Subject specializations and responsibilities
Maps, Cartography, Human Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Government Documents
Biographical informationJohn received his MILS from the University of Michigan in 1990. While studying there he worked as a Library Assistant in the Hatcher Graduate Library’s Map Collection and as an Assistant at the William L. Clements Library’s Map and Atlas Collection.
John has worked professionally as the Assistant Map Librarian at the University of Minnesota (1990-1994) and as Sr. Assistant Librarian at the Behrend College of Penn State University (1994-2000) before being appointed to his present position at SU.
Current research interests and activities
Scanning and digitizing historical aerial photography and maps of New York State. Assessing and interpreting the historical maps and census data of Central New York State and its geo-spatial conversion. Geo-spatial repositories and clearinghouses. John is also the site license administrator for ESRI’s ArcGIS software for the SU and SUNY-ESF campuses.
Professional activities and publications
John has been active in the American Library Association (ALA) serving in a number of elected and appointed positions in the Map and Geospatial Information Roundtable (MAGIRT) over the past 25 years: Currently he is a member of the GeoTech, and Publications committees and serves as Editor of base line.
Editor-in-chief of: base line: Newsletter of ALA’s Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) 2014-
Column editor/writer of: "ALL THINGS DIGITAL!" for Journal of Map and Geography Libraries. 2004-
Article review editor for "Coordinates A" An online peer-reviewed journal of ALA-MAGERT 2004-2011
Article review editor for "Coordinates B" An online journal of ALA-MAGERT. 2004-2011
Regional editor for: Guide to US Map Resources 3rd ed., Scarecrow Press, 2006.
Refereed Journal Articles
Olson, J. A. (2004). Library-based GIS Labs: A Case Study – Syracuse University. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 1(1), 75-88.
Hart, R. L., Olson, J. A., & Simmonds, P. L. (2001). Laser Printing at Public Workstations: User Behaviors and Attitudes. Information Technologies and Libraries, 20(1), 39-43.
Olson, J. A. (1999). What Librarians Should Know about Creative Thinking. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 25(5), 383-389.
Olson, J. A. (1999). How to Encourage Students in a Bibliographic Instruction Session to Use Critical and Creative Thinking Skills: A Pilot Study. Research Strategies, 16(4), 309-314.
Column Articles for “All Things Digital” in Journal of Map and Geography Libraries
Olson, J.A. (2014). Ten Years in the Geospatial Time Continuum. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 10(1), (in press)
Olson, J.A. (2012). Geography, GIS and Gaming: Learning tools or Just for Fun? Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 8(3), 290-294.
Olson, J.A. (2011). Health Related Geospatial Data and Social Media: Can You Harvest Geosoical Data? Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 7(3), 377-381.
Olson, J.A. (2010). Data as a Service: Are We in the Clouds? Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 6(1), 176-178.
Olson, J.A. (2009). Mobile Maps and the Research Library. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 5(2), 174-176.
Olson, J.A. (2008). Which is it? Scan or Digitize. Make up your Mind! Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 5(1), 108-111.
Olson, J.A. (2007). Digital Antiquarian Maps: A Paradox? Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 3(2), 111-113.
Olson, J.A. (2006). The Digital Debacle: Is the Cart Before the Horse? Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 2(2), 75-78.
Olson, J.A. (2005). Downloadable Viewers and Applications for Digital Orthophotos. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 2(1), 111-114.
Olson, J.A. (2005). News and Information Sources for Geographic Information Systems. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 1(2), 97-101.
Olson, J.A. (2004). JPEG2000: Ride the Wavelet. Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, 1(1), 137-140.
Non-refereed Journal Articles
Olson, J. A., & Simmonds, P. L. (1997). Internet Resources for Journalism / Communications. College and Research Libraries News, 58(2), 86-91.
Olson, J. A. (1993). Andrew Ellicott and the Surveys of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Journal of Erie Studies, 22(1), 3-25.
Olson, J.A. (2012). Health-Related Geospatial Data and Social Media: Can You Harvest Geosocial Data? In: Amy Blatt (ed.), Perspectives in Medical Geography, Theory and Applications for Librarians,(pp. 242-246), New York: Routledge.
Olson, J. A. (2000). How Search Engines Search the Web. In Trudi Jacobson (ed.), Critical Thinking and the Web: Teaching Users to Evaluate Internet Resources, (pp. 235-242). Pittsburgh, PA: Library Instruction Publications.
Olson, J.A. (2010). Vectorization. In: Barney Warf (ed.), Encyclopedia of Geography, (pp. 3009-3010), Los Angeles: Sage.
Olson, J.A. (2010, Nov). 1930’s Redlining Maps from the Home Owners Loan Corporation. Speaker and Moderator at the Faculty Collaborative Research Colloquium, Syracuse, NY.
Olson, J. A. (2002, July). Library-based GIS Labs: What you should know. Paper presented at the ESRI Education Users Conference, San Diego, CA.
Olson, J. A. (2000, October). GIS: What's it all about. Paper presented at the TeachingTools 2000 Conference, Syracuse, NY.
Olson, J. A. (2000, September). Data through the Library: What can I get for Free. Paper presented at the 16th New York State GIS Conference, Liverpool, NY.
Hart, R. L., Olson, J. A., & Simmonds, P. L. (2000, July). Network Printing in the Library: Students' Attitudes and Behaviors. Poster session presented at the 119th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Chicago, IL.
Olson, J. A. (1998, June). Critical Thinking: Applications for Students in a One-Shot Bibliographic Instruction Class. Can It Be Done? Poster session presented at the 117th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Washington, D.C.
Olson, J. A. (1995, June). Discussion on the use of the G Schedule with Cartographic Materials. Program panel member, presented by the MAGERT Map Cataloging Discussion Group at the 114th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Chicago, IL.