Library of Congress aids geospatial data preservation

Columbia University takes part in project

The Library of Congress and Columbia University are creating a Web-based information hub to provide best practices, tools, methods and services to assist organizations in preserving geospatial data.

Geospatial data, which includes maps and satellite images, identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the earth. The data is important for responding to disasters, urban planning, navigation, protecting the environment and a host of other uses. 


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However, much of this information is in danger of being lost, because of evolving technology and other threats.

“The geospatial community has told us that a clearinghouse to communicate preservation best practices is essential for keeping these information resources available around the nation,” said Laura Campbell, associate librarian for strategic initiatives at the Library of Congress. 

The Library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program will fund development of the clearinghouse. Columbia’s Earth Institute will house it, at its Center for International Earth Science Information Network. CIESIN will launch a beta version of the clearinghouse later this year.

“These electronic resources are essential to research, education, and sustainable development and only grow more valuable over time,” said Robert Chen, director of CIESIN.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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