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.

Here below, you can find some examples taked from NC State University, adapted from the book:

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

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.

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.

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

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 Journal

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.

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.

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).

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 Maps

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.