Distributed Geolibraries

Spatial Information Resources

Summary of a Workshop
Panel on Distributed Geolibraries
Mapping Science Committee
Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources
National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.



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References, Appendixes


Adler, P. S. (1995). Geographic information systems and academic libraries: An introduction, The Journal of Academic Librarianship (Special Issue) 21(4): 233-235.

Barker, J., et al. (1995). Rights Manager System: Permissions Manager Subsystem (Version 2 draft), Library Collections Services, Case Western Reserve University.

Borgman, C. L., M. J. Bates, M. V. Cloonan, E. N. Efthimiadis, A. Gilliland-Swetland, Y. Kafai, G. L. Leazer, and A. Maddox (1996). Social Aspects of Digital Libraries, Final report to the National Science Foundation; Computer, Information Science, and Engineering Directorate; Division of Information, Robotics, and Intelligent Systems; Information Technology and Organizations Program.

Buckland, M. K. (1991). Information as thing, Journal of the American Society for Information Science 42(5), 351-360.

Corporation for National Research Initiatives (1998). NSF SMETE-Lib Study: Report of the SMETE Library Workshop. Washington, DC.

Craig, W. J. (1995). Public data access: Another side of GIS data sharing, in Sharing Geographic Information, H. J. Onsrud and G. Rushton, eds., Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., pp. 107-118.

Crawford, W., and M. Gorman (1995). Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness and Reality, American Library Association, Chicago.

Dutton, G. H. (1984). Geodesic modelling of planetary relief. Cartographica 21(2,3), 188-207.

Gayon, T. (1998). Local Geographic Information and Technology in Colorado Public Libraries, Master's thesis, Department of Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Gladney, H. M., and J. B. Lotspiech (1998). Safeguarding digital library contents and users: storing, sending, showing, and honoring usage terms and conditions, D-Lib Magazine, May 1998.

Goodchild, M. F., and J. D. Proctor (1997). Scale in a digital geographic world. Geographical and Environmental Modelling 1(1), 5-23.

Goodchild, M. F., and S. Yang (1992). A hierarchical spatial data structure for global geographic information systems, CVGIP: Graphical Models and Image Processing 54(1), 31-44.

Goodchild, M. F., M. J. Egenhofer, R. Fegeas, and C. A. Kottman, eds. (1998). Interoperating Geographic Information Systems, Kluwer, New York.

Hawkins, B. L. (1994). Creating the library of the future: Incrementalism won't get us there! The Serials Librarian 24 (3-4), 17-47.

Jones, J. (1997). Federal GIS projects decentralize. GIS World 10(8), 46-51.

Lopez, X. R., and M. Larsgaard (1998). Towards a California geospatial digital library: a strategy for networked knowledge. Cartography and Geographic Information Systems 25(3), 133-141.

Losee, R. M. (1997). A discipline independent definition of information, Journal of the American Society for Information Science 48(3), 243-269.

Moeller, J. (1998). The National Spatial Data Infrastructure: An Overview, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Newsletter 5, U.S. General Services Administration, Washington, D.C., pp. 12-13.

National Academy of Public Administration (1998). Geographic Information for the 21st Century: Building a Strategy for the Nation, Washington, D.C., 358 pp.

National Research Council (1993). Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Nation. Mapping Science Committee, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 171 pp.

National Research Council (1997). Bits of Power\: Issues in Global Access to Scientific Data, Committee on Issues of Transborder Flow of Scientific Data, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 235 pp.

National Research Council (1997). More Than Screen Deep\: Toward Every\-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation\'s Information Infrastructure, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

National Research Council (1998). Developing a Digital National Library for Undergraduate Science\, Mathematics\, Engineering\, and Technology Education\: Report of a Workshop, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Newcomb, S. R., N. A. Kipp, and V. T. Newcomb (1991). The Hytime hypermedia/time-based document structuring language, Communications of the ACM 34(11), 67-83.

