Libraries as distributors of geospatial data: data management policies as tools for managing partnerships.
Libraries can bring substantial expertise to bear on the collection, curation Cu`ra´tion
n. 1. Cure; healing. , and distribution of digital geospatial Geospatial is a term widely used to describe the combination of spatial software and analytical methods with terrestrial or geographic datasets. The term is often used in conjunction with geographic information systems and geomatics. information, making them trusted and competent partners for organizations that wish to distribute geospatial data. By developing a well-thought-out data management and distribution policy, libraries can define the parameters of a data distribution partnership and reinforce a data provider's confidence in the library's role as a data custodian bailee (custodian) n. a person with whom some article is left, usually pursuant to a contract (called a "contract of bailment"), who is responsible for the safe return of the article to the owner when the contract is fulfilled. and distributor. In developing a policy, data distributors are advised to consider such issues as intellectual property rights, liability issues, distribution methods and services, data and metadata management practices, security risks posed by geospatial data, and user limitations. This article describes the most common elements of data sharing The ability to share the same data resource with multiple applications or users. It implies that the data are stored in one or more servers in the network and that there is some software locking mechanism that prevents the same set of data from being changed by two people at the same time. and distribution agreements and describes the development of a data management policy for the Cornell University Cornell University, mainly at Ithaca, N.Y.; with land-grant, state, and private support; coeducational; chartered 1865, opened 1868. It was named for Ezra Cornell, who donated $500,000 and a tract of land. With the help of state senator Andrew D. Geospatial Information Repository An information repository is an easy to deploy secondary tier of data storage that can comprise multiple, networked data storage technologies running on diverse operating systems, where data that no longer needs to be in primary storage is protected, classified according to captured (CUGIR CUGIR Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository ).
Although libraries are generally not producers of geospatial data, they are effective institutions to serve as distributors of geospatial data within larger spatial data infrastructures A Spatial Data Infrastructure or SDI is a framework of spatial data, metadata, users and tools that are interactively connected in order to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way. (SDIs). The process of managing distribution partnerships with data providers touches on virtually every aspect of managing and distributing digital data. This article will present a brief overview of some of the issues influencing organizations' decisions to share data and distribute data, the strengths libraries bring to data distribution, and an overview of issues that a library, acting as a data distributor, should consider when formulating data management policies or agreements. The article concludes with a description of the process of developing a data management policy for the Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR).
EVOLUTION OF ATTITUDES TOWARD DATA SHARING AND DISTRIBUTION
Born digital, geospatial data lends itself to distribution via the Internet. It is easily reused, well-developed standards for metadata exist, and while there are multiple proprietary formats for geospatial data, some are cross-platform and many applications are capable of reading or importing multiple formats. Initiatives at local, state, and national levels and beyond encourage, or at times require, producers of geospatial data to share or distribute data publicly. Systems such as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure National Spatial Data Infrastructure - (NSDI)
http://fgdc.er.usgs.gov/nsdiover.html. gateways and Geospatial One-Stop The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) is a geoportal that provides public access to geospatial information as part of a United States e-government initiative (see OMB Circular A-15). (in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ) exist to facilitate discovery of and access to geospatial data from multiple providers.
The benefits of sharing for providers and users of geospatial data are generally well recognized. Specific benefits to a data provider depend on its mission and mandates, data needs, and the type of sharing or distribution arrangements the organization enters into. Some of the benefits of sharing or distributing data may include
* enhancing interorganization activities by sharing information
* enabling the reuse reuse - Using code developed for one application program in another application. Traditionally achieved using program libraries. Object-oriented programming offers reusability of code via its techniques of inheritance and genericity. of geospatial data by other organizations and resulting cost savings
* improving and correcting errors in data in response to feedback from users
* fulfilling public data distribution requirements
* developing competencies in and promoting data and metadata standards.
When a data provider enters into a partnership with a data distributor, additional benefits may accrue: the data provider may receive support or consulting services Noun 1. consulting service - service provided by a professional advisor (e.g., a lawyer or doctor or CPA etc.)
service - work done by one person or group that benefits another; "budget separately for goods and services" for metadata development; the distributor's services may make the data discoverable by new or additional means; and the distributor may take responsibility for being the first point of contact for data users.
Early development of data-sharing arrangements and SDIs was sometimes characterized by reluctance on the part of data producers to share data. Where the direction and management of the relationship was perceived as top-down and remote, there may have been resistance to participation. Issues related to the potential loss of local control were the main reason for resistance to data sharing; and some of these issues included meeting local requirements for data management and access, standards requirements (particularly for metadata), time requirements, management of data updates, and cost (Meredith, 1995).
There has been substantial progress in sharing data and developing SDIs over the last several years, but in some cases these concerns persist. Harvey (2003) asserts that trust is fundamental in establishing partnerships and sharing data. A survey of local government agency contacts in Kentucky showed that while local governments share data in a variety of ways, these relationships are based on trust rather than formal agreements. Nearly half of Harvey's survey respondents had no data-sharing agreements. What formal agreements Harvey did encounter were largely post-hoc agreements, formalizations of informal and preexisting pre·ex·ist or pre-ex·ist
v. pre·ex·ist·ed, pre·ex·ist·ing, pre·ex·ists
To exist before (something); precede: Dinosaurs preexisted humans.
v.intr. arrangements. In a survey of agencies whose activities affect transportation systems, where most of the responding agencies recognized that sharing data can enhance interagency coordination Within the context of Department of Defense involvement, the coordination that occurs between elements of Department of Defense, and engaged US Government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and regional and international organizations for the purpose of accomplishing an objective. , Zimmerman (2002) also found that about half the agencies she surveyed had a formal data-sharing policy. These agencies report sharing data with other agencies as well as distributing information on travel conditions to the public. Respondents reported protecting their interests in the data they shared by a variety of means, although most of these were relatively unrestrictive and the most common practice was a requirement to acknowledge the source agency.
