The following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, a Digital Initiatives Project Manager in NDIIPP.
In part 1 of this series, I sketched the background of the Library of Congress format sustainability Web site. This month we are pleased to announce the availability of 35 descriptions of digital geospatial formats and two brief accompanying essays.
The menu for the geospatial format descriptions is here. The status is noted in each document: some are “full,” some “partial,” and some “preliminary.” Meanwhile, the two brief essays are here and here.
To paraphrase one of the essays, geospatial digital formats are ones that can be used by geographic information systems (GIS) or other software applications to access, visualize, manipulate and analyze geospatial data. The resources in these formats generally focus on conveying information about the Earth, the location of specific features, and attributes and properties of those geo-located features.
The formats included in the geospatial category will often comprise information in the following three forms: (i) raster or bit-mapped images; (ii) vector images consisting of points, lines, and polygons; and (iii) data values that express attributes associated with geographic locations or features. A defining characteristic for geospatial resources is that they are intended to be used by computer systems that enable spatial analysis.
Our compilation is the work of Nancy Hoebelheinrich (Knowledge Motifs LLC) and Natalie Munn (Content Innovations LLC). The pair started with materials that had been developed for the National Geospatial Digital Archive, one of the original NDIIPP partner projects. Nancy, Natalie and all of the rest of us recognize the desirability of adding a number of important geospatial formats to this relatively small core set. We’ll be interested to hear from users about the additional formats that are important enough to go to the top of the do-me-next queue.