Geographic Indexing of Digitized NEIGC Field Trip Guidebooks: The PLACE Project at the University of New Hampshire
In 2013 the University of New Hampshire Library and its partner, the UNH Earth Systems Research Center, received a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to build PLACE (the Position-based Location Archive Coordinate Explorer), a geospatial search interface that links the Library’s Fedora-based digital collections with a UNH instance of the Open Geoportal. One unique component of the project is to use PLACE to locate geologic field trip guidebooks via a geospatial search based on bounding boxes that outline the maximum footprint of individual field trips.
Preparation for this project began in 2001 and 2003 with surveys of participants in the New England Intercollegiate Geologic Conference (NEIGC) and attendees at the Northeast GSA meeting. Those surveyed strongly supported the concept of searching guidebooks by geographic location.
In 2008, the UNH Library received a small grant from NE GSA that enabled us to begin digitization of NEIGC guidebooks. The digital guidebook collection presently comprises NEIGC trips from 1920-1989. Beginning in 2009, the Library began hiring interns; among their tasks was creation of bounding boxes for each trip. Specific methodologies evolved over the years and had to be adapted for the characteristics of each trip description, particularly for the very oldest trips. Currently for most trips we use a combination of road log, any maps within the guidebook, Google Earth, and recent and historic topographic maps in paper and digital format, augmented as needed by consultation of geologic maps and references found within the trip descriptions.
Because of the difficulty of accurately locating many individual stops we have chosen creation of bounding boxes as a more workable geographic search feature. If the author gives exact latitude/longitude or UTM coordinates, they may be included in the descriptive metadata. Since the guidebooks are scanned as entire books, they need to be structured as complex digital objects to deliver individual trips. The bounding boxes are nearly complete; current work on the metadata and interface is being supported by the IMLS grant. One of the grant requirements is creation of a toolkit that will enable other libraries to create geospatial search access to their collections.
The abstract for this presentation was accepted and will be published in GSA Abstracts with Programs Vol. 46, No. 6. The presentation will be delivered at Geological Society of America 2014 by Thelma Thompson.
Abstracts with Programs
Geological Society of America
Thompson, Thelma and Exline, Eleta, "Geographic Indexing of Digitized NEIGC Field Trip Guidebooks: The PLACE Project at the University of New Hampshire" (2014). Abstracts with Programs. 8.