On a national level, in the United States federal laws and regulations have influenced the data-sharing and distribution policies of federal agencies. One of the most important of these is OMB OMB
Office of Management and Budget
Noun 1. OMB - the executive agency that advises the President on the federal budget
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-130 (Office of Management and Budget The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), formerly the Bureau of the Budget, is an agency of the federal government that evaluates, formulates, and coordinates management procedures and program objectives within and among departments and agencies of the Executive Branch. , 1996), which governs the management of federal information resources (1) The data and information assets of an organization, department or unit. See data administration.
(2) Another name for the Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) department. See IT. , pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act The Paper Reduction Act, officially the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812 (Dec. 11, 1980), codified in part at Subchapter I of Chapter 35 of Title 44 of the United States Code, through , is a United States federal law enacted in 1980 that . Its most salient provisions are that federal agencies should actively disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. public information without restrictions or conditions and that data should be provided at not more than the cost of dissemination dissemination Medtalk The spread of a pernicious process–eg, CA, acute infection Oncology Metastasis, see there . States also often have policies in place mandating or encouraging the sharing of information among agencies or with the public; Cho (2005) reports that every state has a statute or policy related to Geographic Information Systems geographic information system (GIS)
Computerized system that relates and displays data collected from a geographic entity in the form of a map. The ability of GIS to overlay existing data with new information and display it in colour on a computer screen is used primarily to (GIS (1) (Geographic Information System) An information system that deals with spatial information. Often called "mapping software," it links attributes and characteristics of an area to its geographic location. ) data distribution. In New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State, Technology Policy 96-7 establishes the New York State GIS Data Sharing Cooperative and encourages data sharing among state and local agencies (Governor's Task Force on Information Resources Management Technology, 1997).
In spite of some apparent lingering lin·ger
v. lin·gered, lin·ger·ing, lin·gers
1. To be slow in leaving, especially out of reluctance; tarry. See Synonyms at stay1.
2. concerns regarding loss of local control over data, there has been an evolution of thought with respect to data sharing with SDI (1) (Serial Digital Interface) A physical interface widely used for transmitting digital video in various formats. For electrical transmission, it uses a high grade of coaxial cable and a single BNC connector with Teflon insulation. participation. Masser (2005) describes several such trends in SDI development. One is the movement from a product-focused model--that is, the development of datasets and databases--to a process-focused model--the ongoing management, updating, creation, and distribution of data. Architectures have evolved as well, from centralized cen·tral·ize
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.
2. , top-down structures to more distributed models. Finally, management functions are maturing from formulation to implementation and are becoming sufficiently flexible to accommodate multiple levels of participation and new organizational structures This article has no lead section.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, one should be written. . If these trends hold true, it would seem many of the early objections to data sharing and SDI participation are less important than they once were, that the nature of SDIs has evolved in such a way that some of these concerns have been effectively addressed, or that various mandates have simply removed these concerns as significant barriers to data sharing and distribution.
WHY PARTNER WITH LIBRARIES FOR DATA DISTRIBUTION
Libraries can be effective participants in SDI development and data distribution and have a proven track record as partners in data distribution, evidenced by their role in the Federal Depository Library Noun 1. depository library - a depository built to contain books and other materials for reading and study
athenaeum, atheneum - a place where reading materials are available Program (McGlamery, 1995). Libraries also possess well-developed expertise in several related areas, including collection development, archival practices, cataloging and indexing, development of platforms for discovery and distribution, and education and user support. In a paper on the creation of the New York State GIS Clearinghouse, Dawes and Oskam (1999) described an important additional characteristic that made the New York State Library The New York State Library is part of the New York State Education Department. The Library and its sister institutions, the New York State Museum and New York State Archives, are housed in the Cultural Education Center. , the original operator of the clearinghouse, an effective partner in a statewide effort to distribute GIS data: the library was perceived as a neutral party. Making a New York State agency the primary distributor may have given the appearance that a particular agency was the leader with respect to GIS operations, but the library was not perceived as a rival by other New York State agencies. This characteristic neutrality of libraries can be important for establishing trust with prospective data providers. Finally, many libraries, either by virtue of their participation in the Association of Research Libraries' (ARL ARL - ASSET Reuse Library ) GIS literacy project, or through their own deliberate development of expertise in GIS technology and services, have acquired the more specialized knowledge of GIS and geospatial data that is required to support a distribution system (Herold, 1997; McGlamery, 1995).
Libraries are generally recognized as trusted custodians
The Custodians is terminology in the Bahá'í Faith, which refers to nine Hands of the Cause assigned specifically to work at the Bahá'í World Centre in attendance to the Guardian of the Faith. of information, and one of a library's core responsibilities is to manage information in such a way that both safeguards the integrity of the information and facilitates access. Libraries acting as partners in the distribution of geospatial information must both meet these core responsibilities and ensure that the requirements of the cooperating data providers are met. Creating a data management and distribution policy can serve to clarify and make explicit both participants' expectations and lend predictability and stability to data distribution arrangements.
