From NCMaps
Revision as of 13:17, 21 August 2008 by Ngraham (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Main Page > Metadata Schema > Type

In the North Carolina Maps project, the Subject - Type field is used to describe the original purpose of the map. This is less to inform the user about the map then it is to provide for helpful fields by which to browse, search, or filter results. This is a controlled-vocabulary field, using terms developed for the North Carolina Maps project. Multiple terms can be used in this field, but it will likely be most helpful to users if we don't overdo it.


Subject - Type Terms


Agricultural maps document land use or provide information of use to farmers. These will, in most cases, be prepared by the state Department of Agriculture. Soil survey maps, while they could easily be classed here, are given their own term in this field.


These maps were originally included in an Atlas. While this could be a state or international atlas, the majority appear to have come from national atlases, and show either the entire state or North Carolina, or North and South Carolina. Either the Bibliographic Note or Related Item fields should note that the book was originally published in or for an atlas.

Coast and Geodetic Survey

Both Coast Survey and Coast and Geodetic Survey maps are included here. This type is used only for maps prepared and published by the United States Coast Survey or Coast and Geodetic Survey. Nearly all of these are also classed as Nautical maps.


These maps make little or no attempt at geographic accuracy and usually contain a number of illustrations.

Discovery and Exploration

This term is used to describe early maps of the colony and state of North Carolina, especially those that show areas that may not have been completely surveyed (for example, many early maps of North Carolina only guess at the placement and extent of the mountains in the western part of the state).

Fire Insurance

This type will probably be used only for fire insurance maps produced by the Sanborn Map Company. However, if other fire insurance maps show up, they will receive this term.


When no other term on this list is appropriate, use this term. Standard wall maps, showing the entire state with substantial detail, will in most cases be included here, unless they emphasize a certain feature (such as railroads or highways).


Most of the maps assigned this term will have been produced by the North Carolina State Geologist or Geological Survey. However, any map that emphasizes the geology or mineral resources in the state should be classed as a Geological map (not to be confused with Soil Survey maps, which describe the soil types in a specific area).


Highway maps emphasize the state and/or national highway system(s). Most of these will have been produced by one of the state agencies responsible for North Carolina's highways (the agency names have changed several times). However, other privately-printed maps focusing on highways, such as those published by oil companies or AAA, should be assigned this term.


These maps illustrate historic events or situations and are published well after the fact. For example, a 1915 map showing Civil War battle sites would be classed as a historical maps. Maps published contemporary to the events (for example, a battle map drawn to be used in the field) should not be classed as historical maps.


Manuscript maps are original, hand-drawn maps. If these also focus on a specific topic, they could also receive another one of the types in this list.


Military maps are maps either prepared for use by the military, or those that emphasize placement and/or movement of troops in a given area.


Nautical maps are those prepared for navigational use on board a boat or ship. Not every map that shows soundings should be classed as a nautical map -- only those that show a great amount of detail relating to bathymetry and the location of islands and/or inlets should be assigned this term. Maps that include specific written instructions to ship captains and pilots should also be classed as Nautical maps. Nearly all of the maps published by the Coast and Geodetic Survey will be Nautical maps.


Panoramic, or "bird's-eye view" maps, show illustrations of an area (often a city or town) as if viewed from the air. These are distinctive looking maps. The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of panoramic maps online at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pmhtml/panhome.html.

Post Office

Maps produced by the U.S. Post Office, or which emphasize post offices and/or postal routes, should be assigned this term.


Property maps (also known as plat or cadastral maps) are those created for the purpose of showing the location and boundaries or personal, public, or commercial land.


While most maps show railroads, only those that feature railroads should be given this term. In many cases, these are called railroad maps.

Soil Survey

Nearly all of the maps assigned this term will have been created by the combined state and federal soil survey effort that began in the early 20th century. These detailed, colorful maps are easy to spot. There may be a few other soil survey maps that were privately printed.

Personal tools