“Location is everywhere.” It’s become a catch phrase in mobile computing development and marketing, but it could just as easily become standard operating procedure in libraries, archives and museums as our content becomes increasingly geoenabled, using “location intelligence” to liberate our physical information from the confines of our walled spaces.
Legislators, funders and planners have long understood the value of using geospatial information in decision-making processes and planning efforts. These users are beginning to recognize the value of having access to older geospatial data as a resource to explore societal and environmental change over time. Compelling business uses such as tracking changes in population, land or vegetation over time or providing a cultural record of place to document economic change are spurring users to seek out and use superseded geospatial content.
It’s only a matter of time before these users start to look to libraries, archives and museums for historic digital mapping resources, and our community must prepare to provide these services.
With that in mind, the Geospatial Content subgroup of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Content Working Group recognized the need for introductory guidance on the challenges facing institutions regarding the collection, stewardship and preservation of digital geospatial data resources, and we’re pleased to announce the release of the “Geospatial Data Stewardship: Key Online Resources” report (pdf).
The report lists online resources that highlight key concepts and practices supporting the preservation and stewardship of digital geospatial data and information. The resources offer a starting point to methods, tools and approaches across the information lifecycle to assist in understanding current best practices in the stewardship of geospatial data. These resources will be regularly updated online at the “Geospatial Data Stewardship: Key Online Resources” web page.
This report presents the mere tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rapidly expanding corpus of information on geoarchiving and preservation. A more comprehensive list of resources can be found at Geospatial Data Preservation, a site hosted and maintained by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University.
We welcome any comments, suggestions or additions to the report. This report is the latest in a series of NDSA publications and activities that provide insight on a range of digital stewardship issues.