Perritt, H. H. (1996). Law and the Information Superhighway. John Wiley & Sons, Somerset, N.J:

Rhind, D. W. (1999). National and international geospatial data policies, in Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Applications and Management, P. A. Longley, M. F. Goodchild, D. J. Maguire, and D. W. Rhind, eds., Wiley, New York, pp. 767-787.

Star, S. L., and K. Ruhleder (1996). Steps toward an ecology of infrastructure: Design and access for large information spaces, Information Systems Research 7(1), 111-134.

Tosta, N., and M. Domaratz (1997). The U.S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure. in Geographic Information Research: Bridging the Atlantic, M. Craglia and H. Couclelis, editors, Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 19-27.

Tsou, M., and B. P. Buttenfield (1998). Client/server components and metadata objects for distributed geographic information services, Proceedings, GIS/LIS '98, Fort Worth, TX, November.

White, D., A. J. Kimerling, and W. S. Overton (1992). Cartographic and geometric components of a global sampling design for environmental monitoring, Cartography and Geographic Information Systems 19(1), 5-22.

Worboys, M. F. (1995). GIS: A Computing Perspective, Taylor & Francis, London.



Appendix A
Workshop Participants

Prudence S. Adler, Association of Research Libraries

Timothy Alexander, consultant

William Arms, Corporation for National Research Initiatives

Jim Barrett, SpaceImaging, Corp.

Gerald Barton, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Francis Bretherton, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin

Don Buhler, Bureau of Land Management

Barbara Buttenfield, Department of Geography, University of. Colorado

Nicholas Chrisman, Department of Geography, University of Washington

David J. Coleman, Geodesy & Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick

Don Cooke, Geographic Data Technology, Inc.

Frederic W. Corle II, Potomac Research Group

Max J. Egenhofer, Spatial Information Science and Engineering University of Maine

John D. Evans, Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Christos Faloutsos, Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University

Gary L. Fitzpatrick, Library of Congress

Michael J. Folk, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois

Kenneth E. Foote, Department of Geography, University of Texas

Alan Gaines, Earth Science Division, National Science Foundation

Kenn Gardels, REGIS, University of California, Berkeley

Henry L. Garie, Department of Environmental Protection, State of New Jersey

Barry Glick, GeoSystems Global Corporation (MapQuest)

Mike Goodchild, NCGIA, University of California, Santa Barbara

Steve Griffin, Digital Libraries Initiative, National Science Foundation

Jane Griffith, NRC Computer Science and Technology Board

Wayne Hallada, Defense Intelligence Agency

Linda Hill, Alexandria Digital Library, University of California, Santa Barbara

Thomas Holm, EROS Data Center, USGS

Sally Howe, National Coordination Office for Computing, Information, and Communications

Robert Kahn, Corporation for National Research Initiatives

Thomas A. Kalil, National Economic Council, Executive Office of the President

Karen Kemp, NCGIA, University of California, Santa Barbara

Annette J. Krygiel, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University

Nand Lal, Digital Libraries Initiative, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center

Nina S-N. Lam, Department of Geography, Louisiana State University

Roberta Lenczowski, Directorate for Operations, National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Michael E. Lesk, Computer Information Sciences and Engineering, NSF

Clifford A. Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information

David Mark, Department of Geography, SUNY Buffalo

Patrick McGlamery, Map Librarian, University of Connecticut

Eric Miller, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

John Moeller, Federal Geographic Data Committee, USGS

Joel Morrison, Geography Division, Bureau of the Census

Doug Nebert, Federal Geographic Data Committee, USGS

Robert Neches, Information Sciences Institute University of Southern California

Harlan J. Onsrud, Spatial Information Science and Engineering University of Maine

Hedy Rossmeissl, National Mapping Division, U.S. Geological Survey

Walt Senus, Chief Scientist, National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Ben A. Shneiderman, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland

Karen C. Siderelis, State of North Carolina

Terence Smith, Alexandria Digital Library, University of California, Santa Barbara

Gale TeSelle, Information Technology Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Rex W. Tracy, GDE, Inc.

