Revitalizing Forgotten Data: Bringing 40 years of Glacial Photography into the Digital Age

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Vicky Wolf

The GeoData Center (GDC), operated by the Alaska Satellite Facility for the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is the home for a Glacial Photography collection that spans the 1950s to the early 2000s. The collection consists of photos and negatives taken from planes and the ground of glaciers in Alaska. In early 2012, a researcher was awarded a grant to digitize a portion of the collection for his own use. He will give copies of the digitized images to the GDC for distribution via the web. The GDC is responsible for developing the infrastructure needed to distribute the data. The funding from the ESIP Federation will be utilized to generate metadata for both the collection and the individual photos. The metadata will be generated from field notes and flight logs that exist for all the photos. The metadata will be published on the web in formats compatible with OpenSearch and RSS feeds to facilitate data discovery on a broad scale. The primary goal of the project is to increase the visibility of the collection so that the imagery can be found and utilized in research. A secondary goal is to develop a structure that can be used for enhancing the discovery of other collections held by the GDC.