The Library of Congress >> Especially for Librarians and Archivists >> Standards

MARC Standards

HOME >> MARC Development >> Discussion Paper List


DATE: May 16, 2017

NAME: Coding 007 Field Positions for Digital Cartographic Materials in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange (CCM) and the ALA Map & Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT)

SUMMARY: This paper reviews adding new values for some 007 fixed field positions in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format to better accommodate digital cartographic resources.

KEYWORDS: Field 007 (BD); Physical Description Fixed Field (BD); Digital Cartographic Material (BD); Cartographic Material (BD)

RELATED: 2016-01; 2015-DP02

05/16/17 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

06/25/17 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: The committee expressed support for the addition of value "x" Not applicable to 007a position 04 Physical Medium.  It also recommended that the second sentence of the 007a/01 definition should be deleted rather than adding code “t” for remote access cartographic materials. It was noted that the word "photographic" in the definition of 007a position 06 Production/Reproduction Details could be removed, but it would need to be added to the label of value "c" Pre-production.  This will return as a proposal. The submitting group was encouraged to develop a separate discussion paper addressing similar issues in the 007d Globes configuration.  

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP06: Coding 007 Field Positions for Digital Cartographic Materials


In Discussion Paper 2015-DP02, CCM reviewed the coding of the Physical Description Fixed Field 007 for digital sound recordings and proposed new values to address gaps. Proposal 2016-01, also from CCM, defined new values in 6 positions of the 007s (sound recordings) physical description fixed field, and adjusted the definitions of some existing values, to enable precise coding of digital sound recordings.

A similar review is required for other 007 profiles, notably 007a for maps. CCM has joined forces with MAGIRT to prepare this paper focusing on the coding of digital cartographic materials.


The positions in the 007a (Maps) fixed field were reviewed and the applicability of the current values for digital cartographic resources of all kinds was considered.

An additional value would seem warranted in the following position:

04 - Physical medium

Options are presented for two positions:

01 - Specific material designation
06 - Production/reproduction details

No changes are considered in the remaining positions. The existing values either apply equally to digital and analog maps, or the position already includes a “not applicable” value.

03 - Color
05 - Type of reproduction
07 - Positive/negative aspect

This field is identical in both the Bibliographic format and in the Holdings format. Any changes adopted for the Bibliographic format are also automatically applied to the Holdings format.

2.1. Category of Material

All cartographic material, excluding globes, are coded value “a” (map) in 007 position 00. The current definition of code “a” does seem sufficiently broadly worded as to be applicable to digital cartographic resources. In addition, the record will generally also include field 007c (Electronic resource)  to provide details of the specific type of digital carrier.

007/00 - Category of material
a - Map
One-character alphabetic code that indicates the category of material to which the item belongs is map. Code a is used for all cartographic materials except globes. Code a is used when 008/25 (Type of cartographic material) contains code a, b, c, or e. A fill character (|) is not allowed in this position.

2.2. Specific Material Designation

Position 01 is the Specific Material Designation, and is defined as: “Special class of cartographic material to which the item belongs”. Despite this initial emphasis on the content of the material, the definition goes on to state that it is “usually the class of physical object, e.g., a diagram”. The definitions of the current values are based on content but in some cases are worded to imply the physical nature of those types of materials. In the case of values d (Atlas) and j (Map), the values in 008/25 (Type of cartographic material) repeat this information. However, the coding for diagram, profile, model, section, and view is not carried elsewhere.

The preferred option to better accommodate digital cartographic resources would be to reword the definition of the position to avoid the mention of “class of physical object”. This could be accomplished by simply deleting the second sentence of the definition.

007a/01 - Specific material designation
Special class of cartographic material to which the item belongs.

Usually the class of physical object, e.g., a diagram.

An additional 007 field (007c) would be used in the record to code for the specific type of electronic resource (specifying remote access or type of a carrier in position 01).

Alternately, an additional value for remote access digital cartographic resources could be defined. However, code “r” is already defined for remote-sensing image, thus the unused code “t” is shown in the option below as the new code for “remote”.

007a/01 - Specific material designation

d - Atlas
g - Diagram
j - Map
k - Profile
q - Model
r - Remote-sensing image
s - Section
<t - Remote>
u - Unspecified
y - View
z - Other
| - No attempt to code

Proposed definition for new value “t” is as follows:

t - Remote
Digital cartographic resource that is accessed, processed, executed, etc. remotely. In this case, the digital cartographic resource is used via input/output devices connected electronically to a computer. Frequently this involves connection through a computer network.

2.3. Physical Medium

Position 04 for Physical medium is defined as “Material out of which the cartographic item is made”. The values cover a wide range of physical materials that could be used to make analog cartographic resources. The values do not seem appropriate for remotely stored digital cartographic resources.