Three types of participants are involved in the distribution of geospatial data: data providers (the creators of geospatial data), data distributors (who may be the same as the data provider or may be a third-party distributor Third-Party Distributor
In many cases, terms of service are used as a contractual agreement between a company and users of a service they provide. , such as those posted on a Web site. In the case of terms imposed on the end-user by the data provider, while the information to be conveyed may be determined by the provider, the communication is usually accomplished by the distributor.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Distribution partnerships may range from very open to fairly specific and restrictive in terms of the degree of oversight and control exercised by either the data provider or data distributor. As evidenced by the lack of universal creation and adoption of data-sharing and distribution agreements, management of various aspects of such partnerships may be formal or informal. More formal arrangements may take the form of legal contracts or nonbinding agreements or policies. One drawback DRAWBACK, com. law. An allowance made by the government to merchants on the reexportation of certain imported goods liable to duties, which, in some cases, consists of the whole; in others, of a part of the duties which had been paid upon the importation. to legal contracts is the obligation to negotiate terms with each partner, and in some cases, a nonbinding agreement or policy may be the preferred approach (Longhorn The code name for the Windows Vista operating system. After the client version was renamed "Vista" in 2005, Longhorn referred to the server version until it was officially named Windows Server 2008 in May of 2007. See Windows Vista. et al., 2002). Existing models of formal statements of data-sharing practices include agreements and contracts published by various governmental agencies, data repositories See repository. , and archives, both for geospatial data specifically and for other types of data more generally. Among GIS practitioners and creators of geospatial data, many agreements are bilateral, governing the exchange of data between two organizations, rather than distribution arrangements between a data provider and a data distributor. Nevertheless, many of the same issues and principles apply whether the communication is intended to facilitate sharing or exchange of data between two parties or it is intended to facilitate distribution of data more broadly (Dangermond, 1995).
ELEMENTS OF DATA-SHARING AGREEMENTS
To identify the most common elements of data-sharing agreements, policies, and contracts, sixteen actual and sample or model agreements were reviewed (see Table 1). These were found by searching the Internet, visiting individual data repositories and locating relevant documentation, and reviewing literature on best practices for data sharing and distribution. The most common elements were identified and summarized in Table 2.
There is no single approach to articulating data management and distribution practices, data-sharing agreements, or the terms of these types of partnerships. Some agreements include information both on the details of managing the relationship between two parties as well as information on actual operations, including data management practices. Other agreements focus primarily on the former, with data management practices outlined separately. A complete treatment of all the potential elements of a data-sharing policy or agreement is beyond the scope of this article; hence, following a brief overview of the elements listed in Table 2, this discussion will focus on those topics in which libraries have particular strengths and where CUGIR has significant experience: data management and collection development policies, including some issues related to the management of security concerns with respect to geospatial data.
Definitions and Procedural Information
Definition of terms and procedural information is fairly standard and straightforward material in contracts. This information serves to identify the participating organizations and, in the case of contracts, to outline the rules of engagement for executing, amending, and terminating agreements, as well as dispute resolution.
General Legal Issues
Applicable law, or jurisdiction, is commonly declared in contracts. It is of little relevance in agreements that are nonbinding. Intellectual property rights in geospatial data are likely to be a matter of copyright, but copyright law with respect to geospatial information is not clear-cut. Facts are not copyrightable, but compilations of facts or databases may be if they entail sufficient creative expression. Some argue that the representation of geographic features leaves no room for creative expression in the context of geographic information systems without adversely impacting the accuracy of the information or greatly diminishing its value by depicting or transmitting it in a nonstandard non·stan·dard
1. Varying from or not adhering to the standard: nonstandard lengths of board.
2. way (Onsrud & Lopez, 1998). Others argue that there is substantial latitude latitude, angular distance of any point on the surface of the earth north or south of the equator. The equator is latitude 0°, and the North Pole and South Pole are latitudes 90°N and 90°S, respectively. for creative expression, especially cartographic car·tog·ra·phy
The art or technique of making maps or charts.
[French cartographie : carte, map (from Old French, from Latin charta, carta, paper made from papyrus expression, even in digital form (Cho, 2005). Contract law and licensing agreements present alternatives to copyright protection when a data provider or distributor must retain a proprietary interest in data (Onsrud & Lopez, 1998). Regardless, the law is not entirely settled on this issue, so agreements should clearly state whether the data provider claims copyright, what rights are transferred to the distributor, and applicable distribution permissions and limitations (Committee on Licensing Geographic Data Geographic data is about much more than electronic pictures of maps.
The geographic data that describes our world allows for city planning, flood prediction and relief, emergency service routing, environmental assessments, wind pattern monitoring and many other applications. and Services, 2004). In addition, derived or value-added datasets and products may present complex intellectual property rights issues (Longhorn et al., 2002).
Liability in the use of geospatial data generally arises because the data are used to make decisions, and errors in the data that result in inappropriate decisions or actions are at the root of liability cases. The issues are usually ones of contract law and warranty (Onsrud, 1999). An additional liability risk posed by the distribution of geospatial data is infringement upon intellectual property rights (Cho, 2005). In either case, strategies to manage liability risks might include disclaimer statements and management practices that explicitly track and document data quality. Such practices include evaluating and documenting data currency, accuracy, and lineage LINEAGE. Properly speaking lineage is the relationship of persons in a direct line; as the grandfather, the father, the son, the grandson, &c. . Much of this information can be expressed in geospatial metadata Geospatial metadata (also geographic metadata, or simply metadata when used in a geographic context) is a type of metadata that is applicable to objects that have an explicit or implicit geographic extent, in other words, are associated with some position on the (Cho, 2005).
