SAA 2006 Session 103: “X” Marks the Spot: Archiving GIS Databases – Part II

Richard Marciano of the SALT interdisciplinary lab (Sustainable Archives & Library Technologies) at the San Diego Supercomputer Center delivered a presentation titled “Research Issues Related to Preservation of Geospatial Electronic Records” – the 2nd topic in the ‘X’ Marks the Spot session.

He focuses on research Issues related to preservation of geospatial electronic records. While not an archivist, he is a member of SAA. As a person coming to archival studies with a strong background in software development, I took great comfort in his discussion of their being a great future for IT and archivists to work together on topics such as this.

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Posted on 4th August 2006
Under: access, GIS, SAA2006 | No Comments » | Print This Post Print This Post

SAA 2006 Session 103: “X” Marks the Spot: Archiving GIS Databases – Part I

‘X’ Marks the Spot was a fantastic first session for me at the SAA conference. I have had a facination with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for a long time. I love the layers of information. I love the fact that you can represent information in a way that often makes you realize new things just from seeing it on a map.

Since my write-ups of each panelist is fairly long, I will put each in a separate post.

Helen Wong Smith, from the Kamehameha Schools, started off the panel discussing her work on the Land Legacy Database in her presentation titled “Wahi Kupuna: Digitized Cultural Resources Database with GIS Access”.

Kamehameha Schools (KS) was founded by the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. With approximately 360,000 acres, KS is the largest private landowner in the state of Hawaii. With over $7 billion in assets the K-12 schools subsidize a significant portion of the cost to educate every student (parents pay only 10% of the cost).

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Posted on 4th August 2006
Under: access, digitization, GIS, open source, SAA2006 | No Comments » | Print This Post Print This Post

SAA2006: Joint Annual Meeting of NAGARA, COSA, and SAA

I will have my laptop with me at the SAA meeting in downtown DC later this week. My plan is to write my thoughts on my laptop as I go through the sessions over the course of the day and then post in the evenings after I get back home to the land of internet access.

I also will be sitting next to my Poster on Friday morning from 9-10am. If you want to stop by and say hello, that will be the easiest time and place to find me. My poster’s title is “Communicating Context in Online Collections” and I plan to upload a version of it to a page of this blog after the conference is over (along with links to all my sources).

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Posted on 1st August 2006
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Thoughts on Archiving Web Sites

Shortly after my last post, a thread surfaced on the Archives Listserv asking the best way to crawl and record the top few layers of a website. This led to many posts suggesting all sorts of software geared toward this purpose. This post shares some of my thinking on the subject.

Adobe Acrobat can capture a website and convert it into a PDF. As pointed out in the thread above, that would loose the original source HTML – yet there are more issues than that alone. It would also loose any interaction other than links to other pages. It is not clear to me what would happen to a video or flash interface on a site being ‘captured’ by Acrobat. Quoting a lesson for Acrobat7 titled Working with the Web : “Acrobat can download HTML pages, JPEG, PNG, SWF, and GIF graphics (including the last frame of animated GIFs), text files, image maps and form fields. HTML pages can include tables, linkes, frames, background colors, text colors, and forms. Cascading Stylesheets are supported. HTML links are turned into Web links, and HTML forms are turned into PDF forms.”

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Posted on 26th July 2006
Under: access, born digital records, context, future-proofing, internet archiving, original order | 1 Comment » | Print This Post Print This Post

Paper Calendars, Palm Pilots and Google Calendar

In my intro archives class (LBSC 605 Archival Principles, Practices, and Programs), one of the first ideas that made a light bulb go on over my head related to the theory that archivists want to retain the original order of records. For example, if someone choose to put a series of 10 letters together in a file – then they should be kept that way. A researcher may be able to glean more information from these letters when he/she sees them grouped that way – organized as the person who originally used them organized them.

Our professor went on to explain that seeing what the person who used the records saw was crucial to understanding the original purpose and usage of those records. That took my mind quickly to the world of calendars. Years ago, a CEO of some important organization would have a calendar or datebook of some sort – likely managed by an assistant. Ink or pencil was used to write on paper. Perhaps fresh daily schedules would be typed.

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Posted on 20th July 2006
Under: access, born digital records, context, original order, preservation | 8 Comments » | Print This Post Print This Post


My name is Jeanne. I am a graduate student in an Archives program pursuing my MLS (aka, Master of Library Science). I have enjoyed all my classes to date (3) and I love the ideas that those classes have generated. Sometimes I leave class with just as many personal ideas scrawled in the margins of my notebook as class notes written on the main page. I am especially intrigued by the ways in which concepts from different fields intersect. How do ideas from my current field of software development and database design illuminate new issues, questions and concepts in the realm of archival studies?

I am particularly interested in topics related to audio and visual archival materials, digitization, description, meta-data, and retention of context in digitized collections.

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Posted on 19th July 2006
Under: audio, context, digitization, what if | 2 Comments » | Print This Post Print This Post

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