The Responses With the survey available during a quieter period of library activities, and thanks to a couple of reminder emails being sent out on the lists, our questionnaire received a total of 83 responses. Who is using Google Maps/Earth? The first couple questions dealt with the department or area of the library in which the respondent worked in, and what their position encompassed. As expected, a large majority of respondents, 81 percent, worked in “Map/GIS Services” while 28.8 percent also had “General Reference” responsibilities. Other Library Service areas mentioned included “Data Services” and “IT,” as well as some that fell outside library boundaries where staff worked in Geography and Environment Science Departments. Not surprisingly, 52 percent of the responses indicated that their position was “librarian,” with the majority being “GIS librarian” or “map librarian.” Others included “reference & instructional services librarian” and “science librarian.” Also received were 17 responses from GIS specialists, library technicians and map assistants. What was especially noteworthy was that 12 responses were from library administrators, directors, or department heads who were finding time to work with Google Earth as part of their responsibilities. This number also included GIS coordinators and map curators responsible for making decisions in their departments. Google Mapping Products : What is being used, how often and for what purpose? To gain an understanding of how library staff are using Google mapping products, a series of questions was asked of the respondents to determine which products were being used, how often and for which tasks. Respondents were given a list of all the Google mapping products available, and were asked to indicate which ones they had worked with. Not surprisingly, the top two products used by respondents were Google Maps, 93 percent (71) and Google Earth, 91 percent (69). Google Maps API had been used by 40 percent (30) of the respondents, followed by Google Earth Pro at 38 percent (29). Eight percent (6) had also worked with Google Earth API, and 7 percent (5) had used Google Earth Plus. Interestingly, one respondent indicated that they had deployed Google Earth Enterprise in their Library.
ACADEMIC USES OF GOOGLE EARTH AND GOOGLE MAPS IN A LIBRARY SETTING | DODSWORTH AND NICHOLSON 108 Figure 1. Respondents’ Use of Google Mapping Products Since many of these users may have simply used the products occasionally, it was important to get a sense of how often the products were being used. When asked the question “How regularly do you work with Google mapping products for work-related projects?” 69 percent (54) responded that they use the products at least once a month. Of those responses, 45 percent (35) use them at least weekly. Specifically, eighteen percent (14) use them one to two times a week, thirteen percent (10) use them three to four times a week, and fourteen percent (11) use them even more often than that. Only six percent (5) responded that they don’t use the products at all.
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- Fall '14
- Google Earth, Google Maps