Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM
THE OREGON SPATIAL DATA LIBRARY IN CONTEXT
The Oregon Spatial Data Library (OSDL), Oregon’s geospatial clearinghouse, provides a method for sharing public domain geospatial data at no cost to users. The OSDL, built on the foundation established by earlier collaborations between Oregon State University Libraries (OSUL), the Institute for Natural Resources (INR), and state agencies is one of several portals that make up the Oregon Explorer: Natural Resources Digital Library. As with other state data clearinghouses, a national commitment to providing framework layers provided the basis for the OSDL. Framework layers, established by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, include geodetic control, cadastral, orthoimagery, elevation, hydrography, administrative units, and transportation. Although these layers represent the basic elements of the clearinghouses, how does the technology stack up to facilitate discovery and use of the data provided? We review the findings of a study conducted in 2011-2012 that sought to place the OSDL in the context of its national peers. Taking the perspective of the novice user (perhaps a student assigned to find and import data into a GIS and conduct basic analysis), this study reviewed user-centric characteristics of state geospatial clearinghouses. These characteristics were: keyword search options; availability of training or documentation; ease of access to metadata; presence of locally unique data; and calls for data or metadata contributions. The analysis showed that the states varied widely in the tools provided to help users. Several recommendations and future scenarios for the OSDL are provided. They include continued work with partners to increase the amount of quality data made available, re-purposing of existing tools to facilitate discovery and download, and better integration of with online mapping in Oregon Explorer. This presentation is based on an article published in the summer 2012 volume of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.