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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Preservation of (spatial) data clearinghouse

Tue, 01 Jun 2010

A very interesting press release last week from the Library of Congress about an NDIIP funded project on digital preservation. This is a BIG topic at the moment and causing a considerable amount of head scratching in geospatial circles. Indeed it was something I tangentially worked on as part of the GRADE Project. OK, so you have spatial data and there is much of that preserved/stored by governments. What about derived data? Or data collected as part of research projects? Is this mandated for care by individuals, research institutions, research councils??? And the data itself... what sort of format should it be stored in?? Should a file geodatabase be used? Or PostGIS? Or shapefiles? What is long lived, archivable and usable? However, if you are producing a map in ArcGIS or Illustrator, what about the layout, styles, cartographic techniques employed?? Currently people tend to store/archive PDF output, but this immediately removes the richness of the application used to create it. How do you then cope with archiving? These are really major problems and its good to see the US taking a lead in at least trying to find best practise. It will be interesting to see this develop.

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