Please note: This experimental research project has concluded.
The research prototype application is no longer supported or maintained by OCLC services, and information on this page is provided for historical purposes only. Some portion of this content may be out-of-date and include broken links. Please visit the OCLC Research website to learn more about our current research.


Looking for a map? The concepts identified in this prototype system are integrated into the Global Library Statistics application, which includes a map depicting library, cultural heritage, and publishing data.

The OCLC WorldMap was a prototype system that provided an interactive visual tool for selecting and displaying international library holdings represented in WorldCat. The WorldMap prototype was discontinued in January 2011.




Why we developed this prototype
People can be inundated by an overwhelming amount of information. One method for organizing and retrieving geographically-based information is to use maps for data visualization. Multiple data sets can be displayed and viewed based upon individual needs, creating a picture that is more explanative and concise than text.

WorldMap will generate interactive graphs that compare several different kinds of data for up to four countries at a time. The data includes the number of:

  • Holdings in WorldCat for titles published in each country,
  • Languages represented in WorldCat for titles published in each country,
  • Titles in WorldCat published in each country; or
  • Libraries in each country (broken down by type of library),
  • Library volumes in each country (broken down by type of library),
  • Certified/degreed librarians in each country (broken down by type of library),
  • Registered library users in each country (broken down by type of library),
  • Library expenditures (in US $), for each country (broken down type of library),
  • Cultural heritage institutions (museums and archives) in each country, and
  • Publishers in each country.

Results are displayed on a new screen. In addition, the tabs for each country on the new screen allow viewing of the complete dataset for each country, and the sources for the data (N/A indicates no data are available). A key to the display (.pdf: 607K/6 pp.) is available.



Data such as those presented in this prototype can be used to provide information for decision making in regards to remote storage, collection management, marketing, and cooperative collection development, preservation, and digitization.


Additional information

In addition to the stand-alone WorldMap prototype, aggregate data from the OCLC WorldMap is available in the prototype WorldCat Publisher Pages.





Most recent updates: Page content: 2011-01-19 Prototype: 2008-01-15

The OCLC WorldMap allows users to select countries of interest, then to compare various library and cultural heritage data by country.

The data for the map were generated from WorldCat and more than forty other sources. The non-WorldCat data in the prototype, however, may not be complete. OCLC is not responsible for incomplete or inaccurate data. If you know of other data sources that can be used to update our data, please let us know.


The OCLC WorldMap was designed to run on a screen with 1024x768 or higher resolution. It requires the use of Adobe Flash Player 9 (download it here).


Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Team Members

Jeremy Browning

JD Shipengrover

Timothy J. Dickey