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Geography: GIS Resources and Geography Organizations

Research Resources for Geography

Five College Map Resources

Mount Holyoke College has a collection of USGS topographic maps (topos) that belong to the Department of Geology and Geography. Ask about these maps in the department office in room 304 in Clapp Labratory. This collection is distinctive in that it is a historic collection containing older editions of many of the same maps making possible comparisons over time. 

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has a significant Map Collection on the 2nd floor of the W. E. B. Du Bois LibraryThis is a non-circulating collection, which means materials can't be checked out, but they can be used at the library. UMass is also a U.S.Geological Survey Depository site and thus maintains and makes available all the USGS products received on the Depository contract. Sheet maps (e.g., U.S. topographic maps) are kept in flat cases in the main Map Collection while folded maps are kept in the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library (A273 Lederle Graduate Research Center Low Rise). Additional maps are in the Government Documents section in the Du Bois Library. See also Maps and Atlases in the Special Collections and Archives

Geography Club at UMass: s a UMass registered student organization in which students in the Five College Community who share an interest in geography can meet for field trips, talks, films, social events and other activities. 


Amherst College has historical maps in the Frost Map Room and in the Archives and Special Collections, which are both located in the Frost Library. Atlases and CIA Maps are in Reference. You may call Reference (413.542.2373) to inquire what is where or check the online catalog (since most of Amherst College's maps are cataloged). U.S. Topographical Maps (all states...latest only) are in the Frost Map Room. A selection of other map series from the USGS Depository Library Program are kept in the AC/Science Library in Frost.

Smith College has a large map room within Young Library on the lower floor. You can also check out the spatial analysis lab iSabin Reed Hall, which is located in the Clark Science Center


Hampshire College has a small map collection. Each map is cataloged and available for circulation. In addition, Hampshire has a CD-ROM version of the topographic maps of Massachusetts. Contact a librarian at the Harold F. Johnson Library for more information. 

Geographic Information Systems and Cartography Resources

Geography Organizations and Speciality Groups

American Association of Geographers: "is a nonprofit scientific and educational society founded in 1904. For more than 100 years the AAG has contributed to the advancement of geography. Its members from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's Annual Meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the American Association of GeographersThe Professional Geographer, the AAG Review of Books and GeoHumanities), and the online AAG NewsletterAAG Specialty and Affinity Groups are voluntary associations of AAG members who share interests in regions or topics. To date, there are more than 60 specialty/affinity groups in the AAG. Each group sponsors professional activities and networking opportunities."

American Geographical Society: "is a 21st-century learning society dedicated to the advancement of geographic thinking, knowledge, and understanding across business, government, academe, social sectors, and most importantly with teachers and students. Established in 1851, AGS is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States. It is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in geographical research and education for over 168 years. The mission of AGS is to advance and promote geography in business, government, science, and education. Our goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS seeks to engage the American public, from its youngest to its oldest citizens, with new and amazing ways to understand and characterize our changing world."

Black Geographies (Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers): "strives to create a global platform for promoting study of the social, political, cultural, economic, and ecological aspects of the race in/and geography and interconnections that shape Black lives and geographies on local, national, continental, and international scales." 

Climate Specialty Group (Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers): "The Purposes of the Climate Specialty Group: to encourage climatological research; to promote climatological education; to promote the exchange of climatological ideas and information; to promote the interests of climatology within the discipline of geography; to develop contacts and coordination with other climatological organizations.

Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the AAG: "is a forum for promoting communication and interaction among geographers involved in energy and environmental issues, to enhance the contributions of geographers to energy and environmental research, and to assist in developing related educational curricula." 

Geomorphology Specialty Group of the AAG: "The purpose of this group is to foster communication among those working in the geomorphic sciences, especially geography."

Latinx Geographies (Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers): "is a collaborative intellectual community that seeks to promote study of the political, cultural, economic, and ecological aspects of Latinx societies in/and geography." 

National Council For Geographic Education: "is a non-profit organization, chartered in 1915 to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning. NCGE supports geography teaching at all levels—from kindergarten through university. Our members include U.S. and international teachers, professors, students, businesses, and others who support geography education." 

Royal Geographical Society: "(with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK's learned society and professional body for geography. We advance geography and support geographers in the UK and across the world."

Society of Woman Geographers: "is an international community that supports women who know no boundaries by encouraging research and exploration, providing opportunities to share ideas and promoting intellectual exchange."



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