D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S
S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R   2 0 1 1
Volume 17, Number 9/10

ISSN: 1082-9873




Useful & Interesting
by Laurence Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives



Long-term Preservation for Spatial Data Infrastructures: a Metadata Framework and Geo-portal Implementation
Article by Arif Shaon, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, UK, and Andrew Woolf, The Bureau of Meteorology, Canberra, Australia

Abstract: With growing concerns about environmental problems, and an exponential increase in computing capabilities over the last decade, the geospatial community has been producing increasingly voluminous and diverse environmental datasets. Long-term preservation of these environmental data exposed through uniform and interoperable Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) is not typically addressed, but is highly important for applications that require continued access to both current and historical data, e.g. for monitoring climate change. The work presented in this article investigates the requirements for ensuring sustained access to environmental data from the perspective of a preservation-aware SDI. We take INSPIRE as an exemplar for our analysis and model development. In addition, we present an implementation approach in the form of a Geo-Portal that incorporates a preservation profile of the ISO 19115 metadata standard.

MapRank: Geographical Search for Cartographic Materials in Libraries
Article by Markus Oehrli, Zentralbibliothek Zürich; Petr Přidal, Klokan Technologies and Moravian Library; Susanne Zollinger, ETH-Bibliothek Map Library; and Rosi Siber, EAWAG

Abstract: Searches for cartographic materials have previously been carried out using conventional library search systems. However, this kind of search method often proves to be inadequate, as the lack of suitable user interfaces means that queries have to be formulated in words. Furthermore, indexing based on geographical names does not adequately describe the spatial dimension of cartographic material, and geographical names also tend to be ambiguous and inclined to change. A web-based geographical search system (geosearch), which analyzes the geographical coordinates of MARC21 field 034, has been developed for the Swiss research portal for maps. The geosearch enables cartographic material to be found quickly and efficiently on the basis of its location and spatial extent via an intuitively accessible user interface. This is achieved with a cleverly devised ranking algorithm (MapRank®) and an innovative indexing mechanism. The number of search results can also be restricted by applying filters relating to the publication period and map scale.

The geosearch is proving to be a powerful search tool which, in an open-ended search scenario, can be used to find roughly double the amount of relevant cartographic material within a short space of time. The system is intuitive to operate and no previous knowledge is required. It also offers further strengths, such as the ability to search through extremely large quantities of data quickly and independently from the various subject heading systems and thesauri. This makes the geosearch an ideal tool for carrying out map searches in metacatalogs.

Automating the Production of Map Interfaces for Digital Collections Using Google APIs
Article by Anna Neatrour, Anne Morrow, Ken Rockwell, and Alan Witkowski, The University of Utah

Abstract: Many digital libraries are interested in taking advantage of the GIS mapping capabilities provided by Google Maps and Google Earth. The Digital Ventures Division of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library has successfully completed an innovative automated process in which descriptive metadata in the form of place names was used to determine latitude and longitude coordinates for digital collection items. By enhancing digital collection metadata in this fashion, hundreds of records were updated without data entry from project staff. This article will provide an overview of using the Google application programming interface (API) to return geographic coordinate data, the scripting process with XML digital collection data, and the use of online tools and Microsoft Excel to upload digital collection data to Google Earth and Google Maps. The ability to automate metadata changes opens up a variety of possibilities for digital library administrators and collection managers.

Digitization Practices for Translations: Lessons Learned from the Our Americas Archive Partnership Project
Article by Lorena Gauthereau-Bryson, Robert Estep, and Monica Rivero, Rice University

Abstract: The "Our Americas Archive Partnership" (OAAP) is a collaborative effort between scholars, librarians, and information scientists, and provides an integrated approach to discovering, accessing and using scholarly works that exist in multiple digital repositories. The archive is comprised of electronic texts and images originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1920. Its goal is to represent the full range and complexity of a multilingual "Americas" and to foster new research examining American literatures and histories from a hemispheric perspective. This paper discusses the complexities involved in digitizing multilingual historical documents, including practices for creating "born-digital" translations and unique metadata to best describe these rare, primary documents.

A New Way to Find: Testing the Use of Clustering Topics in Digital Libraries
Article by Kat Hagedorn and Michael Kargela, University of Michigan; Youn Noh, Yale University; and David Newman, University of California-Irvine

Abstract: Using a topic modeling algorithm to find relevant materials in a large corpus of textual items is not new; however, to date there has been little investigation into its usefulness to end-users. This article describes two methods we used to research this issue. In both methods, we used an instance of HathiTrust containing a snapshot of art, architecture and art history records from early 2010, that was populated with navigable terms generated using the topic modeling algorithm. In the first method, we created an unmoderated environment in which people navigated this instance on their own without supervision. In the second method, we talked to expert users as they navigated this same HathiTrust instance. Our unmoderated testing environment resulted in some conflicting results (use of topic facets was high, but satisfaction rating was somewhat low), while our one-on-one sessions with expert users give us reason to believe that topics and other subject terms (LCSH) are best used in conjunction with each other. This is a possibility we are interested in researching further.


N E W S   &   E V E N T S


In Brief: Short Items of Current Awareness

In the News: Recent Press Releases and Announcements

Clips & Pointers: Documents, Deadlines, Calls for Participation

Meetings, Conferences, Workshops: Calendar of Activities Associated with Digital Libraries Research and Technologies

F E A T U R E D   D I G I T A L


The E-Corpus Digital Library


Image from the Virtual Library on Ancient and modern Egypt
[Image from the Virtual Library on Ancient and modern Egypt. Courtesy of the E-Corpus Digital Library. Used with permission.]
Drawing of a blood-letting device
[Drawing of a blood-letting device dated February-March 1354. From the Aga Khan Museum. Courtesy of the E-Corpus Digital Library. Used with permission.]
Image of a textile.
[Detail image of a textile from the Jaipur - Private textile workshop and collection (Jaipur, India). Courtesy of the E-Corpus Digital Library. Used with permission. ]


Launched in 2010 by the Centre de Conservation du Livre (Arles, France), the E-Corpus Digital Library is a collective heritage-centered digital library that indexes and disseminates numerous digital objects belonging to the European written and linguistic heritage, as well as the Euro-Mediterranean region. This platform aims to preserve and make accessible the collections of libraries, museums, and private and public collections, to promote cultural diversity in the world.

To date, E-Corpus offers direct access to more than one million digital objects: manuscript pages, antique books, archives, newspapers, photographs, maps, prints, sound recordings and videos. These items are available through cooperation with more than 200 institutions worldwide (Bibliotheca Alexandria, Library of Aix-en-Provence, libraries in Algeria, and from numerous ongoing projects with major institutions.)

Utilizing the latest technologies for a simple multimedia and multilingual interface, (available in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Italian), E- Corpus also provides access to a comprehensive body of virtual collections from diverse institutions, each with an individualized webpage. All printed books have been scanned and processed with OCR software in order to enable their contents to be searched electronically.

Since its launch, the platform has attracted over 550,000 visits and searches. E-Corpus has become a reference tool for documentary research in the Euro- Mediterranean area and constitutes a formidable collaborative platform for work between researchers, academics and the general public.

The E-Corpus library is co-financed by the Region Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and the European Union.


D - L I B   E D I T O R I A L   S T A F F

Laurence Lannom, Editor-in-Chief
Allison Powell, Associate Editor
Catherine Rey, Managing Editor
Bonita Wilson, Contributing Editor


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