National Digital Stewardship Alliance Report: Issues in the Appraisal and Selection of Geospatial Data
The Library of Congress announced the release of a new National Digital Stewardship Alliance report, “Issues in the Appraisal and Selection of Geospatial Data” (pdf). It's about appraising and selecting data for preservation for the long haul, not about selecting them for collection or first use. The challenges facing the preservation of geodata:
- Complex data structure and proprietary file formats
- Difficulty in describing data to provide for broad secondary use
- Institution‐specific, siloed management policies and practices
- Uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of existing policies and practicesThis paper proposes a series of appraisal and selection recommended practices regarding data relevancy, documentation, currency, research and application needs, usability, risk and ease of acquisition that will help organizations make the initial steps to initiate a digital stewardship plan for geospatial information that Appraisal and Selection of Geospatial Data touches on each point of the information lifecycle.The report also suggests key questions to consider for further investigation, including:
1) Are current appraisal and selection policies and practices robust and adaptable enough to address geospatial data?
2) Which pieces of existing policies and practices are the best candidates for sharing across institutional boundaries?
3) What specific aspects of appraisal and selection require more investigation?
4) Are there models of shared services and cooperation between data managing agencies, on the one hand, and archives and libraries, on the other hand, around the long‐term preservation of geospatial data?
5) What are some basic next steps that can be taken to advance the practice of geospatial data appraisal and selection?