Distribution Methods and Services
Geospatial data may be distributed by a variety of means, on- or offline. Modes of online distribution for geospatial datasets may include data repositories, data clearinghouses, direct connections to databases, and Web mapping applications.
Data-related services that might be provided by a distributor could include extraction of parts of a dataset or reprojection of a dataset, either manually upon request or by providing users with Web-based tools. Some data distributors may add value to datasets by supplying additional attribute data.
Data Management Practices
Data Provider's Authority to Make Data Available for Public Distribution To guard against infringement of copyright Noun 1. infringement of copyright - a violation of the rights secured by a copyright
plagiarisation, plagiarization, piracy, plagiarism - the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own or other applicable laws, it is essential that the data provider have the authority or permission to allow the public distribution of the data in question.
Distributor's Collection Development Practices Some aspects of collection development policies and issues related specifically to geospatial data are listed in Table 3. Elements of a collection management policy may influence, or be influenced by, general decisions related to data and metadata management. A policy can ensure consistency in collection development and can help guide decisions when resources for acquiring items are limited. For some GIS data, there may he no cost to acquiring data, but a significant amount of staff time may be required to process new datasets, create or edit metadata, and maintain and support the distribution system. Criteria that might be considered in any collection development policy also apply to geospatial data, such as subject area and geographic scope and data format, but even these raise specific questions with respect to geospatial datasets.
Data Requirements and Standards Data distributors should give some thought to several characteristics of data they might distribute. File format is one important consideration. There are many geospatial data formats; some are proprietary and not all are equally accessible in all GIS software This is a list of notable GIS software applications. See also the comparison of GIS software. Open source software
Most widely used open source applications:
Arrangement of reference lines or curves used to identify the location of points in space. In two dimensions, the most common system is the Cartesian (after René Descartes) system. , are also important considerations. Finally, distributors should consider their preferred units of distribution. This can apply to geographic units (should files be distributed by the largest or smallest possible areas?), and also to whether it is preferable to distribute packages of related files or if data should be distributed in single layers.
Metadata Requirements and Standards Metadata are essential for providing the means to discover geospatial data, for users to evaluate a dataset's fitness for use for their particular application, and for documenting important information about a dataset. The Content Standard for Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM CSDGM Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC standard for digital geospatial Data) ) (Federal Geographic Data Committee Federal Geographic Data Committee - (FGDC)
ftp://fgdc.er.usgs.gov/gdc/html/fgdc.html. , 2000), promulgated prom·ul·gate
tr.v. prom·ul·gat·ed, prom·ul·gat·ing, prom·ul·gates
1. To make known (a decree, for example) by public declaration; announce officially. See Synonyms at announce.
2. by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC FGDC - Federal Geographic Data Committee ), is currently the most widely used standard in the United States. The International Standards Organization See ISO. (ISO (1) See ISO speed.
(2) (International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland, www.iso.ch) An organization that sets international standards, founded in 1946. The U.S. member body is ANSI. ) has published an international standard for geographic metadata (International Organization for Standardization International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
Organization for determining standards in most technical and nontechnical fields. Founded in Geneva in 1947, its membership includes more than 100 countries. , 2003) that defines the schema required for describing geographic information and services, and various groups are working to harmonize the CSDGM and ISO standards This is a list of ISO standards that are discussed in Wikipedia articles. For a list of all the more than 16,000 ISO standards (as of 2007), see the ISO Catalogue.
About 300 of the standards produced by ISO and IEC's Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) have been made freely/publicly . If they have the resources to do so, data distributors may offer data providers some guidance in creating standards-compliant metadata. Finally, distributors may want to add supplementary information to a data provider's metadata. Such additions might include additional contact or liability information pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to the distributor and enhancements or improvements to metadata. Maintenance and Improvement of Data Currency and accuracy are two critical aspects of geospatial data. Data providers may need to provide updated or corrected datasets for distribution. Whether a new version of a dataset represents an update or a correction and the disposition of superseded datasets should be considered.
Archival Policies and Practices When geospatial data are to be distributed by a party other than the creator of the dataset, both groups should be clear as to whether preservation or archival services are to be provided and by whom. RLG's report on trusted digital repositories (RLG-OCLC Working Group on Digital Archive Attributes A file classification that indicates whether the file has been updated since the last backup. A bit is set in the file directory to indicate the archive status. When a file is created or saved, the bit is turned on. When it is backed up, the bit is turned off. See file attribute. , 2002) and audit checklist for certifying trusted repositories (RLG-NARA Task Force on Digital Repository Certification, 2005), and the Open Archival Information System An Open Archival Information System (or OAIS) is an archive, consisting of an organization of people and systems, that has accepted the responsibility to preserve information and make it available for a Designated Community. (OAIS OAIS Open Archival Information System (library and information science)
OAIS Officer Assignment Information System
OAIS Opinion, Attitude, and Interest Survey ) reference model (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) was formed in 1982 by the major space agencies of the world to provide a forum for discussion of common problems in the development and operation of space data systems. , 2002) provide useful guidance with respect to digital preservation in general. Others have considered the special challenges presented in preserving geospatial data (Brown, Welch, & Cullingworth, 2005; Center for International Earth Science Information Network, 2005). Even if preservation services are not provided by the distributor, some geospatial datasets are updated frequently, and the distributor will need to distinguish between updates and new versions (Hyland, 2002).