Robert Tufts, TASC

A. Keith Turner, Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Tom Usselman, NRC Mapping Science Committee

Ferris Webster, ICSU Panel on World Data Centers, University of Delaware

Frederick Weingarten, Computing Research Association

James Williams II, Dean of Libraries, University of Colorado

Maria Zemankova, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, NSF


Jennifer Estep, Administrative Assistant, Mapping Science Committee

Molly Vogt, Workshop Assistant, National Geographic Society


Appendix B
Contributed White Papers

The following white papers were prepared and distributed to the workshop participants as provocative authored articles; they were designed to stimulate thought and were not peer reviewed. Authors did not have the opportunity to make revisions after the workshop. This web site will be maintained at least through the end of 2000.

What is a Geolibrary? Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara

What is a Geolibrary? Clifford A. Kottman, Open GIS Consortium

Making the Case for Distributed GeoLibraries Barbara P. Buttenfield, University of Colorado-Boulder

Confidence in Distributed Digital Geolibraries Roberta E. Lenczowski, National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Data Quality in Distributed GeoLibraries Rex W. Tracy, GDE Systems, Inc.

National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive: "A National Asset" Thomas M. Holm, USGS EROS Data Center

Possible Research Topics Related to Geolibraries Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara

Distributed Geolibraries: Challenges and Opportunities from A Computing and Scientific Data Management Perspective Mike Folk, NCSA/University of Illinois

Geolibrary and Statewide Electronic Atlas Nina Lam, Louisiana State University

Putting The User First: Implications For The Geolibrary A. Keith Turner, Colorado School of Mines

Geolibraries Walt Senus, National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Producer Rights and Public Rights in Spatial Data Sets in Geolibraries Harlan J. Onsrud, University of Maine

Distributed Geolibraries Patrick McGlamery, University of Connecticut

Geolibrary Access of Historical Climate Data Publications in the NOAA Library Gerald S. Barton, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Geolibraries: Integration into to the Life Cycle of Information Creation and Use Linda L. Hill, Alexandria Digital Library Project, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Geodata Network Kenn Gardels, University of California, Berkeley

What is a Geolibrary Christos Faloutsos, Carnegie Mellon University



Appendix C
Workshop Agenda

The workshop is intended to address the following:

  • Development of a vision for geospatial data dissemination and access in 2010

  • Comparison of current efforts in digital library research, clearinghouse development, and other data distribution and search activities

  • Suggestion of short-term and long-term research and development needed to achieve the vision

  • Identification of the policy and institutional issues, particularly for convergence of efforts to realize the vision

  • Monday, June 15, 1998
    8:00 Registration, Coffee, Continental Breakfast
    8:30 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE Mike Goodchild, Workshop Chair, University of California, Santa Barbara
    9:00 FRAME OF REFERENCE-Digital Libraries, Internet, Information Sciences
  • Robert Kahn, President, Corporation for National Research Initiatives
  • Michael Lesk, Division Director, Information and Intelligent Systems, National Science Foundation
  • 10:20 BREAK
  • Eric Miller, Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
  • Harlan J. Onsrud, Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering, University of Maine
  • 12:00 LUNCH
    1:00 Breakout Sessions

    Each group will discuss the following questions:

    1. What is a suitable vision for geospatial data dissemination and access in 2010 (code named geolibraries)?

  • What is a geolibrary?
  • What types of information might a geolibrary contain?
  • What services might it offer?
  • What types of users would there be?
  • What kinds of access restrictions might be needed?
  • Should a geolibrary be integrated with other information services?
  • 2. Policy and institutional issues

  • What are the legal, ethical, and political issues involved in creating geolibraries? For example, what problems could geolibraries raise related to intellectual property rights? How might such issues affect the technical development of geolibraries?
  • Who should pay for the creation and maintenance of geolibraries? What components might be "free" (funded by the public sector or by the private sector as loss leaders)? What institutional structures would be needed for geolibraries? What organizations might take a lead in their development?
  • What are the cognitive problems associated with using geolibraries? Is it possible to construct a geolibrary that is useful to a child in grade 3, for example? What protocols would users need to master, and what problems would occur in using geolibraries across cultural or linguistic barriers? What are the implications of a national-level distributed geolibrary on education? What are the prospects for international geolibraries?
  • 4:00 Plenary
    Rapporteurs will present results of each breakout group.
    5:00 ADJOURN
    5:30 RECEPTION; Followed by Dinner at 6:30

