GEOGRAPHIC INDEXING OF DIGITIZED NEIGC FIELD TRIP GUIDEBOOKS: THE PLACE PROJECT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
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.