Limitations on Access to Data Limitations on who may access data may take the form of written statements, such as end-user license agreements, or technological controls, such as user authentication See authentication. . Levels of access for different users may take the form of read- or view-only access controls or methods of distribution.
Policies and Procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental for Accepting and Distributing Sensitive Data A distributor is well advised to consider whether it wants to take responsibility for distributing data that may pose a security risk and what procedures must be in place to ensure the security of the data in its collection. For a thorough review of these issues, as well as a framework for assessing the risks associated with geospatial datasets, see the Rand Corporation Rand Corporation, research institution in Santa Monica, Calif.; founded 1948 and supported by federal, state, and local governments, as well as by foundations and corporations. Its principal fields of research are national security and public welfare. report on the topic (Baker, 2004). The Rand Rand
See Table at currency.
[Afrikaans, after(Witwaters)rand. report framework takes into account three main characteristics of geospatial information: usefulness to would-be attackers, uniqueness of the information, and the potential costs and benefits associated with restricting access.
Privacy and Confidentiality Policies The high degree of geographic specificity that exists in some geospatial datasets makes it imperative that data providers and distributors consider the protection of the privacy of personal information (VanWey et al., 2005). Both should ensure that their practices are in compliance with the privacy policies of their institutions and any applicable laws. The Federal Geographic Data Committee's (1998) policy on personal information privacy also serves as a general guide to protecting the information privacy of individuals while promoting public access to geospatial data.
End-User License Agreement Terms
End-user license agreements (EULAs) serve to communicate a data provider or distributor's terms to an end-user. These terms may include statements of copyright, limits to warranty and liability, attribution at·tri·bu·tion
1. The act of attributing, especially the act of establishing a particular person as the creator of a work of art.
2. requirements, and user and redistribution limitations. In addition, it is useful to recognize two types of end users--consumers and "value-added" users, who may improve or integrate datasets and redistribute re·dis·trib·ute
tr.v. re·dis·trib·ut·ed, re·dis·trib·ut·ing, re·dis·trib·utes
To distribute again in a different way; reallocate. them as new products (de Sherbinin & Chen, 2005). Additional requirements may apply to value-added users, such as requirements to deliver derivative works This article or section may deal primarily with the U.S. and may not present a worldwide view. to the original data provider and statements of rights in value-added or derivative datasets.
DEVELOPING A DATA MANAGEMENT POLICY FOR THE CORNELL UNIVERSITY GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION REPOSITORY
Created in 1998, the Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (http://cugir.mannlib.cornell.edu/) is an online repository providing access to digital geospatial data and metadata for New York State. As a service of Albert R. Mann Library, the library serving the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the name of several colleges at different universities that offer instruction in agriculture and the life sciences.
In the United States:
At its inception, a grant from the FGDC's cooperative agreements program made possible the conversion of TIGER/LINE files to GIS format, and the CUGIR collection consisted entirely of data from the U.S. Census Bureau Noun 1. Census Bureau - the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States
Bureau of the Census . Soon after, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC NYSDEC New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ) and the Soil Information Systems Laboratory (SISL SISL Siemens Information Systems Limited
SISL Sun Industry Standards License (Sun Microsystems)
SISL Secure Integration Simulation Laboratory ) at Cornell University began distributing their data via CUGIR. There are now more than a dozen CUGIR data providers, which include national, state, and local agencies, as well as members of the academic community and the private sector. Currently, the repository has more than 7,500 datasets, has supported more than 350,000 downloads since 2001, and provides Web mapping for selected datasets. M1 data files are cataloged in accordance with the FDGC CSDGM and made available in widely used geospatial data formats. CUGIR is a participating node of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI NSDI - National Spatial Data Infrastructure ) and registered publisher with Geospatial One-Stop. CUGIR is one of two statewide clearinghouses for GIS data in New York State and coordinates its efforts with the New York State GIS Clearinghouse.
Implementing the CUGIR Data Management and Distribution Policy
The CUGIR work group recently implemented a data management and distribution policy. A primary motivation in developing the policy was to communicate our data management and distribution practices to our data providers. While all of our data providers were probably already aware of how we manage and distribute their data and metadata, because our practices sometimes include modifications to data or metadata and distribution or publication beyond CUGIR itself, we thought we should document our practices and share this information with our data providers. A secondary purpose in creating the policy was to formalize a security review process that was initiated following a request to disable To turn off; deactivate. See disabled. the entire repository some time after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2002.
The process began with a review of the literature and data-sharing agreements and policies described in the first part of this article. We identified the main elements that should be included and drafted a policy. We considered the possibility of creating a legal contract rather than a policy, but after consulting with Cornell University legal counsel, we decided against this for two reasons. First, because much of the geospatial data distributed via CUGIR are in the public domain or are available with no or minimal restrictions, issues of intellectual property are simple or nonexistent non·ex·is·tence
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
non . Second, we could not discern dis·cern
v. dis·cerned, dis·cern·ing, dis·cerns
1. To perceive with the eyes or intellect; detect.
2. To recognize or comprehend mentally.
3. significant enough benefits to having a legal contract that would justify the burden or risk of negotiating agreements with the legal representatives of numerous organizations, including state and federal agencies. CUGIR may be considered unique compared to government-based repositories because participation by providers is voluntary rather than legally mandated. The Governor's Task Force on Information Resources Management Technology (1997) Policy 97-6 on GIS Data Sharing directs all New York State public agencies to "share in the creation, use, and maintenance of GIS datasets" and to deposit their data with the New York State Clearinghouse. No such mandate exists for CUGIR. Nevertheless, some issues related to data management and distribution seemed to warrant a formal expression of CUGIR's data management and distribution practices, if not a legal contract. The probability of our data providers approving an informal policy seemed much greater than if we required a legally binding agreement. We asked Cornell University legal counsel to review the final draft policy, and then sent it to three of our data providers for preliminary review. Two had no comments, and one had comments that resulted in minor revisions. We then sent the policy to all of our data providers, along with a data inventory for each provider. We asked for their approval of the policy, as well as updates to the information on the inventory. No data providers had any objections to the policy, and as of this writing we are awaiting approval or information from only two data providers.