Similar considerations to those that resulted in the definition of a “not applicable” value in 007/10 (Kind of material) in 007s (sound recordings) for remote access digital sound recordings also apply to remote access digital cartographic resources. While the remote access digital resource is ultimately stored on some medium which must be made of a physical material, the cataloger is in no position to know what the physical medium is, and furthermore, the digital resource may be migrated to new media over time without the cataloger’s knowledge. As a result, a coding of “not applicable” in this character position would be more relevant than resorting to either u (Unknown) or z (Other) or using a fill character.

Generally, code “n” is used to stand for “not applicable” in most fixed field positions. However, in this position code “n” is currently defined to mean “Vellum”. Value “x” is unassigned and is proposed in its stead.

04 - Physical medium
a - Paper
b - Wood
c - Stone
d - Metal
e - Synthetic
f - Skin
g - Textiles
i - Plastic
j - Glass
l - Vinyl
n - Vellum
p - Plaster
q - Flexible base photographic, positive
r - Flexible base photographic, negative
s - Non-flexible base photographic, positive
t - Non-flexible base photographic, negative
u - Unknown
v - Leather
w - Parchment
<x - Not applicable>
y - Other photographic medium
z - Other
| - No attempt to code

Following the pattern used in the definition of value n (Not applicable) in 007/10 (Kind of material) in 007s, the proposed definition for new value “x” is as follows:

x – Not applicable
Physical medium is not applicable to remote digital cartographic resources because it pertains to characteristics specific to physical aspects of carriers.

Although some of the same list of values is used in position 007/04 (Kind of material) in 007d (Globe), the additional value “x” is not proposed in that position, as it seems logically impossible to have a remote access digital globe.

2.4. Production/reproduction details

Position 06 Production/reproduction details is defined as “Photographic technique used to produce the cartographic item.” This puts the emphasis on a small list of specialized photographic reproduction techniques. The current values are defined as follows:

a - Photocopy, blueline print
Has a blueline image on a white background and is reproduced by the whiteprint process. Bluelines are made from vellum, film positives, or any translucent or transparent original on which an image has been made.

b - Photocopy

c - Pre-production
Pre-production (proof) copy intended for review.

d - Film
Film copy of the original.

u - Unknown
Production/reproduction details are not known.

z - Other
Production/reproduction details for which none of the other codes is appropriate.

| - No attempt to code

The cataloger dealing with a remote access digital cartographic resource, or indeed one on CD-ROM, is left with a quandary for this position. The technique is an “other” technique (value “z”) but not a photographic technique (and so possibly the position is “not applicable” but there is no such code).

The options for this position would be to either:

a) define a value “n” - Not applicable (not a photographic technique)

b) broaden the scope of the field by removing the restriction to photographic techniques. That is, rewording the position definition by removing the word “photographic”:

Photographic tTechnique used to produce the cartographic item.

With the more broadly defined position scope, the value “z” (Other) can be interpreted as including also “other” techniques that are not photographic in nature.


3.1. Born-digital map

Current coding:

LDR 01506nem a2200421 i 4500
001 ocn909406802
003 OCoLC
005 20160929113305.0
006 m#####o##d#f######
007 aj#cznzn
007 cr#cn|||||||||
008 150519s2015####dcub######a##fo#0###eng#c
040 ## $aGPO$beng$erda$epn$cGPO
034 0# $aa
035 ## $a(OCoLC)909406802
042 ## $apcc
043 ## $an-us-wa
052 ## $a4282$bO3$bW4
074 ## $a0080-G (online)
086 0# $aA 13.28:OK 1/7
245 00 $aPersonal use mushroom harvest areas, Okanogan-Wenatchee NF.
246 3# $aPersonal use mushroom harvest areas, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
255 ## $aScale not given.
264 #1 $a[Washington, D.C.] :$bForest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture,$c[2015?]
300 ## $a1 online resource (1 map) :$bcolor
336 ## $acartographic image$bcri$2rdacontent
337 ## $acomputer$bc$2rdamedia
338 ## $aonline resource$bcr$2rdacarrier
500 ## $aRelief shown by shading.
500 ## $aTitle from title screen (viewed on May 14, 2015).
505 0# $aNorth half--South half.
650 #0 $aMushrooms$xHarvesting$zWashington (State)$zOkanogan National Forest$vMaps.
650 #0 $aMushrooms$xHarvesting$zWashington (State)$zWenatchee National Forest$vMaps.
710 1# $aUnited States.$bForest Service,$eissuing body.
856 40 $u
856 4# $u

007a field with proposed new coding in 007/04:

007 aj#cxnzn

3.2. Digital reproduction of an atlas

Current practice:

LDR 03752cem a2200757 i 4500
001 ocn622659853
003 OCoLC
005 20160929121510.0
006 m#####o##d#f######
007 ad#cznzn
007 cr#bn||||||abp
007 cr#bn||||||ada
008 100519s1999####cou#######e##fo#0###eng#c
040 ## $aOCLCE$beng$erda$epn$cOCLCE$dOCLCQ$dOCLCF$dOCLCO$dGPO
034 0# $aa
035 ## $a(OCoLC)622659853
042 ## $apcc$adlr
043 ## $an------
050 #4 $aG1106.C8$bT4 1999
052 ## $a3301
070 ## $a407$bG29Pr no. 1650
072 #7 $aC8$2lcg
072 #7 $aD2$2lcg
074 ## $a0624 (online)
082 04 $a582.16/097/022$221
086 0# $aI 19.16:1650 A-B
100 1# $aThompson, Robert Stephen,$eauthor.
245 10 $aAtlas of relations between climatic parameters and distributions of important trees and shrubs in North America /$cby Robert S. Thompson, Katherine H. Anderson, and Patrick J. Bartlein.
246 18 $aRelations between climatic parameters and distributions of trees and shrubs, North America
250 ## $aVersion 1.0.
255 ## $aScale not given.
264 #1 $aDenver, CO :$bU.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey,$c1999.
300 ## $a1 online resource (1 atlas (2 volumes)) :$bcolor maps
336 ## $acartographic image$bcri$2rdacontent
337 ## $acomputer$bc$2rdamedia
338 ## $aonline resource$bcr$2rdacarrier
490 1# $aU.S. Geological Survey professional paper ;$v1650 A-B
500 ## $aTitle from title screen (viewed on Apr. 27, 2015).
500 ## $a"14 December 1999."
504 ## $aIncludes bibliographical references.
505 0# $a[A] Introduction and conifers -- [B] Hardwoods.
506 ## $3Use copy$fRestrictions unspecified$2star$5MiAaHDL
533 ## $aElectronic reproduction.$b[S.l.] :$cHathiTrust Digital Library,$d2010.$5MiAaHDL
538 ## $aMaster and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.$u$5MiAaHDL
583 1# $adigitized$c2010$hHathiTrust Digital Library$lcommitted to preserve$2pda$5MiAaHDL
588 ## $aDescription based on print version record.
651 #0 $aNorth America$xClimate$vMaps.
650 #0 $aPhytogeography$xClimatic factors$zNorth America$vMaps.
650 #0 $aConifers$xGeographical distribution$xClimatic factors$zNorth America$vMaps.
650 #0 $aWoody plants$xGeographical distribution$xClimatic factors$zNorth America$vMaps.
650 #7 $aClimatology.$2fast$0(OCoLC)fst00864281
650 #7 $aConifers$xGeographical distribution$xClimatic factors.$2fast$0(OCoLC)fst00875272
650 #7 $aPhytogeography$xClimatic factors.$2fast$0(OCoLC)fst01063244
650 #7 $aWoody plants$xGeographical distribution$xClimatic factors.$2fast$0(OCoLC)fst01179983
651 #7 $aNorth America.$2fast$0(OCoLC)fst01242475
655 #7 $aMaps.$2fast$0(OCoLC)fst01423704
700 1# $aAnderson, Katherine H.$q(Katherine Hauschildt),$eauthor.
700 1# $aBartlein, Patrick J.,$eauthor.
710 2# $aGeological Survey (U.S.),$eauthor.
776 08 $iPrint version:$aThompson, Robert Stephen.$tAtlas of relations between climatic parameters and distributions of important trees and shrubs in North America.$dDenver, CO : U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 1999$w(DLC)  99028947$w(OCoLC)41310813
830 #0 $aU.S. Geological Survey professional paper ;$v1650 A-B.
856 40 $u
856 4# $u
856 40 $3HathiTrust Digital Library$u

In the existing record, the value of position 007a/05 (Type of reproduction) is given as n (Not a reproduction). However, field 533 (Reproduction Note) clearly indicates that the resource is a reproduction. As a result, the expected coding of 007a/05 would be z (Other type of reproduction).

007a field with proposed new coding in 007/04, and correction of 007/05:

007 ad#cxzzn


No impact.


5.1. Is the existing definition of value a (Map) in 007/00 (Category of material) sufficiently inclusive to cover remote access digital cartographic resources?

5.2. Should the scope of the position be modified as proposed to put more emphasis on the content rather than the carrier so that remote access digital cartographic resources are clearly included? Alternately, is it desirable to define value t (Remote) in 007a/01 (Specific material designation) to code remote access digital cartographic resources?

5.3. Is there agreement with the proposal to define value x (Not applicable) in 007/04 (Physical medium) to code remote access digital cartographic resources?

5.4. Should the scope of position 007/06 Production/Reproduction Details be revised to more clearly code non-photographic techniques? Or alternately, should a “not applicable” value be defined in the position?

5.5. Are there other 007a (Maps) positions that require adjustment and/or new values in the same vein as what has been discussed? If so, which ones?

HOME >> MARC Development >> Discussion Paper List

The Library of Congress >> Especially for Librarians and Archivists >> Standards
( 08/03/2017 )
Legal | External Link Disclaimer Contact Us