OCLC Research 2010: mapFAST

December 21st, 2010 by Merrilee

As 2010 winds down, we’d like to call attention to some of the things we’ve worked on or created this year. You can see a rundown of highlights here.

I’ve spent some time playing with mapFAST, which is a mashup between Google Maps and the FAST Geographic subject headings. This is a really neat way to explore the intersection between a geographic area and publications of all sorts.

I grew up in Garden Grove, California, so I used that as a launching pad for exploration. I like that the mapFAST display shows Garden Grove and its environs (note how close to Disneyland it is!). Browsing through the WorldCat results, there are of course numerous city planning documents, but also some interesting surprises. There’s a masters thesis based on survey data collected in the Garden Grove elementary schools, dating from close to the time I was a student. There’s also quite a bit on the Garden Grove Community Church, which I found curious until I realized that’s the old name for the Crystal Cathedral (home of the Hour of Power broadcasts). I was also able to find links to images of the “new” Crystal Cathedral during construction.

In addition to links to WorldCat.org, mapFAST also offers links to Google Books. I was surprised at how much content is available, almost too much even for the most ardent Garden Grove enthusiast.

You can find out more about mapFAST here, and more about FAST here.

And if you are thirsty for more, you can check out a three-page summary of our accomplishments over the last five years.

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4 Responses to “OCLC Research 2010: mapFAST”

  1. Ralph LeVan Says:

    Well, this has been a bummer. I grew up just up Beach Blvd in Azusa California, which I am sad to discover does NOT have a FAST heading! Azusa is the home of the world’s largest outdoor nursery (Monrovia Nursery), the world’s largest rotating neon sign (on the Miller brewery) and the world’s largest rock crusher. What does a town have to do to get the recognition it deserves!

  2. James Weinheimer Says:

    This is so great! Thanks for a fabulous new tool! I’ll have to think about how to use this. Hmmm……

    Congratulations!

  3. Merrilee Says:

    James, glad you find it inspiring! This is a demonstrator project, which shows the possibilities for FAST headings. Put your thinking cap on and let us know if you come up with other ideas. If you like mapFAST, stay tuned for postings on other demonstrator projects in this series!

    Ralph, Azusa certainly deserves a heading. Everything from A to Z in the USA!

  4. Ed O'Neill Says:

    Azusa California does have a FAST heading but the heading lacked geographic coordinates. To answer Ralph’s question, to get the recognition it deserves, just add the coordinates to the authority record. Go to FAST.OCLC.ORG and find search for the heading. you can then add provide the geogrpahic coordinates which will be add to the authority record on the next update. I just added the coorodinates for Azusa.