Elements of the CUGIR Data Management and Distribution Policy
Our policy addresses three main areas: data and metadata management; security; and use, distribution, and rights (CUGIR Work Group, 2005a). CUGIR also has a separate collection development policy (CUGIR Work Group, 2003).
Data and metadata management Our concerns with respect to data and metadata management have to do with issues of file format, geographic projection, updates to data, metadata management and harvesting, and Web mapping. Our guiding principles for establishing guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. with respect to format and projection were to maximize the utility of CUGIR data. This meant promoting the use of commonly used file formats and projections appropriate to the extent and location covered by the data. CUGIR does, on occasion, request permission from the data provider to distribute the dataset in a format or projection other than the original.
We also wanted to be explicit about the disposition of superseded datasets. There is significant interest in being able to track change over time in a particular location, and if possible, we prefer to make older versions of data available. However, under some circumstances an update to a dataset may represent a change in legal boundaries, and the data provider may prefer to have only the most current data available. The data inventories we sent to our providers included what information we had on whether older versions of their datasets should remain publicly available. In some cases, we had no information, and the process clarified for us how we should handle updated datasets. We should also note that while CUGIR attempts to maintain copies of superseded datasets or other datasets even if they are no longer available for public use, it does not serve as a preservation repository for geospatial data. A possibility for future work in this area is to assess our collection to identify datasets that are good candidates for preservation and to develop the capacity to preserve geospatial data.
Finally, we wanted to convey information about our metadata management and harvesting practices. Because CUGIR participates in various geospatial data clearinghouse initiatives, all data available in CUGIR must have FGDC CSDGM metadata. In some cases, CUGIR metadata librarians will work extensively with a data provider to create or improve metadata. As the data distributor, we also add information to and enhance the original metadata, replacing the provider's metadata with our version. Additions include Library of Congress place names and keywords, as well as distributor contact and liability information for Mann Library. In addition to clearinghouse initiatives, CUGIR converts metadata records to MARC format for inclusion in Cornell's library catalog catalog, descriptive list, on cards or in a book, of the contents of a library. Assurbanipal's library at Nineveh was cataloged on shelves of slate. The first known subject catalog was compiled by Callimachus at the Alexandrian Library in the 3d cent. B.C. , as well as online union catalogs union catalog
A library catalog combining in alphabetical sequence the contents of more than one catalog or library. such as OCLC's WorldCat and the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN RLIN Research Libraries Information Network ).
Security The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, substantially increased awareness of and concern about the security risks posed by freely accessible geospatial information. In February of 2002 the New York State Director of Public Security issued a memo to agency heads in New York State, directing them to immediately conduct a review of all sensitive information in the agencies' possession and made available to the public by any means (OMB Watch OMB Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. OMB Watch was formed by Gary Bass in 1983 to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). , 2003). CUGIR was not one of the original recipients of the memo but learned from user inquiries at that time that the New York State GIS Clearinghouse was offline. After CUGIR staff contacted the clearinghouse, Mann Library received a copy of the security memo by fax and was asked to disable access to the site pending a full content review (Hyland, 2002; Martindale, 2002). The library and CUGIR staff, in consultation with Cornell University legal counsel, decided not to disable the site because the directive was intended for state agencies, which CUGIR and Mann Library are not. Instead, we decided to conduct the content review as requested, inform the data providers of the results, and act accordingly. Before the review was completed, one data provider requested that access to all of their data be disabled while they conducted their own content review. Although an operating principle of CUGIR is that access to the collection is free and unrestricted, the CUGIR work group honored this request. We felt it was important to do so in order to maintain trust in the data distribution partnership. Eventually, access to all but three datasets was restored.
This experience led us to consider permanently formalizing the security review of datasets at the point of addition to the repository so we would have that information at hand in the event of any similar requests in the future. We reasoned that it would be easier and faster to defend a decision to keep the repository online if we could provide documentation on the security risks (or lack thereof) posed by the data in the collection. It is worth reiterating that the focus of the collection is largely on geospatial data related to the environment and natural resources. There is little information on critical infrastructure, but the collection does contain, for example, digital raster graphics A digital raster graphic (DRG) is a digital image resulting from scanning a paper USGS topographic map for use on a computer. DRGs created by USGS are typically scanned at 250 dpi and saved as a TIFF. , which do depict de·pict
tr.v. de·pict·ed, de·pict·ing, de·picts
1. To represent in a picture or sculpture.
2. To represent in words; describe. See Synonyms at represent. facilities such as power plants and dams. On the other hand, digital raster graphics are widely available from other sources and as paper maps.
