Publications and Tools

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GeoMAPP Geoarchiving Business Planning Toolkit (zip)NEW

December 2011
  1. Geoarchiving Business Planning Process Map & Checklist
  2. Geoarchiving Business Planning Guidebook
  3. Geoarchiving Business Cost-Benefit Analysis Guidance
  4. Geoarchiving Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool (Excel)
  5. Geoarchiving Use Case Guidance
  6. Geoarchiving Business Planning Bibliography
The GeoMAPP Geoarchiving Business Planning Toolkit provides a collection of guidance documents and tools to assist in the planning and development of a geoarchiving business plan. These tools encourage the collaboration of the GIS and archival professionals to prepare a business plan for establishing, sustaining, or extending an archival program that advances the long-term preservation of a state’s valuable geospatial assets. The toolkit offers a process-oriented approach that presents checklists, planning questions, and tools to assist in characterizing both the costs and benefits related to a geoarchiving program, that can be assembled to produce a compelling business plan that is important to informing funding requests and justifying funding allocations.

GeoMAPP Storage PrimerNEW

December 2011

Storage is an important component of any archival solution. The GeoMAPP Storage Primer provides an overview of several storage concepts, components and technologies. Archivists can use this primer as a basic introduction to help inform their conversations with their IT partners when evaluating and selecting storage solutions. The document also presents a summary of the storage configurations used by the GeoMAPP partners for their geospatial archives, depicting practical implementations of many of the concepts and technologies introduced in the Primer.

GeoMAPP State Architecture and Storage Challenges NEW

The GeoMAPP partners felt it would be useful to document their current storage environment as well as the challenges they faced to procure it and stand it up. This documents is intended to be a companion piece to the GeoMAPP Storage Primer.

Best Practices for Geospatial Data Transfer for Digital Preservation NEW

December 2011

The GeoMAPP project's primary goal is to ensure the long term preservation of archived geospatial content. In order to preserve geospatial content, the GeoMAPP team explored processes, techniques, and tecnologies to transfer geospatial data to an archival organization with state-wide preservation responsibility for geospatial data. This paper offers guidance on planning, preparation, and execution of dataset transfers to the archival organization, and highlights the data transfer experiences from the GeoMAPP partner states. The paper also includes an archiving project roadmap that will assist organizations exploring geoarchiving in planning their data transfer projects, suggestions for GIS and archival cross-organizational collaboration for orientation and knowledge transfer, network and infrastruture considerations in preparation for transferring files, naming and file organizational recommendations, and tips on tools for packaging and validating data file transfers. The paper also provides a role-based summary of the data transfer tasks for geospatial contributors and the archival recipients. Be sure to refer to the appendices for project planning checklists and numerous resources to support the data transfer planning, preparation, and execution activities.

BagIt and Esri ArcCatalog Demonstration Video (WMV format) (20 minutes)

Video demonstration and tutorial demonstrating use of BagIt and Esri ArcCatalog to validate file transfer and functionally verify geospatial datasets.

Montana State Library Spatial Data Transfer DesignNEW

December 2011

This document, created by the Montana State Library, provides an overview of the transfer and processing of datasets within the Montana State Library geopreservation repositories.

APPX-based Archives Enterprise Manager (AXAEM)NEW

December 2011

Over the course of the 4-year GeoMAPP project grant period, Utah has invested in the development of an archival management system based on the APPX-based Archives Enterprise Manager (AXAEM) software platform. This report summarizes the ongoing development efforts to build features that automate various archival management and processing tasks, and future development priorities. North Carolina, and Kentucky had the opportunity to conduct some hands-on testing of the AXAEM system, and the report also includes a summary of their test results and findings.

Geoportal Toolkit Evaluation NEW

December 2011

Esri’s Geoportal Toolkit offers a free, open source product that enables the discovery and use of geospatial resources which is used by numerous GIS clearinghouse organizations across the U.S. Kentucky, Montana, and Utah installed and evaluated the Geoportal as a means for publicizing and accessing archived geospatial datasets. This report summarizes the experience of each partner state’s Geoportal evaluation.

North Carolina State Archives CONTENTdm User Guide for Geospatial Datasets NEW

December 2011

The North Carolina State Archives has developed a prototype digital collection using CONTENTdm to provide online access to its archived geospatial datasets. This user guide provides a description of the process the Archives has developed to prepare and publish the datasets, including a novel use of the CONTENTdm compound object to display the superseded series for an individual dataset that are collected through the years.

National Inventory of Geospatial Records NEW

December 2011

Geospatial datasets can be found in numerous repositories and clearinghouses. This report surveys several nationally-oriented geospatial collections, and explores how archival organizations might be able to leverage national geospatial inventory systems to promote their collections.

