SIS Maps can support all scientific projects and research activities in Germany, in particular in the fields of cartography, geoinformation, the history of cartography, as well as any related discipline using geoinformation and maps.
Support with your application for the services of the SIS
If the required geodata are offered by the provider for a fee, these costs have to be paid by the client.
Some services can be used without prior registration. For other services that are specifically offered by SIS Maps, a project-related registration and a project ID are required.
Use of services with prior application for a project ID via project registration:
Use of services without project registration (without project ID):
Note: If you have already received a project ID, enter it in the forms or by e-mail when using all services.
If a project ID is required, as described under "What must be done to use the services provided by SIS Maps?”, The project ID will be sent to your e-mail address once you have submitted the project application and it has been verified by SIS Maps.
The service of SIS Maps can be used several times, also by different project members.
Further details can be found in the guidelines of the Fachinformationdienst Kartographie und Geobasisdaten (only in german).
Our newsletter provides information on new developments, upcoming events and current service offers.
We will delete your data from our mailing list when you unsubscribe from our newsletter. You will find detailed information on data protection in our data protection declaration (Private Policy).
Acquisitions are materials obtained specifically for the applicant in order to support current research projects. SIS Maps acquires maps, atlases and other cartographic materials as well as specialised cartographic literature. Maps are acquired in analogue or digital format.
For your specific current research topic SIS Maps can acquire materials which go beyond the normal collection focus of the map department. These materials include maps, atlases, globes, map-like representations and specialised literature (view Principles of Collection Development). Make suggestions by using the relevant form.
Satellite and aerial images (orthophotos) are not part of the Map Department’s collection profile. We are ready to help you during the acquisition process, as well as with finding suitable suppliers and collections. Do not hesitate to use our geodata service.
You may make acquisition suggestions regarding maps from every region worldwide and in every language.
Maps as well as cartographic literature acquired from the financial means of the German Research foundation (DFG) will remain in the possession of the State Library. The Map Department will make the acquired items available to their future users.
In general, you can always contact us via phone or email. We look forward to giving you advice and support!
Note the following steps for a successful acquisition:
No, but we kindly ask you to indicate the purpose of the project and give a short explanation for your application.
Your acquisition proposal has the highest priority; however we cannot give exact information on the provision of material as they are subject to availability. We will inform you as soon as we know when you can make use of the required maps and/or cartographic literature.
For you, the acquisition is free of charge. For the consultation in the Maps Reading Room of the State Library you may need a library card which is subject to a charge.
There are following possibilities:
Acquired maps and cartographic literature can be used directly in the Maps Reading Room. For this option please tick “I wish to reserve the item upon arrival” on the form.
Cartographic literature can be borrowed in the library or ordered via inter-library loan. Articles published in specialist journals and books can be sent to you in PDF-format provided that the State Library has the item in digital format and the item is not available in your library.
The SIS Maps digitisation service can digitise the acquired maps as described in „How do I order the digitisation of cartographic materials?“. For this service you have to file an application for the digitisation for your project.
In the context of SIS Maps, digitisations are high-resolution scans of maps (digitised copies) which are produced for your project.
It is possible to digitise analogue maps from the extensive holdings of the Map Department (ca. 1.2 million cartographic representations from all over the world) or project-related new acquisitions.
The high-quality scans are saved as raster data in .tif or .jpg format (mostly 400 dpi resolution and distortion-free).
The digitisation is free of charge provided that SIS Maps supports your project.
The digitised items are meant to be the basis for your research project.
Third-party use of the digitised copies, which are provided free of charge, is prohibited.
Please also observe the Guidelines of the SIS Cartography and Geodata (SIS Maps), in german only. Richtlinien des Fachinformationsdienstes Kartographie und Geobasisdaten (FID Karten).
The digitised copies can be used for your research purposes without any restrictions or limitations. They can also be edited in any form.
You are prohibited to share the digitised copies with third parties. If you are planning a publication you need permission to publish. You may have to observe copyright restrictions. If you have questions, please contact us.
Apply for permission to publish via email and indicate the following:
Please observe the following citation method. In addition to proper bibliographic information in your bibliography, it is necessary to indicate the origin of the illustration, including the corresponding shelfmark (e.g. Kartenabteilung der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Kart. C 400). Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
In general, you can always contact us via phone or email. We look forward to giving you advice and support!
