- THE VIETNAM CENTER AND ARCHIVE
- Texas Tech University
How to Use the Virtual Vietnam Archive Maps Search Page
The Search Page
The Virtual Vietnam Archive (VVA) Maps Search Page is the best method for accessing the materials in our maps collections. The page includes a variety of search options to better help users find the information they are looking for. These search fields will be covered more in-depth on this page of the tutorial. For now, let's look at the page itself.
The middle section of the page contains the buttons and fields needed to search the maps collections. The left column contains functions to make the VVA do things, like conduct searches and display search results. These buttons will change based on your actions. The buttons that remain static include the "Help" button, which opens the afore mentioned help page, and the "Exit" button, which ends your VVA session. Additionally, the button "Search the Entire Virtual Archive" takes users to the main Virtual Archive search page. The other part of the middle section includes the search fields, which will be covered shortly. Please note that it is not necessary to enter information in every search field. Use as few or as many as you need.
The right column includes links to some available resources to aid in your searching. These resources include Gazetteers, in which you can find latitude and longitude coordinates, a US Army Map Reading Guide, and navigation pages to browse the US Army Map Service (AMS) maps in our collection for North and South Vietnam using a graphical representation. More information about these resources will be included further on in this tutorial.
The Search Fields are were users enter terms and phrases they wish to serach for in the Virtual Archive. Please remember that you can use as few or as many of these search fields as you would like. It is not necessary to enter data in every field.
Title / Keyword: The most basic search in the maps database is by title or keyword. Entering a search term in this field searches the titles of the maps in the collection, as well as various subject entries we have entered. You can also search by item or sheet number within this field, but may receive multiple hits. Separate multiple terms by ;. Currently, using " " to search for complete phrases does not work, but we anticipate this feature being added soon.
Country: Use this field to limit your search to specific countries. Note, some maps cover multiple countries. Separate multiple terms by ;
Scale: The scale of a map is how many meters/feet/miles are represented by an inch on the map. Maps come in multiple scales (ex - 1:50000; 1:250000). Enter a scale in this field to limit your search to a particular size. Use the index link next to the field to assist (for more information on indexes, see the next page of the tutorial).
Map Number: All maps in our collection are assigned a unique number. In many cases, this number is taken from the map itself, usually a sheet number assigned by the map producer. Other numbers are assigned by the Vietnam Archive using a predetermined system. Enter the sheet number in this field, if known, to search for a specific map. It much match exactly. For example, entering 6144-4 will result in one hit. Entering 61444 will find no hits, nor will 6144.
Coordinates: To search for a map depicting a specific geographic location,
enter the latitude and longitude coordinates in these fields, separating latitude
and longitude and degrees and mins. It is not necessary to include minutes if
they are unknown. Latitude and longitude coordinates can be found using the
gazetteers included in the resources
section of the search page. Please note that only maps from the Northeastern
hemisphere are included in this database. Searching for south latitudes or west
longitudes will not work. Also, do not enter N or E in the search fields. Use
Coordinates example: 18° 45' N (latitude) x 101° 30' E (longitude).
Grid Zone: Use these search fields to search for maps of a specific military grid zone. More information on grid zones can be found in the Map Reading Guide in the Resources section.
Collection: To search for maps donated by a specific donor, or from a specific collection, use this search field.
There are three index links available on this page to take users to the list of terms available for certain search fields. More information on the Index Pages is available in the next section.
To conduct a search, enter a term(s) in as few or as many search fields as you wish. You may then either hit enter on your keyboard, or click the "Start Search" link in the left column
If your search generated results, this number will appear at the top of the left column, and directly above the keyword search field. If there are no results, you will see the message "Your search did not retrieve any hits. Please try again." If your search resulted in a large number of hits (500+), we suggest you enter more terms, such as country or scale, to narrow down your search.
The more results your search has, the longer they will take to load, and the more information you will have to sort through. After you enter another term, hit enter or click on the "Update Hits" link. Once you are happy with the number of results, click on the "Display Search Results" link, which will take you to the Browse List page (covered in a later section).