Stanford University held its second Geo4LibCamp from January 29th through February 2nd. Yale University was represented by Yue Ji, Senior Programmer Analyst in Library IT, Rebecca Hirsch, Head of Beinecke Library’s Digital Services Unit, and Miriam Olivares, GIS Librarian for the Center for Science & Social Science.
On the week of January 29 Stanford hosted geo4libcamp where 48 people of similar but varying persuasions convened with the common goal of building repository services for geospatial data. Introductions included naming 3 personal interests and “discovery”, “metadata” were among the most frequently cited. The format was of “unconference” design Monday through Wednesday with additional sessions Thursday and Friday. There were 6 planned presentations, a round of lightning talks, a morning spent at the Rumsey Map Center, and unconference planning that determined the 10 unconference sessions chosen by popular demand. Additional sessions included an introduction and tutorial on Geoblacklight, hydra plugin development, and selling the importance of geodata repository to administrators. For more details of the week see: https://geo4libcamp2017.sched.com.
Geoblacklight is an open source GIS discovery platform for geospatial holdings built on the blacklight discovery application and solr index. At Yale, the Library Executive Committee has made creating a Geoblacklight instance a high priority and it was assuring to see that the community is moving with concerted effort in that direction. Highlighted throughout the week were the common challenges, from technically standing up the software stack, metadata best practices, sharing and interoperability, to specific issues with scanned maps, indexed maps, and hierarchical data. One key takeaway was the compelling argument to adopt geoconcerns: It leverages the existing hydra/sufia/hyrax model, there was a critical mass of buy-in and support, the data model is robust, and the infrastructure and architecture are well defined. Through contributing to the community effort and custom development at Yale with the Ladybird collection management tool and existing metadata, a geoblacklight/geoconcerns solution holds much promise as a leading application to offer Yale patrons in the geospatial realm.