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255  Cartographic Mathematical Data (R)


Input Standards

Required if applicable/Required if applicable
1st Indicator  Undefined
blank character Undefined
2nd Indicator  Undefined
blank character Undefined
Subfields (R=Repeatable  NR=Nonrepeatable) Input Standards
ǂa Statement of scale (NR) Mandatory/Mandatory
ǂb Statement of projection (NR) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂc Statement of coordinates (NR) Required if applicable/Required if applicable
ǂd Statement of zone (NR) Required if applicable/Optional
ǂe Statement of equinox (NR) Required if applicable/Optional
ǂf Outer G-ring coordinate pairs (NR) Required if applicable/Optional
ǂg Exclusion G-ring coordinate pairs (NR) Required if applicable/Optional
ǂ8 Field link and sequence number (R) Optional/Optional


Mathematical data associated with cartographic material, including a statement of scale, statement of projection, and/or a statement of bounding coordinates. The coordinates can represent a bounding rectangle, the outline of the area covered, and/or the outline of a statement of bounding coordinates. For celestial charts, it may also contain a statement of zone, declination data, and/or right ascension data, and/or equinox.

Use field 034 for cartographic mathematical data in coded form corresponding to data recorded in field 255. Use field 500 for additional information about projection, coordinates, zone, and equinox. If you are entering a scale note for pre-RDA and pre-AACR2 cataloging, use field 507.

Use separate 255 fields for a multipart item with two different scales or a single item with components having two different scales. If a multipart item has three or more different scales, use one 255 field and record Scales differ.

If this scale within a single item varies and the largest and smallest values are known, record the range. If the largest and smallest values are unknown, record Scale varies.

If the scale cannot be determined or estimated, record Scale not given.

If the cartographic content is not drawn to scale, record Not drawn to scale.

See RDA 7.25 and Cartographic Materials, a Manual for Interpretation of AACR2, 2002 revision, for more information.

1st Indicator

Undefined. The 1st indicator position is undefined and contains a blank ( blank character ).
blank character Undefined

2nd Indicator

Undefined. The 2nd indicator position is undefined and contains a blank ( blank character ).
blank character Undefined


ǂa Statement of scale

The entire scale statement including any equivalency statements. Vertical scales or vertical exaggeration statements for relief models or other three-dimensional items are also included in subfield ǂa.

255     Scale 1:24,000.
255     Scale approximately 1:63,360.
[Item indicates the scale is approximate]
255     Scale approximately 1:100,000.
[Scale measured using a natural scale indicator]
255     Scale 1:253,440. 1 in. = 4 miles.
[Verbal scale calculated into a representative fraction]
255     Scale 1:3,960. 7 in. equal 140 rods.
255     Scale 1:250,000. Vertical scale 1:25,000.
255     Scales differ.
255     Scale varies.
255     Scale not given.
255     Not drawn to scale.
ǂb Statement of projection

The entire projection statement.

255     Scale 1:2,500,000. 39.46 miles to the in. ; ǂb Albers conical equal-area projection.
255     Scale 1:11,500,000 ; ǂb azimuthal equidistant projection ǂc (E 20°00'--E 80°00'/N 60°00'--N 10°00').
255     Scale 1:6,000,000. 94.7 miles to the in. ; ǂb Chamberlin trimetric projection.
255     Scale 1:300,000 ; ǂb Gauss-Kruger conformal projection.
255     Scale 1:63,360. 1 in. to the mile ; ǂb Lambert conformal conic projection ǂc (W 119°22ʹ30ʺ--W 117°52ʹ30ʺ/N 38°15ʹ00ʺ--N 36°00ʹ00ʺ).
255     Scale approximately 1:65,000,000 at the equator ; ǂb Mercator projection ǂc (W 180°--E 180°/N 80°--S 70°).
255     Scales differ ; ǂb polar stereographic projection.
255     Scale 1:24,000 ; ǂb polyconic projection.
255     Scale 1:35,000,000 ; ǂb Robinson projection, standard parallels 38°N and 38°S ǂc (W 180°--E 180°/N 90°--S 90°).
255     Scale approximately 1:4,750,000. 75 miles to the in. ; ǂb simple conic projection, with true parallels at 40° and 60°.
ǂc Statement of coordinates

Coordinates are recorded in the order of westernmost longitude, easternmost longitude, northernmost latitude, and southernmost latitude. Record coordinates in the form hemisphere-degrees-minutes-seconds or, in other forms, such as decimal degrees. Enclose the coordinates in parentheses. The two longitude statements and the two latitude statements are each separated by two hyphens ( -- ). The longitude is separated from the latitude by a slash ( / ).