The initial security review of CUGIR data was based on two factors (Martindale, 2002): inherent risk (utility of the information to potential attackers) and distribution level (availability of information from other sources). Each dataset was assigned a numeric numeric
see ten-key pad. score for these risks and for distribution level. The scoring scheme was loosely based on a preservation risk assessment model used by Mann Library for numeric data Refers to quantities and money amounts used in calculations. Contrast with string or character data. the library makes available online in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),
n.pr established in 1862, USDA is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products. It conducts ongoing research in areas from human nutrition to new crop technologies and also helps ensure open (Hyland, 2002). These two factors correspond nearly perfectly to two of the three factors identified in a report published by the Rand Corporation (Baker, 2004); they were adopted to update the security assessment of all CUGIR datasets in 2005 and to establish a procedure for security assessment. The Rand report framework also takes into consideration the costs and benefits of restricting access to geospatial information. Because a fundamental principle of CUGIR is that the information in the collection is freely available, we did not incorporate the third factor--the costs and benefits of restricting access to geospatial information--into our assessment procedure. This revised CUGIR data security assessment procedure (CUGIR Work Group, 2005b) guided our updated review and was sent to all active CUGIR data providers for their input. Upon completing the review, active data providers were asked to approve or suggest changes. Only minor changes were requested (adjusting a score up or down one point, at most).
Use, Distribution, and Rights CUGIR provides unrestricted access to geospatial data. The one exception we make with respect to this policy is to honor security-related requests made by our data providers. We permit data providers to impose use constraints, as long as they are not in conflict with the rest of our data management policy.
As noted earlier, intellectual property issues with respect to data distributed via CUGIR are simplified by the fact that much of it is in the public domain or otherwise free of copyright and other distribution restriction.
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
CUGIR's collection development policy was developed about two years before the rest of the data management policy. Some elements of the data management policy are briefly addressed in the collection development policy, but in general the collection development policy is more narrow in scope. The policy describes the overall nature and purpose of the repository, acknowledges CUGIR's data providers as the owners of the data in the repository, and provides guidelines for the scope of the collection. The policy also includes some suggested requirements of data and metadata, although the data and metadata guidelines have already been discussed in more detail in the context of the newer data management policy.
In terms of collection scope, the policy addresses both subject and geographic scope. Generally, most New York State data related to natural resources, the environment, and human-environment interactions are appropriate for inclusion in CUGIR. Examples of such data include topography topography (təpŏg`rəfē), description or representation of the features and configuration of land surfaces. Topographic maps use symbols and coloring, with particular attention given to the shape and elevations of terrain. , soils, hydrology hydrology, study of water and its properties, including its distribution and movement in and through the land areas of the earth. The hydrologic cycle consists of the passage of water from the oceans into the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration (or and water resources, environmental hazards 'Environmental hazard' is a generic term for any situation or state of events which poses a threat to the surrounding environment. This term incorporates topics like pollution and Natural Hazards such as storms and earthquakes. , agricultural activities, wildlife, and natural resource management. We have included datasets from immediately adjacent areas when those data may provide some benefit to CUGIR users. To date, that practice has been limited to some digital raster graphics in neighboring neigh·bor
1. One who lives near or next to another.
2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.
3. A fellow human.
4. Used as a form of familiar address.
v. states along the New York State border. The policy also stipulates that CUGIR's distribution policy is an open one and that there is no requirement that CUGIR be the sole distributor of any datasets.
Developing a data management policy forced us to consider all aspects of our data management and distribution practices. Because we already had a collection development policy in place that addressed several important issues related to data management, our most significant motivations for developing the policy had to do with communicating our practices that result in modifications to a provider's data or metadata and collecting additional information from our data providers to help us better manage their data.
We have not operated with our data management policy in place long enough to evaluate the results, but we are encouraged by the fact that none of our data providers had any objections to the policy and pleased that the process helped us update our records about how certain datasets should be managed. Some of our providers were surprised by the question of what to do with superseded datasets and had to give the issue some thought before responding. For data providers with whom we have infrequent in·fre·quent
1. Not occurring regularly; occasional or rare: an infrequent guest.
2. contact, the process provided us with an opportunity to "check in" with them and provide them with some assurance that we are attentive at·ten·tive
1. Giving care or attention; watchful: attentive to detail.
2. Marked by or offering devoted and assiduous attention to the pleasure or comfort of others. and responsive to their needs with respect to data management. We are also pleased to have complete security risk information at hand, which would permit us to respond and make decisions quickly in the event of any future requests to restrict access to data in the repository.
Libraries can bring substantial expertise to bear on the collection, curation, and distribution of digital geospatial information. This expertise makes libraries trusted and competent partners for organizations that wish to distribute geospatial data. Managing and distributing geospatial data raises some unique concerns, including information privacy, security issues, complex and unsettled legal issues related to intellectual property rights, and preservation challenges. In formulating data management and distribution policies, libraries or other organizations entering into data distribution arrangements with data providers are well advised to consider the main components of data-sharing and distribution policies described here and to identify those that are most important and relevant to them. This should be done with an eye toward the library's level of commitment to maintaining the various components of a data distribution system. CUGIR, for example, provides a fairly high level of service in the area of metadata preparation and consulting. Data distributors who choose not to commit that much staff time to metadata development may elect to have strict requirements that all data providers supply the distributor with standards-compliant metadata and provide no additional enhancements or processing. In general, whether in the form of a legal contract or a less formal policy, a well-thought-out data management policy can clarify the expectations of participants, guard against future misunderstandings, and provide stability and predictability in transactions between participants.