Emerging Trends in Content Packaging for Geospatial Data NEW

December 2011

An individual geospatial data resource may be composed of a complex, inter-related set of data files as well as metadata and other supporting file objects, all of which need to be arranged in a certain fashion in order to be understood by the software and the humans that are involved in the exchange, management, and use of the data. This report characterizes the role that content packaging is coming to play with regard to geospatial data management and access; documents emerging content package types that have appeared in the geospatial community; and explores preservation challenges that may arise when these packages are expected to persist over time or when the packaging process itself results in changes to packaged data.

Archival Challenges Associated with the Esri Personal Geodatabase and File Geodatabase Formats NEW

December 2011

Spatial databases play a prominent role in geospatial data production and management, storing a range of data types including geographic features, attribute information, satellite and aerial imagery, surface modeling data, and survey measurements. In addition to storing data, some types of spatial databases can also model the relationships between data, handle data validation, and support complex data models, versioning, and multi-user editing, all of which greatly improve data integrity and analysis capabilities. One area of focus for GeoMAPP has been understanding the long-term sustainability of Esri Geodatabase content in an archival context, and whether it would be better to convert these databases to open formats or retain them in a particular Esri Geodatabase format. This report provides an initial assessment of the preservation challenges associated with the Personal Geodatabase and File Geodatabase formats.

Best Practices for Archival Processing for Geospatial Datasets NEW

November 2011

This document provides a process-oriented approach and description of the activities involved in processing geospatial datasets for both long-term preservation and access. Based on the reference model for an Open Archival Information System Model (OAIS), the white paper includes process flow and storage architecture diagrams, key questions for archivists to consider as they are establishing their archival processing process, and practical examples illustrating how geospatial datasets can be inspected and stored in an archival system. This whitepaper, in conjunction with the Best Practices for Geospatial Data Transfer (available by Dec. 2011), and the Archival Metadata Elements for the Preservation of Geospatial Datasets (Sept. 2011) provide an in-depth look at the transfer and preservation of valuable geospatial data.

Archival Metadata Elements for the Preservation of Geospatial Datasets NEW

September 2011

This document offers an extensible metadata dictionary based on the reference model for an Open Archival Information System Model (OAIS) to support the archival management and access of archived geospatial datasets. It also includes crosswalks for Dublin Core and FGDC metadata.

Geospatial Data File Formats Reference Guide (Microsoft Excel)

July 2011

Electronic file format support is a fundamental challenge in the long-term preservation of digital materials. This issue is especially relevant for geospatial datasets that are created, shared, and stored in many different formats, many of which are proprietary to a specific vendor and/or software application. Geospatial data is primarily comprised of raster data, made up of a two dimensional array of equally sized cells where each cell holds a single attribute value and location coordinates, or vector data, represented as points, lines, and polygons. In addition to the fundamental geographic information, many datasets also include underlying tables of data that further elaborate the geographic elements, such as population counts, income values, average property values, demographic information, or identifying information for individual features such as name, address, etc. Then all of this data may further be wrapped within an encompassing database that enables relationships and analysis across the datasets. Many of the geospatial formats are manifested as numerous files in a variety of file types. All of these aspects pose challenges to GIS professionals and to archivists both today and in the future.

This spreadsheet provides a quick reference of some of the common geospatial raster and vector dataset types, and can serve as a tool to identify geospatial format types based on file extensions.

GeoMAPP Brochure 2011  !Updated for 2011!

Preserving America's Geospatial Footprints
May 2011

The new 2011 GeoMapp brochure, Preserving America's Geospatial Footprints, describing the importance and challenges for preserving geospatial content, and listing tools developed by the GeoMAPP team to address these challenges, has been published and is available for download.

BagIt User Guide (ver 2)

SAN Bagging: How to Install and Use the BagIt Library to Create and Validate Bags (ver. 2)
BagIt Quick Reference Summary
April 2011

Inter-system and inter-organizational file transfer is a fundamental aspect of transferring geospatial datasets, whether datasets are being transferred to another agency, a GIS clearinghouse, or an archival organization for long-term preservation. To ensure data integrity, it is important to verify that files are transferred without any unintended changes. Developed jointly by the University of California, California Digital Library and the U.S. Library of Congress, BagIt offers a program to package and inventory a collection of files, and to validate that the files’ integrity was maintained through the file transfer. This BagIt user guide provides information on where to find and download the BagIt code, installing BagIt, creating bags, transferring bags, and verifying the integrity of transferred bags. It will be helpful to people who are new to BagIt, and are looking for a getting started guide.

BagIt Tutorial Videos

BagIt Tutorial: Part 1 - Introduction to BagIt (WMV format) (10 minutes)
BagIt Tutorial: Part 2 - Installing BagIt and Java Runtime Environment (WMV format) (30 minutes)
BagIt Tutorial: Part 3 - Creating and Verifying Bags (WMV format) (30 minutes)
BagIt Tutorial: Part 4 - Retrieving, Verifying, and Unpacking Bags (WMV format) (30 minutes)
Also available on YouTube: BagIt Tutorial YouTube Playlist
April 2011

Four-part online video tutorial that introduces the BagIt tool to package and reliably transfer files from one system to another.