255     Scale not given ǂc (W 150°--W 30°/N 70°--N 40°).
255     Scale 1:250,000 ; ǂb transverse Mercator projection. Everest spheroid ǂc (W 74°50ʹ--W 74°40ʹ/N 45°05ʹ--N 45°00ʹ).
255     Scale 1:7,500,000 ǂc (W 125°--W 65°/N 49°--N 25°).
255     Scale 1:126,720 ǂc (W 79°33ʹ--78°34ʹ/N 42°04ʹ--N 41°15ʹ).
255     Scale 1:90,000 ; ǂb Albers equal area projection ǂc (W 104°45ʹ00ʺ--W 103°17ʹ11ʺ/N 44°49ʹ23ʺ--N 43°16ʹ10ʺ).
255     Scale 1:100,000 ǂc (E 79.533265°--E 86.216635°/S 12.583377°--S 20.419532°).
[Coordinates presented as decimal degrees]
255     Scale 1:100,000 ǂc (E 079°32.5332ʹ--E 086°07.4478ʹ/S 012°35.5421ʹ--S 020°28.9704ʹ).
[Coordinates presented as degrees and decimal minutes]
255     Scale 1:100,000 ǂc (E 79°32ʹ35.575ʺ--E 86°07ʹ27.350ʺ/S 1°25ʹ36.895ʺ--S 20°28ʹ58.125ʺ).
[Coordinates presented as degrees, minutes, and decimal seconds]

If you enter the coordinates to define a center point rather than outside limits "bounding box", enter a single longitude and a single latitude (two sets of values instead of four):

255     Scale 1:75,000 ǂc (W 95°05ʹ/N 30°03ʹ).
255     Scale 1:25,000 ǂc (W 119.697222/N 034.420833).

Entering coordinates. Use the following characters to enter degrees, minutes, and seconds:

Symbol Action
degrees Use the degree symbol ( ° )
minutes Use the miagkii znak ( ʹ )
seconds Use the tverdyi znak ( ʺ )
ǂd Statement of zone

The statement of zone for celestial charts.

255     Scales approximately 3 cm per degree ǂd (Zones -18° to -3°, -31° to -46°, -44° to 59°, -57° to -72°, -69° to -84° ; ǂe equinox 1875).
255     Scale not given ǂd (Right ascension 0 hr. to 24 hr./Declination +90° to -90°).
ǂe Statement of equinox

The statement of equinox or epoch.

255     Scale approximately 60 mm per 1˚ ǂd (Zones +90˚ to +87˚, +87˚ to +81˚, +81˚ to 75˚ ...-27˚ to -33˚ ; ǂe equinox 1950, epoch 1949-1958).
ǂf Outer G-ring coordinate pairs

Coordinate pairs that identify the closed nonintersecting boundary of the area covered.

255     Scale approximately 1:3,100,000 ǂc (W 84˚00´00ʺ--W 75˚00´00ʺ/N 40˚00´00ʺ--N 37˚30´00ʺ).
ǂg Exclusion G-ring coordinate pairs

Coordinate pairs that identify the closed nonintersecting boundary of the area contained within the excluded G-polygon outer ring.

255     Scale 1:100,000 ; ǂb universal transverse Mercator projection ǂc (E 1˚25´59.0ʺ--E 2˚49´01.1ʺ/N 41˚10´00.3ʺ--N 41˚52´00.3ʺ).
ǂ8 Field link and sequence number

For information about subfield ǂ8, see Control Subfields.

This page last revised: October 6, 2016