Special thanks to Kathy Chiang, Jon Corson-Rikert, Anne Kenney, Jeff Piestrak, and Kornelia Tancheva for providing helpful comments on an earlier version of this article, and to the CUGIR working group: Jon Corson-Rikert, Keith Jenkins Keith Jenkins is a British proponent of postmodern history. Jenkins has attacked what he sees to be "traditional" approaches to history, suggesting that most writing about the past is nothing more than a literary construct. , Jeff Piestrak, and Elaine Westbrooks.
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Being or occurring between two or more governments or divisions of a government.
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CCSDS Consultative Committee for Space Data System (NASA)
CCSDS Consultative Committee on Space Data Standards
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Global Biodiversity biodiversity: see biological diversity.
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Often. Often used in combination: his oft-expressed philosophy; oft-repeated tales.
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Table 1. Data-Sharing Agreements, Policies, and Contracts Reviewed for This article Type Type Reference Organization of Data of Agreement Charlevoix County Geospatial Cooperative Charlevoix County GIS Program GIS Program, 2004 County of Geospatial Usage County of Hunterdon, New Hunterdon, New Jersey, Division Jersey, Division of Geographic of Geographic Information Information Systems Systems, n.d. Geography Network Geospatial Distribution Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), n.d. GeoNOVA Geographic Geospatial Cooperative, Barrington Gateway to Nova distribution, Consulting Scotia usage Group, 2005 Geospatial Geospatial Distribution Geospatial One-Stop One-Stop, n.d. Global Various Distribution Global Biodiversity Biodiversity Information (biodiversity) Information Facility (GBIF) Facility) (GBIF), n.d.a; Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), n.d.c Global Various Usage Global Biodiversity (biodiversity) Biodiversity Information nformation Facility (GBIF) Facility (GBIF), n.d.b Macomb County (MI) Geospatial Cooperative Macomb County (MI) GIS Services CIS Services Division Division, 2002 MetroGIS Geospatial Cooperative, MetroGIS, 2004 distribution New York State Geospatial Cooperative, New York State Office of Cyber distribution Office of Cyber Security and Security and Critical Critical Infrastructure Infrastructure Coordination Coordination, 2005 North Carolina and Geospatial Cooperative North Carolina State of North Center for Carolina Center Geographic for Geographic Information and Information and Analysis (CGIA), Analysis (CGIA) n.d. Open Data Geospatial Distribution Joffe, 2003 Consortium Project Somerset County, Geospatial Cooperative Somerset County, New Jersey New Jersey, n.d. U.S Global Change Various General USCGRP Data and Research Program (global change policy Information research) Working Group, 2002 University of Geospatial Distribution University of Michigan School Michigan School of Natural of Natural Resources and Resources and Environment Environment, 2003 Wyoming Geographic Geospatial General policy Wyoming Geographic Information Information Advisory Council Advisory Council (WGIAC) (WGIAC), 2000 Note: This table include actual agreements and policies, as well as recommended or model agreements and policies. Cooperative agreements refer to agreements made between two or more parties that govern the sharing or use of data by one or more of the parties. Distribution agreements are agreements between a data provider and a data distributor. Usage agreements are agreements or conditions posted on a Web site or otherwise specified by a data distributor. General policies describe the goals and policies of organizations that coordinate data-sharing activities and may lack specific information on the responsibilities of participants. Table 2. Common Components of Data-Sharing and Distribution Policies Component Issues to Consider Definitions Definitions of terms and acronyms Procedural Information Primary points of contact Duration of contract or agreement Applicable fees Procedures for amendment Procedures for notification Procedures for dispute resolution Procedures for termination General Legal Issues Applicable law Intellectual property rights, including distribution permissions and limitations Liability statements Distribution Methods and Services Modes of distribution (media, Internet, direct database connection, Web services) Distributor-provided services such as data extraction and reformatting Data Management Practices Verification of provider's authority to make data available for public distribution Distributor's collection development practices Data requirements and standards Metadata requirements and standards Maintenance and improvement of data Archival policies and practices Limitations on access to data Policies and procedures for accepting and distributing sensitive data Privacy and confidentiality policies End-User License Agreement Terms Statement of copyright Limits to warranty Liability statements Attribution requirements Use restrictions Redistribution limitations Delivery of derivative works to data provider Rights in value-added datasets Table 3. Elements of Collection Development Policies Policy Element Issues to Consider Subject Scope What is the subject scope of the Geographic Scope collection? What is the geographic scope of the collection? If the geographic scope is defined by political boundaries, how should datasets that are distributed by nonconforming or overlapping boundaries (such as watersheds or 7.5 minute quad sheets) be treated? Data Quality Are there minimum standards for data quality? Does the responsibility for maintaining standards of data quality rest with the original data provider or with the repository? Distribution Constraints What distribution constraints apply to the library or repository? Is the repository to be the sole distributor of the data or may the data be distributed by other channels? What distribution constraints apply to end users of data in the repository? Security Issues Do the datasets under consideration pose security risks? Does the repository accept for distribution datasets that may pose a security risk, and if so, does the repository restrict access in any way to such datasets? Metadata Availability Is metadata required for the datasets? Does the responsibility for creating metadata rest with the original data provider or with the repository? Metadata Standards Is adherence to a specific metadata standard required? Is adherence to a specific metadata standard the responsibility of the original data provider or the data repository? Does the repository provide support to data providers for creating standards-compliant metadata? File Format Are specific file formats supported or not supported? Are proprietary or open (platform- and application-independent) formats favored for distribution? Will the same data be provided in more than one format? Unit of Distribution Is it preferable to distribute data files individually or as packages? What are the preferred geographic units for distribution?