Note the following steps for a successful digitisation:
Please note that processing normally takes 1-2 weeks.
Data are provided on a FTP-Server of SIS Maps. You will receive an email with a link to the download. We are happy to inform you about further possibilities to obtain the requested data, e.g., DVD, USB Stick, and hard disk.
Geodata are digital data on objects, infrastructures, and landscape forms of the surface of the Earth, in relation to physical space. The data consist of geometric and technical data including their topological storage.
One can differentiate two types of data:
Topographic geodata describe the form and location of administrative, technical or natural boundaries and objects on the surface of the earth (topography). This includes, e.g., administrative boundaries, infrastructure, plots of land, and buildings as well as location and height coordinates. They fulfill a general standard, are not gathered for a specific purpose, but are collected and provided as a basis for manifold applications. Primarily, our services help you find your desired geodata.
Historical geodata are digitally collected data that are no longer up to date. For example, they may play an important role in monitoring natural phenomena and are therefore increasingly provided in geoportals. As part of our services, we search for the providers of such data if they are available.
The Map Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin holds ca. 1.2 million cartographic representations created in the period from the beginning of the 16th century to the present day. If our mainly analogue maps are of interest to you, for example because you need them as a basis for historical geodata, please contact us. After the successful registration of your project in SIS Maps we provide them free of charge. If the required maps are not part of our holdings, please use the form acquisition suggestion.
If you need a digital version (scan), please inform us via the form application for digitisation.
If vector data are required, it will be decided on a case-to-case basis how to proceed. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to give you advice and support!
You may request geodata from all over the world.
Geodata providers manage data formats in different ways.
An important part of geodata can be obtained free of charge. Please also have a look at GeoZG.
If the requested geodata are charged by the provider, the client has to pay the costs. The services of the SIS Maps such as consultation and assistance in finding geodata providers are free.
In general, you can always contact us by telephone or email if you are interested in the services of SIS Maps. We look forward to giving you advice and support!
We recommend the following steps:
We do our best to keep to the time period specified in the form. However, the delivery period may have to be extended for various reasons if, for example, the request is more complex or the geodata is difficult to obtain. This can be the case with data which are stored outside of Europe. Our service is to inform you as soon as possible.
Our service also includes consultation on the desired data quality with regard to your specific research question. As soon as the data are available, we will (if requested) do a test check on the data for their quality according to the usual parameters (e.g. completeness, logical consistency, accuracy) and inform you about the result.
If during the negotiations, there are any discrepancies regarding the expected data quality we can contact the provider and if necessary, arrange for possible modifications.
You will obtain the data directly from the provider and in the format provided by them. We will inform you about the availability of the data.
When you order geodata you will receive an invoice from the provider.
During the negotiation period, we will support you as far as possible in solving data provision problems.
Through the purchase of the geodata and the related license terms of the provider, the data become your property.
Information on the conditions of use are part of the purchase agreement between the client and the geodata provider.
If you have acquired the geodata by using funds of third parties, please observe the conditions of the third parties.
The BC is a directory of academic literature relating to the subject areas of cartography, history of cartography, and geoinformation. It also includes related subjects such as geodesy and geography as well as other disciplines provided that they cover cartographic topics. This bibliography is a service of the Map Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Since 2007 the database has been online and offers search tools in English and German.
The BC online database contains international academic cartographic literature which has been published after 1988. Currently it contains:
Around 2,000 publications are added every year.
Literature published before 1989 can be found in the print editions of the BC.
The BC does not list cartographic materials such as maps, globes, and atlases.
In general, it does not include popular scientific (pop-science) publications, company publications, and treatises where cartography is only used for illustration purposes.
All publication titles are recorded in their original language and also translated into English. German and French titles have not been translated. It has been decided not to translate Spanish titles. Therefore you are able to use English search terms in the bibliography.
The database offers three ways of searching:
The BC is increasingly providing direct access to the texts.
When using Advanced Search, select “only electronic media” to get search results either with the link “Online“ or “Open access“. These links may lead you to accessible full texts.
In regard to licensed specialist cartographic literature, which are in the holdings of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, you will obtain the shelfmark. As a registered library user you can access these publications.
Regarding all other publications the database provides the relevant bibliographic data
In case of questions you may contact us via email.