    Tuesday, June 16, 1998
    8:00 Coffee, Continental Breakfast
  • Ben Shneiderman, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland
  • Thomas Kalil, Senior Director, National Economic Council, The White House
  • Terence Smith, Director, Alexandria Project, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 10:20 BREAK
    10:30 Breakouts

    Each group will discuss the following questions:

    3. Ongoing Activities

  • What components of existing efforts in digital library research, clearinghouse development, and other data distribution and search activities might form a part of a distributed geolibrary system? KDI? Digital Earth?
  • Do the necessary data sets to support geolibraries exist? What initiatives are needed to develop or compile them?
  • How could the geolibraries concept be expanded beyond the national level to take advantage of international and global information resources?
  • 4. Technical Issues and R&D Needs

  • Integration of geospatial data across themes and scales.
  • A new generation of search engines
  • Geospatial interoperability
  • User interface metaphors
  • Collection-level metadata
  • Which of the R&D needs can be attained in the next few years, and which ones may take 5 to 10 years?
  • 12:00 LUNCH
    1:30 Plenary
  • Results of the research needs and current activities to realize a "geolibrary" vision
  • Overall Workshop Results
  • 4:30 Adjourn


    Appendix D
    Example Prototypes

    Detailed in this section is a sample of World Wide Web sites chosen to illustrate existing elements of the distributed geolibrary vision. Each is largely isolated from one another and falls short of the full vision. Taken together, the set illustrates both what is already possible and how far we still are from a distributed geolibrary.

    Microsoft's Terraserver

    Terraserver offers digital imagery from the Russian SPIN-2 satellites and digital orthorectified photographs (orthophotos) from the U.S. Geological Survey. The archive contains over 1 terabyte of information and can be queried by pointing, zooming, and panning on a basemap or by specifying place-names. No services are provided for finding or integrating other data based on place.


    The MapQuest site offers a range of services based on its database The map illustrates the ability to provide services based on specific collections, in addition to serving unmodified information.

    Environmental Protection Agency ZIP Code Search

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) web site offers several forms of place-based search through the agency's archives, including Maps On Demand and ZIP code search. From the web site: The EPA Envirofacts Warehouse is a database that includes information on Superfund sites, drinking water, air pollution, toxic releases, hazardous waste, and water discharge permits. Through Envirofacts, you can get lists of which facilities in your neighborhood are releasing pollutants or are legally handling hazardous materials, where any Superfund sites are located and what their cleanup status is, and more. In many cases, you can link to more information about the chemicals involved at the listed sites, and find out whether they are potentially harmful.

    Through Envirofacts' EnviroMapper feature, you can cus-tomize a computer-generated map of your neighborhood to view the location of EPA regulated sites, schools, churches, streams, streets, and other geographic features.

    U.S. Bureau of the Census TIGER Map Server

    The Bureau of the Census web site supports place-based search for census data. The main purpose of the TIGER Map Service project is to provide a good-quality, national scale, street-level map to users of the World Wide Web. This service is freely accessible to the public, and based on an open architecture that allows other Web developers and publishers to use public domain maps generated by this service in their own applications and documents. We planned to provide high-quality street maps, with simple GIS capabilities such as point display and statistical choropleth mapping.

    U.S. Geological Survey National Atlas

    The National Atlas web site creates and delivers maps on demand from the National Atlas database.

    MIT's Digital Orthophoto Server

    This Massachusetts Institute of Technology web site serves digital orthophotos (DOQs) for the area around Boston. By clicking on a tile it is possible to retrieve the associated data at a user-defined level of resolution.

    Alexandria Digital Library

    The Alexandria Digital Library (ADL) is the product of a research project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, funded through the Digital Library Initiative of the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The first screen in ADL's process of defining a place-based search. Additional properties can be specified to narrow the search, which is then applied to the order 106 data sets in the current ADL collection.

