I have just submitted the following keynote book chapter for a Cartographic Heritage book. I and Prof. Taylor were invited to submit and we decided to pool our resources and submit 1 chapter from our lab. While I am not an expert in archiving, I have been doing research in the field for 4 years and more and more I am enamoured with that profession and with the role memory institutions have in shaping knowledge, history, the nation. The social shaping of those institutions however need us digital artifact producers to be cognizant of our role and to consider working with preservationists. We also rarely consider our objects as heritage, yet these maps, data, technologies and their related infrastructures embody a time and they say something about our contemporary society and there is merit in giving those future researchers something to look at.
During this process I discovered a great Canadian archival historian, Terry Cook and one of my favorite titles from him is as follows: It’s Ten O’clock, Do You Know Where Your Data Are?. I also love archives in popular culture, and had a great time looking up the Jedi Archive - Remember when Obi-Wan discovered missing systems as did yoda! It is all there in Wookiipeedia .
The Preservation and Archiving of Geospatial Digital Data: Challenges and Opportunities for Cartographers
Tracey P. Lauriault1, Peter L. Pulsifer1, D.R. Fraser Taylor1
1Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC), Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University
Abstract: In terms of preserving our digital cartographic heritage, the last quarter of the 20th century has some similarities to the dark ages. In many cases, only fragments or written descriptions of the digital maps exist. In other cases, the original data have disappeared or can no longer be accessed due to changes in technical procedures and tools. Where data has not been lost, as with the Canada Land Inventory, the cost of recovery has been high. Based on experience gained through participation in a major research project focused on preservation, the development of several digital cartographic frameworks, systems and artifacts (e.g. Maps and atlases), multidisciplinary work with archivists, data preservationists, data librarians, public officials and private sector cartographers, the authors discuss possible strategies toward the preservation of maps, geospatial data, and associated technologies – cartographic heritage. The chapter concludes with an overview of some of the questions and research opportunities that are emerging from the discussion.
Keywords: Cybercartography, Archiving, Geospatial Data, Preservation, Cartographers