JournalMap came out of conversations at a conference where a group of us were debating how to find relevant research from similar areas of the world. We recognized that having the actual study locations was the key to this, so that evening Jason Karl geotagged a couple of volumes of a handful of journals and mashed them onto a Google Map – and JournalMap was born.

From it’s beginning, JournalMap has had an active research component. Our research program includes investigating automated techniques for recognizing and extracting location information from articles, development of geosemantic search techniques for literature discovery, and applications of the spatial distribution of knowledge for advancing scientific understanding.

Some of the research aspects of JournalMap are detailed on our wiki. Much of the code that we have developed for article geotagging and importing is on our GitHub repository.

JournalMap Publications

The following publications describe geographic-based literature searching and feature JournalMap:

  • Karl, J. W., J. K. Gillan, and J. E. Herrick. 2013a. Geographic searching for ecological studies: a new frontier. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2013.05.001
  • Karl, J. W., J. E. Herrick, R. S. Unnasch, J. K. Gillan, E. C. Ellis, W. G. Lutters, and L. J. Martin. 2013. Geo-semantic searching: discovering ecologically-relevant knowledge from published studies. BioScience. DOI: 10.1525/bio.2013.63.8.10

Related or Similar Efforts

JournalMap isn’t the first or the only effort to look at providing a map-based interface for literature search. What sets JournalMap apart is our general approach to the problem of knowledge discovery, and the ability for anyone to contribute articles. Several other sites that are pursuing the geo-referencing of published studies (or their data) or that provide tools for analyzing geo-referenced literature (for a more complete list, see our wiki page on related efforts).

  • GLOBE: Global collaboration engine - an online collaborative environment where land change scientists and researchers can synthesize and integrate local and regional case study data to assess the global relevance of their work.
  • Pangaea: Online, open access data publisher for georeferenced earth-system research data. Used to archive datasets associated with earth system science journals

Supporting Publications

The need for and foundations of geographic-based literature searching has been established, in part, by the following articles:

  • Fisher, R., B. T. Radford, N. Knowlton, R. E. Brainard, F. B. Michaelis, and M. J. Caley. 2011. Global mismatch between research effort and conservation needs of tropical coral reefs. Conservation Letters 4:64–72. URL:
  • Hughes, T. P., A. H. Baird, E. A. Dinsdale, V. Harriott, N. Moltschaniwskyj, M. S. Pratchett, J. Tanner, and B. L. Willis. 2002. Detecting regional variation using meta-analysis and large-scale sampling: latitudinal patterns in recruitment. Ecology 83:436–451. DOI: 10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[0436:DRVUMA]2.0.CO;2
  • Jetz, W., J. M. McPherson, and R. P. Guralnick. 2012. Integrating biodiversity distribution knowledge: toward a global map of life. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 27:151–159.
  • Karl, J. W., and J. E. Herrick. 2013. Rangeland Mashups and Wikicology? Implementing collaborative internet technologies for rangeland management. Rangelands 35:1–11. DOI: 10.2111/RANGELANDS-D-12-00069.1
  • Karl, J. W., J. E. Herrick, and D. Browning. 2012. A strategy for rangeland management based on best-available knowledge and information. Rangeland Ecology & Management 65:638–646. DOI: 10.2111/REM-D-12-00021.1
  • Martin, L. J., B. Blossey, and E. Ellis. 2012. Mapping where ecologists work: biases in the global distribution of terrestrial ecological observations. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10:195–201. DOI: 10.1890/110154
  • Shapiro, J. T., and A. Báldi. 2012. Lost locations and the (ir)repeatability of ecological studies. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10:235–236. DOI: 10.1890/12.WB.015
  • Van Vliet, N., O. Mertz, A. Heinimann, T. Langanke, U. Pascual, B. Schmook, C. Adams, D. Schmidt-Vogt, P. Messerli, S. Leisz, J.-C. Castella, L. Jørgensen, T. Birch-Thomsen, C. Hett, T. Bech-Bruun, A. Ickowitz, K. C. Vu, K. Yasuyuki, J. Fox, C. Padoch, W. Dressler, and A. D. Ziegler. 2012. Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden cultivation in tropical forest-agriculture frontiers: A global assessment. Global Environmental Change 22:418–429. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.10.009

Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about content geotagging, article integration or other publisher tools, please contact:

Jason Karl, Ph.D.
Research Ecologist,
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Jornada Experimental Range
(575) 646-1301