US: The Library of Congress and Columbia University signed an agreement to create a web-based information hub to provide best practices, tools, methods and services to assist organisations in preserving geospatial data.
The Library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) will fund development of the clearinghouse at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia’s Earth Institute. CIESIN will launch a beta version of the clearinghouse later this year.
“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.
“These electronic resources are essential to research, education, and sustainable development and only grow more valuable over time,” said Robert Chen, director of CIESIN.
The clearinghouse is a direct outcome of a meeting held at the Library with representatives of the geospatial stewardship community in November 2009. At the meeting, experts discussed ways to frame a national preservation and access strategy for geospatial data that is at high risk of loss. Discussions centred on ideas for practical steps that could be undertaken quickly and would have broad impact on capabilities for long-term data management.
A recurrent topic was the limited ability to learn about data-stewardship advances, including new tools, methods and services that have potential for broad adoption. Participants were in agreement that leveraging best practices was essential to cope with explosive data growth in a cost-effective manner. There was also consensus that a web-based information service would be the best way to address the need.