From the first colonial maps to the satellite imagery of the 21st century, cartographic information has helped define and frame our view of the United States. Geospatial imagery is now a critical tool for state and federal researchers pursuing greater understandings of complex matters including disaster relief, census data, and land use management. Concerned that millions of nationally important digital information resources are in danger of being lost or corrupted, the Library of Congress formed The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP).
As partners in the project the university libraries of UCSB and Stanford are leading the formation of the National Geospatial Digital Archive (NGDA), a collecting network for the archiving of geospatial images and data. They have partnered with eight institutions to begin a three year, $15 million effort to begin construction of a nationwide digital collection and preservation system.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Create a new national federated network committed to archiving geospatial imagery and data.
- Investigate the proper and optimal roles of such a federated archive, with consideration of distant (dark) backup and migration, directly serving content to users, vs. referring requestors back to the originators of the data for copies or assistance, active or passive quality/integrity monitoring, application of metadata, federated searching, dissemination of metadata, etc.
- Collect and archive major segments of at-risk digital geospatial data and images.
- Develop best practices for the presentation of archived digital geospatial data.
- Develop partner communication mechanisms for the project and then ongoing.
- Develop a series of policy agreements governing retention, rights management, obligations of partners, interoperability of systems, exchange of digital objects, etc.
This project is an outgrowth of the Alexandria Digital Library started in 1994. The Alexandria Digital Library (ADL) is a distributed digital library with collections of georeferenced materials. ADL includes the operational library, with various nodes and collections, and the research program through which digital library architectures, gazetteer applications, educational applications, and software components are modeled, prototyped, and evaluated.
ADL provides HTML clients to access its collections and gazetteer, and provides specific information management tools, such as the Feature Type Thesaurus for classing types of geographic features, as well as downloadable software code.
- The Library of Congress, Digital Collections and Programs
- The Library of Congress, Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program