Hand Annotations

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Hand Annotations

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Modificato: Maggio 9, 2007, 10:49am

Does anyone else make hand annotations on their maps? Most (99%) of my maps are 7.5 minute topo maps that I use (ok, used to use, now that young kids have slowed my wanderings). Most of my annotated maps are utah canyonlands (and the surrounding areas) and Colorado mountains. They usually include things like technical routes, water sources, ruins, camping spots, forest service road numbers, some avy paths, etc...

I still have a lot of maps to add but currently I note hand annotations in the comments field. Thinking about switching them to the tags field.

Anyone else doing this? Suggestions for cataloguing topos to make them search friendly?

Maggio 16, 2007, 8:34am

I have so far only catalogued maps that come in the form of multi-page atlases, or maps with an ISBN (typically folded city street maps).

I have a number of (Swedish) topographical sheets as well, but while they have printed bar codes, those are not ISBNs. I have deferred entering them until I have decided what to write in the "author" field, because having either a named author or an ISBN is necessary (I think) to combine items with different titles. I believe combining items into works is more useful than the ability to search for individual items.

Modern maps however don't have named "authors" in the usual sense of the word, as they are normally produced in an automated fashion from GIS data. I don't like putting the names of corporate entities, such as the publisher, in the "author" field, because it distorts LibraryThing statistics (there are an awful lot of works here produced by "author" Rand McNally). Lacking the name of the head cartographer or similar role, I prefer leaving the "author" field blank. This however means I will be unable to combine those entries with those of other LT users. I wouldn't mind having a separate field for the publishing company, treated similarly to the "author" field.

The official title of each map sheet, including any alphanumeric designator, should be searchable via the title field. I would however add the names of the cities, provinces or countries covered by the map to the "tags" field (if I ever use the "comments" field, it's for notes relating to the physical copy, such as whether it's heavily worn, missing pages, split into multiple volumes, bound together with a separately printed work, or in an unusual location).

I usually don't make annotations on my maps (or in any printed books), but if I did, I would probably mention them too in the "comments" field.

Maggio 16, 2007, 9:30am

I certainly don't annotate my maps - they are mostly 1:25000 walking maps with sufficient detail that any annotation would mask something that may be important on another occasion.

There is a maximum limit on tag length which may make it less useful for adding annotations to. Requests for searchable comments have been numerous, and as yet unheeded. Maybe sometime - apparently the whole inspiration for Tim to set up LT was the ability to record marginalia and notes. You could add them to the review field which is I think searchable?

Maggio 16, 2007, 12:12pm

I would advise against using the "review" field for arbitrary notes, as they would then show up on the work page, telling other LT users your supposed opinion about this work. I entered some text in the review field by mistake once, and was surprised to find that it turned up on the group pages for those groups I'm a member of, under the headline "Recent reviews".

Looking at xkyzero's "7.5" comments, I agree they don't belong in the "tags" field, the limited length of tags being merely one indication of that (I regard it as a "keyword" field, and individual keywords shouldn't be too long anyway). Maybe the type of annotations (such as "streams" or "parking places") made on a map could be expressed as tags, but hardly the comments in general.

While I don't see much need to search the "comments" field myself, I agree that it would probably be useful to a lot of people. I just noticed that you can't even sort your catalogue based on that field; it suggests to me that the field is not meant to be used in any systematic fashion, but rather for arbitrary free-format notes not suitable in any other field. If a lot of users want to record their annotations, maybe a new field should be dedicated for this purpose?

Maggio 17, 2007, 3:19am

"I would advise against using the "review" field for arbitrary notes, as they would then show up on the work page, telling other LT users your supposed opinion about this work"

Well as LT is primarily a cataloging site, the guiding principle has always been "it's your data, do what you want with it" - hence if it is most suitable for you to put comments in the review field, don't let others opinions put you off. That said, I agree with #4, it isn't an ideal location either...

Maggio 21, 2007, 10:32am

#2 Haven't considered the author issue - I leave mine blank. I did notice I have 15 topo maps that have combined? themselves and appear as 15 versions of the same work. Haven't looked into why that is happening yet. It would be nice to come up with a way to combine maps with those of other users. I've noticed my newer topos have ISBN's and all of them have a number that looks like "36111-A8-TF-024" - can't remember what it's called.

#3 Though I never write in my books, my map annotations contain info like water sources, hidden ruins, and escape routes out of canyons - info that has often been passed down to me from others and I consider invaluable.

I'll probably keep it in the comments for now but maybe add general tags like sm5por suggested.

BTW - I've been doing most of my topo searches against the University of California. They seem to have a good catalogue of US topos.

Maggio 21, 2007, 10:42am

There is a limit on the number of characters LT considers as the title for works, I think it's 20. Your 7.5 minute series (topographic) : series all have identical first 20 characters and no author, hence they may have autocombined. I had a quick look and they don't want to seperate again either. You could try adding a pseudo author, which may get them to seperate, and then delete the author, hopefully they'd remain apart? Or you could put the location first and the identical 7.5min description afterwards.

If they used to be seperate and have recently become combined you could look in the helpers log to see who did the combing, and leave them a note asking them not to.

Maggio 21, 2007, 10:50am

They combined as I entered them - it must be the 20 char limit as you pointed out. I still have a lot of topos to add so I probably try to come up with a common convention for the title that keeps them seperate.