Curation and preservation of complex data: North Carolina Geospatial Data Archiving Project
The North Carolina Geospatial Data Archiving Project (NCGDAP) is a three-year joint effort of the North Carolina State University Libraries and the North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis focused on collection and preservation of digital geospatial data resources from state and local government agencies. NCGDAP is being undertaken in partnership with the Library of Congress under the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). “Digital geospatial data” consists of digital information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the earth. Such data resources include geographic information systems (GIS) data sets, digitized maps, remote sensing data resources such as digital aerial photography, and tabular data that are tied to specific locations. These complex data objects do not suffer well from neglect, and long-term preservation will involve some combination of format migration and retention of critical documentation. While the main focus of NCGDAP is on organizational issues related to the engagement of spatial data infrastructure in the process of data archiving--with the demonstration repository seen more as a catalyst for discussion rather than an end in itself--this paper focuses more narrowly on the technical challenges associated with developing an ingest workflow and archive development process. New preservation challenges associated with emergent content forms are also presented.
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