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Geolibraries

  • By: Karl Grossner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term geolibrary was introduced in 1998 by the geographer Michael Goodchild to explicitly identify an emerging class of digital system, the “library filled with georeferenced information,” as an important element of the growing global spatial data infrastructure. The geolibrary concept grew out of efforts at organizing and providing shared access to the digital holdings of map libraries and spatial data repositories. These collections typically include scanned paper maps, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and geographic information systems (GIS) data files. A key distinction was drawn between this “geographical information,” as representations of the surface and near surface of the Earth, and the vastly broader category of “georeferenced information,” defined as any information referring to or about particular places.

A geolibrary indexes its holdings by location, ...

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