Map & Imagery Collection Development Policy


    Remote-sensing images, maps, charts, atlases, and gazetteers are interdisciplinary materials. The following disciplines are supported at the doctoral level: Geology, Biology, Remote Sensing, Geography, Marine Sciences, Botany, Anthropology, History and Political Science. Environmental Studies, Engineering, Economics, Religious Studies, and Art are supported at the undergraduate level. Both on- and off-campus researchers have access to the digital-data/remote sensing/cartographic laboratory which may be used to enhance use of the materials. Materials are collected both in hard-copy and in digital formats.


    1. Languages. Materials are collected in all languages although the emphasis is on English and the Western European languages. Imagery is collected in all formats (digital or hard-copy) with the emphasis on the visible wavelengths.
    2. Chronological limits. Materials represent 1900 to the present with most representing the time period after 1950.
    3. Date of publication. Almost all materials collected are current publications; there is very little retrospective buying.
    4. Geographical areas. The maps, atlas, and imagery collections are worldwide in scope. The Americas, Western Europe, and Oceans are emphasized in the purchasing of cartographic materials. California is the primary area of coverage for purchased imagery. The physical sciences, including bathymetry and topography, are the primary subject areas. Land use, natural resources, and urban studies form a secondary level of collecting parameters.
    5. Type of publishers. Government agencies publish and distribute the majority of the collected materials. GeoCenter in Germany is the most used private vendor, with the rest of the materials coming from approximately 4,000 different vendors and producers throughout the world.

    1. Monographs. Topographic and bathymetric series constitute a large portion of collected cartographic materials. The quantity of individual sheet maps collected is not nearly as large. Hard-copy images are preferred in negative or positive transparency roll format. Color prints usually form a secondary level. Very seldom are multiple copies purchased.
    2. Serials. Very few serials are purchased and these are most often atlases published in a serial format.
    3. Government publications. Most materials received are produced with government contracts or under government direction.
    4. Proceedings/transactions. Not applicable.
    5. Technical reports. These are acquired very selectively, and then only if cartographic or imagery materials are the primary concern or they are reference materials supporting these formats.
    6. Reference materials. All materials except some book-format materials in are non-circulating and considered reference materials. In addition to materials listed previously, map bibliographies, map catalogs, vendor catalogs, NASA flight summary reports, and aerial-photography indexes (e.g., photomosaics) are routinely collected. The World Wide Web is heavily used.
    7. Festschriften. Not applicable.
    8. Primary/secondary source material. Not applicable.
    9. Dissertations. Not applicable.
    10. Newspapers. Not applicable.
    11. Microforms. Due to the visual nature of the materials, hardcopy materials are preferred over microforms. Microformats are sometimes collected for low use areas and catalog listings of imagery scene identifications in support of the hardcopy collections.
    12. Exclusions. Historical, out-of-print, original edition cartographic materials are not purchased.

    The collections are totally interdisciplinary.


    1. UC Consortium (Shared Acquisition). UC and Stanford Map Libraries have joint cooperation agreements.
    2. Sources outside UC. UCSB, Oregon State University-Corvallis, Arizona State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have established a consortium for the sharing of Landsat imagery.

Document developed by Larry Carver (ca. 1982); updated by Mary Larsgaard and Larry Carver.


Author: mary [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Mary Larsgaard)
Policy Last Updated: October 2004