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HIST 269: History of Mapping (HC)

HIST 269: History of Mapping and Mapping History: From Ptolemy to Geographic Information Systems (Gliserman) Fall 2016

For Guide Builders

If you'd like to use the "Search Tips" box on your guide, we recommend that you:

  1. copy the box (instead of simply reusing it)
  2. edit the content of the box to include relevant search terms where indicated by the phrase "relevant search term"
  3. use Photoshop or a similar application to add those search terms to the Venn diagram images

Search Tips

The large number of citations in many catalogs and databases requires one to limit otherwise broad or general searches in order to retrieve a manageable and pertinent number of results.  Conversely, overly narrow search terms can return too few results.  One way of solving both problems is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow one to limit or expand searches depending on his or her needs.

For example, a search for relevant search term AND relevant search term will return items that contain both relevant search term and relevant search term:

Relevant search term OR relevant search term returns items that contain either relevant search term or relevant search term or both:

Relevant search term NOT relevant search term returns items that contain relevant search term but not relevant search term:

Phrase searching:

An important strategy for one to employ when researching phrasal concepts (e.g., "relevant search term") or conducting known-item searches for titles:

  • For example, relevant search term will search for relevant AND search AND term.
  • However, "relevant search term" in quotation marks will search for relevant search term explained.

Nested Searching:

When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is helfpul to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.

  • For example, (relevant search term OR relevant search term) AND relevant search term will return results for relevant search term and any one (or both) of the parenthetical terms.
  • Many catalogs or databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search bars to facilitate nested searching.

Truncation and Wildcards:

Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.

  • For example, one could search for politic* to find poltic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.
  • Wildcard searching works similarly: a search for t??th will return results for teeth, tooth, tenth, and so on.