Ask A Cartographer

Map Attribution - Examples & Guidelines

November 20 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Elements, Publishing

Can you identify any guidelines or general examples of appropriate map attribution? Specifically, how should credits be worded when source material, map layout design, and map preparation come from separate individuals, groups of individuals or institutions?

Mapping Center Answer:

The classy way to do this is a bit of text in an out of the way "corner" of the map that starts out "Data Sources: ...".  Then list the data sources. 

As a student making a thematic map I was always encouraged to give credit to the source for the thematic data, e.g., the Census or state legislature.   Now I typically would also credit the reference data in that map, e.g., from the ESRI Data & Maps DVD 2007.

Another consideration is whether you have a license to use the data, and if you do, does that license contain citation requirements?  I think this is becoming more and more the case, particularly as people self-publish data or map services. 

Generally, I would advise:  when in doubt, give credit and check the metadata or license to ensure you're doing so correctly.

Last, for public domain data, credit when and where you obtained it.  That gives anybody who really cares clues to the vintage of data you acquired.

If you would like to post a comment, please login.

Contact Us | Legal | Privacy |