Preserving Geospatial Datasets and Geospatial Metadata

Utilizing Geospatial Metadata to Support Data Preservation Practices
January 2011

Metadata associated with geospatial datasets can provide a rich insight into the technical details about the dataset it is describing while also providing information about the 'who', 'what', 'when', 'where', 'why', and 'how' to explain the dataset's purpose and utility. When thoughtfully populated, geospatial metadata can be a critical resource for understanding and managing geospatial data for current and future GIS practitioners and those trying to preserve the geospatial data.

GeoMAPP has prepared a checklist that identifies key geospatial metadata fields that can be beneficial to the long term preservation of the GIS datasets. While fully compliant, richly completed full geospatial metadata records should always be the preferred standard for GIS data creators, the above checklist highlights metadata fields that deserve special focus to be thoughtfully populated by GIS data creators, and more thoroughly reviewed by GIS clearinghouses to benefit long-term GIS data preservation, access, and use.

NDIIPP 2010 Report

Preserving our Digital Heritage: The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program 2010 Reports January 2011

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) recently released its 2010 report summarizing digital preservation issues and challenges, and highlights the goals and progress of the NDIIPP-sponsored initiatives, including the GeoMAPP project.

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Geoarchiving Self Assessment (Microsoft Excel)

September, 2010

This document is intended for you or others to use to objectively evaluate your archives’ potential to archive geospatial data and/or your archives’ present geoarchiving practices. You must have Microsoft Excel 2003 or 2007 to view. We’d love your feedback on the effectiveness of this tool. Please contact

GeoMAPP Interim Report: 2007-2009

March 2010

This document details the findings during the first phase of the GeoMAPP project (2007-2009). The report includes project overview, key investigative activities and important observations/findings that can assist both GIS practitioners and archivists in their efforts to preserve superseded geospatial data for the long-term.

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Data Transfer Documentation

One of the main tenets of the GeoMAPP effort was to move geospatial content (1) between GIS creators and the State Archives within each state and (2) between states via the State Archives. Below are the results of the efforts for each state. Also included is a design template for states planning to implement intrastate data transfer.

Records Retention Schedules, 2009

FGDC and Dublin Core Metadata Comparison

March 2009

This document created by GeoMapp compares two different types of metadata standards - FGDC (Federal Geographic Data Committee) and Dublin Core - for the purpose of data discovery and preservation. The report concludes with a simplified model listing the optimal metadata of the FGDC Standard and Dublin Core combined.

Utah State Archives - Utah AGRC Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Division of Archives and Records Service (Archives) and the Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC). The document outlines responsibilities to preserve the long-term availability of geospatial data.

GeoMAPP Brochure, 2009

Preserving America's Geospatial Footprints
January 2009

The GeoMapp brochure, Preserving America's Geospatial Footprints, describing project objectives, challenges, and partnerships, has been published and is available for download.

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Utah's Business Plan for Archival Preservation of Geospatial Data Resources

December 2008

This business plan outlines goals, program benefits, program requirements and costs, and an implementation plan for preserving geospatial data by the Utah Division of State Archives and the AGRC.

Utah's Electronic Records Management Business Case

This electronic records management (ERM) strategy is a collection of definitions, distinctions, best practices, and industry standards that will enable the efficient use of Utah state government resources and continued confidence in the state’s records management stewardship.

Surveys, 2008

In the summer and fall of 2008, the GeoMAPP team conducted several state specific and national surveys to identify geospatial creation and archiving trends among state and local agencies in North Carolina as well as among state archives and members of the national geospatial community.

The GeoMAPP team developed two similar surveys, one targeting state government archivists and records managers, and another distributed to state Geographic Information Officers (GIOs) and other state government GIS leaders. The surveys featured some questions unique to the target audience and others that were common across surveys for ease of comparison. Below are the survey questions and resultant raw data.

State Specific
Following on the heels of two successful local government surveys conducted by the North Carolina Geospatial Data Archiving Project (NCGDAP) project in 2006 and 2008, and running in parallel with two national surveys listed above, Kentucky and North Carolina conducted surveys within their states targeting geospatial data creators within their borders. Below are the survey questions and corresponding results.

Kentucky Geospatial Archives Procedures

This document created by Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to provide an overview of the Kentucky Geography Network (KYGEONET) and the state's involvement in national geospatial repositories.

Multistate Geo-archival Process Flow

This document, created in the early phase of the grant project, charts how archives and data stewards will interact intra- and inter-state to move geospatial data.

GeoMAPP Press Release, 2008

Multi-state Geospatial Content Transfer and Archival Demonstration
February 2008

North Carolina, Kentucky and Utah announced the award of a multi-state grant titled Multi-state Geospatial Content Transfer and Archival Demonstration.

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Last Modified: 12/31/2011