf from Ebscohost Academic Search Premier.

Atlas of Manitoba. Winnipeg: Surveys and Mapping Branch, Dept. of Natural Resources, 1983.

The Atlas of Canada. Toporama.
Online Canadian topographical maps and orthoimages.

Yahoo! Canada Maps
Use to find maps and directions to Canadian destinations. Enter address, intersection, city, province or postal code to find a location, or use driving directions.

Other maps and atlases
MRC Library Internet Subject Guides: Maps
An extensive list of links compiled by Mount Royal College Library in Calgary.

National Atlas of the United States
This atlas updates a large bound collection of paper maps that was published in 1970. It delivers map-like views of America’s natural and sociocultural landscapes.

National Geographic Map Machine,%20-99.71000000000001&z=4
Online atlas created by National Geographic. Maps. Charts everything from physical topography and political leanings to climate and population trends worldwide. You can find street maps for all of the United States, Canada and Europe. The “Flags and Facts” link leads you to detailed profiles of 191 countries, which includes a brief history of each locale, its demographics, economics and politics—and of course, maps. Follow the “World Themes” link to view time zones, transportation density and weather maps. Under “U.S. Themes,” you will find diversity, density and population maps based on Census 2000. The Web site even has a link to an interactive map of Mars.

Place names
Gazetteers: Descriptive

Cambridge World Gazetteer: A Geographical Dictionary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
First published as Chambers World Gazetteer. Fewer but more detailed entries than Webster’s.

Columbia Gazetteer of the World
Updating of 1952 ed. Includes countries, towns, rivers, mountains, national parks, etc. Contains 165,000 entries in 3 volumes, some relatively lengthy.

The Columbia Gazetteer of the North America
50,000 entries. Covers every incorporated place and county in the United States, along with several thousand unincorporated places, special-purpose sites, and physical features, as well as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names On Line
Contains nearly 1 million place names (including continents, rivers, mountains, empires, nations, states, districts, townships, cities, neighbourhoods, etc.). Global in scope. Provides information on place names related to art, art history and related subjects, such as history archeology, and geography.

Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1997.
A comprehensive source of geographical, economic, historical and political information. Over 54,000 entries and 250 maps. Information on continents, countries, regions, cities, historical sites and natural features with pronunciations and variant spelling.

World Gazetteer

Online resource. Contains current population figures for cities, towns and places of all countries largest cities of the world images of national flags. Personal site.

Gazetteer of Canada.
Published in parts with a separate volume for each province and territory except Quebec. Lists co-ordinates and provides references to National Topographic Series sheet numbers for both physical features and place names of cities, towns, etc. Concise edition published 1997.

Geographic Names Information System
From U.S. government. Contains information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States. Also contains information on geographic names in Antarctica.

GEOnet Names Server (GNS)
Provides access to the National Imagery and Mapping Agency’s (NIMA) database of foreign geographic feature names. The database is the official repository of foreign place-name decisions approved by the U.S. board on Geographic Names. Currently, the GNS contains 3.97 million features with 5.5 million names (approximate).

U.S. Gazetteer
Searchable database by name, state abbreviation or zip code. Contains geographic information, maps and census data.

U.K. Names (Ordnance Survey of Great Britain)
Gazetteer of British place names. Links to OS maps.

Place Name Origins
BC Geographical Names
Provides location and topographic map sheet showing the place or feature. Also has an option to do “sounds like” searches. Includes origin notes and history.

Geographical Names of Manitoba. Manitoba Conservation.

Place Names in the Canadian Rockies

Place Names of Manitoba. Penny Ham. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1980.

Place Names Database. Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.
Search for place names in the Northwest Territories. Provides location and topographic map sheet showing the place or feature. A map showing the feature’s location can also be displayed. Includes history/origin of name.

Place Name Sites
Guide to place names sites on the Internet from Arizona State University Libraries Map collection.

Other Map/Atlas Resources – Geography
Includes online maps arranged alphabetically. Includes links to additional geographic resources.

How Far Is It?
This service uses data from the US Census and a supplementary list of cities around the world to find the latitude and longitude of two places, and then calculates the distance between them (as the crow flies). It also provides a map showing the two places.

Map Collections: 1500-2003
From Library of Congress. Extensive collection of digitized maps (mainly historical).

Best known for driving instructions for US and Canada.

Bing Maps
Search for maps and directions for Canada, U.S. and other world destinations.
Europe’s most popular mapping web site, offering a range of free, useful services to assist with everyday life. Key features include street-level maps of the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada and the US; road maps of the world; door-to-door travel directions; aerial photographs; and local information.
Odden’s Bookmarks
Comprehensive listing of cartographic sites. Provides links to over 9,500 map sites.

Perry Castaneda Library Map Collection
Excellent collection of online maps from the University of Texas. Contains about 2,400 maps.

Rand McNally Maps
City maps, driving directions for U.S. directions, etc.

Sample topographical maps for the entire United States. The database is searchable by place name or by latitude and longitude. Complete downloadable USGS maps are available for a fee.

United Nations Cartographic Section Web Site
Maps and geographic resources. Includes peacekeeping maps and country profiles.

Geographical handbooks
Country studies
This website contains the on-line versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Army. The original intent of the Series’ sponsor was to focus primarily on lesser known areas of the world or regions in which the U.S. forces might be deployed, so the series is not all–inclusive. At present, 102 countries and regions are covered. Notable omissions include Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and other Western nations, as well as a number of African nations.

World Factbook
Comprehensive, official CIA basic intelligence reference guide with reference maps.

Travel Guides
Required Reading

Roncevic, Mirela. “Staying Current with Travel.” Library Journal, 8/15/2003, Vol. 128 Issue 13, p114, 3p. Available fulltext on EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier. Updates articles listed below. Also available online from Library Journal

Supplementary Reading
Roncevic, Mirela. “Have Book Will Travel.” Library Journal. Nov. 15, 2000 pp. 32-36 and “Have Book Will Travel, Part II”. Library Journal Dec. 2000 pp. 78-81. Both are available fulltext on EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier. Rates guide book series.

Publishes Moon Handbooks, Rick Steeves Guides, Foghorn Outdoors.

Dorling Kindersley
Publishes DK’s Eyewitnesses Guides




Publishes the Insight Guides.

Let’s Go

Lonely Planet

National Geographic Traveler

Rough Guides
Text of guidebooks available online at no cost.

Other useful Internet sites for the traveler includes: – Travel
Includes sections on many areas of the world and lists relevant Internet sites.
Competing sites for travel resources on the net, includes info about package destinations, prices, etc. Canadian versions of U.S. sites.