The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- CHOICE

This is the third major encyclopedia on human geography in six years. J. Pitzl's Encyclopedia of Human Geography (CH, Sep'04, 42-0060) is targeted to high schools. The Encyclopedia of Human Geography, ed. by B. Warf (CH, Jan'07, 44-2471) is more academic in tone, but has roughly one-third of the 914 entries in this title. The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography strives to live up to its name with 844 contributors representing over 40countries, though there is a strong UK and Commonwealth presence. Edited by Kitchin (director of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, National Univ. of lreland) and Thrift (a geographer and vice chancellor, Univ. of Warwick, UK), it covers both theoretical and applied aspects. At the same time, it is slated to reflect the changing nature of the discipline itself. Future plans are for this resource to be continually updated to trace developing scholarship. By retaining all entries, the encyclopedia will become a record of the course of the discipline itself. Interestingly, this work's production was delayed when some authors proposed a boycott based on the involvement of a Reed Elsevier subsidiary in the arms trade (the company later withdrew from defense exhibitions). This resource is organized into 18 broad subject classifications, ranging from "Metaconcepts" to "Urban Geography." The broad nature of these headings makes them less than precise; "Disciplinary Matters," for example, covers everything from "Research Funding Bodies" to "Nordic Geography." The "People" category contains biographies of only some 50 geographers; it excludes many, including Ellen Semple Churchill and J. H. von Thunen. Beyond scrolling through the subject classifications, users may do keyword searching. Boolean operators can be used in the menu-based Advanced Search, which can be delimited further by selecting from seven fields including abstract, author(s), subheadings, and references; an Expert Search is also an option . Idiosyncrasies with the ScienceDirect (CH, Sep'06 , 44-0034) interface can be tricky for the average searcher. Each entry has author-assigned keywords; no robust controlled vocabulary is available. Moreover, Boolean operators must be in "all caps," and phrases must be nested in uppercase brackets. Results are viewable in preview mode, with abstract, linked article outline, and references. Additionally, users may display results in either PDF or HTML format. Entries are reasonably consistent in style, content, and length, with each containing the aforementioned keywords, an outline, linked cross-references, and a bibliography for further reading that includes dynamic linking to journal articles and other ScienceDirect content. Given its scope and overall coverage, and its projected ever-current status (as of the next edition), this is a groundbreaking project that will be the standard for the field--potentially for generations. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Research collections supporting upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners. -- D. Liestman, Viterbo University


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