    Microsoft's HomeAdvisor

    This Microsoft web site is designed to help people searching for homes. It includes the ability to access demographic and other information about neighborhoods (see Chapter 1), search listings, and estimate payments.



    Appendix E
    Biographical Sketches of Steering Panel

    Michael F. Goodchild (Chair) is professor and chair of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara; director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis; and associate director of the Alexandria Digital Library. He received his B.A. in physics from Cambridge University and Ph.D. in geography from McMaster University. Dr. Goodchild taught at the University of Western Ontario for 19 years before moving to his present position in 1988. His research interests focus on the generic issues of geographic information, including accuracy and the modeling of uncertainty, design of spatial decision support systems, development of methods of spatial analysis, and data structures for global geographic information systems. His publications include the two volume text entitled Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Applica-tions and Management (1999, Wiley). He is also chair of the Mapping Science Committee.

    Prudence S. Adler is assistant executive director of the Association of Research Libraries (Washington, D.C.), where she is primarily responsible for federal relations and information policy activities. Much of her recent emphasis has been on intellectual property rights in an electronic environment.

    Barbara P. Buttenfield is associate professor of geography at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Washington. She has served on the faculty at the State University of New York, Buffalo; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Buttenfield's research interests focus on cartographic knowledge construction, spatial data delivery on the Internet, and visualization tools for geographic modeling. A current project to evaluate user interface tools for the Alexandria Digital Library is funded jointly by NSF, ARPA, and NASA. She is past President of the American Cartographic Association, and serves on the editorial boards of Computers Environment and Urban Systems, Transactions on GIS, and Cartographic Perspectives. She is also a member of the Mapping Science Committee.

    Robert E. Kahn is chairman, CEO, and president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which he founded in 1986 after a 13 years at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). CNRI provides leadership and funding for research and development of the National Information Infrastructure. Dr. Kahn earned a Ph.D. degree from Princeton in 1964. He worked at Bell Laboratories and as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at MIT. He took a leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he was responsible for the system design of the Arpanet. In 1972 he moved to DARPA and subsequently became director of DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO). While director of IPTO he initiated the United States government's billion-dollar Strategic Computing Program, the largest computer research and development program ever undertaken. Dr. Kahn conceived the idea of open-architecture networking. He is a coinventor of the TCP/IP protocols and was responsible for originating DARPA's Internet program. Dr. Kahn also coined the term national information infrastructure (NII) in the mid-1980s, which later became more widely known as the information superhighway. His recent work has been developing the concept of a digital object infrastructure to provide a framework for interoperability of heterogeneous information systems, partic-ularly as applied to digital libraries. Dr. Kahn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a 1997 recipient of the National Medal of Technology.

    Annette J. Krygiel is with the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Ft. Lesley J. McNair, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Krygiel has a B.S. in mathematics from St. Louis University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Washington University, St. Louis. In her doctoral research she developed modeling techniques for parallel computing architectures. She began her government career in 1963, serving with the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) until July 1994. While at DMA her areas of endeavor included software development, software engineering, management of research initiatives in computer science and telecommunications, and program management of large-scale systems. Dr. Krygiel rejoined DMA's special program office to manage the program integration, test and delivery phases of DMA's Digital Production System, one of the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD) largest software developments. Subsequently, Dr. Krygiel served as DMA's chief scientist until her formal appointment by the Secretary of Defense as the Director of the Central Imagery Office (CIO), a DOD combat support agency. She remained as Director for twenty-seven months until that agency merged into the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in October 1996. She was awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal while CIO Director. Dr. Krygiel was subsequently appointed to the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, where she is investigating the problem of large-scale system integration.

    Harlan J. Onsrud is associate professor in the Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering at the University of Maine and chair of the Scientific Policy Committee of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School. His research focuses on (1) analysis of legal and institutional issues affecting the creation and use of digital databases and the sharing of geographic information, (2) assessing utilization of GIS and the social impacts of the technology, and (3) developing and assessing strategies for supporting the diffusion of geographic information innovations. He is also a member of the Mapping Science Committee.


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