Collection Map Files (Finding Aids)

Creating and Modifying the Map File

This document describes what we call maps or map files. Map files contain mapped items where one term or name for the item is mapped to another term or name. For example, a term used by an HTML form to refer to a searchable region (e.g., "entire finding aid") can be mapped to an XPAT searchable region (e.g., EAD).

Currently, the format of the map files is SGML and each collection map file conforms to a simple DTD (other ways of mapping terms, such as a database where one could map from one column's data to another are possible and have been considered for implementation). The map is read into a TerminologyMapper object during the running of the middleware after which the CGI program can at any time request of the object the mappings for terms. Each mapped item and its various terms are contained within a <MAPPING> element.

An example map file for the sample finding aids collection can be found at $DLXSROOT/misc/f/findaid/maps/ Rather than modifying this file, a new map file should be created for each collection.

Each mapping element in a map file consists of the following:

This element determines what will display in the user's browser when constructing searches. It must match the value used in the collmgr.
This contains the variable name as it is used in the cgi.
The "native" element provides an appropriate XPAT search that the system will use to discover the appropriate content. The search may be simple (e.g., region EADID) or complex (e.g., ((region DID within region ARCHDESC) not within region DSC))
The element name itself, as it is indexed, without terms used in the XPAT search.