The Map as a Fundamental Source in the Memory of the World


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UNESCO Conference
The Memory of the World in the Digital age: Digitization and Preservation
26-28 September 2012, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Tracey P. Lauriault, D. R. Fraser Taylor
Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre
Carleton University, Canada

ABSTRACT The central argument of the paper is that maps and spatial information have been fundamental facet of the memory of societies from all over the world for millennia and their preservation should be an integral part of government digital data strategies. The digital era in map making is a relatively recent phenomenon and the first digital maps date from the 1960s. Digital mapping has accelerated very rapidly over the last decade. Such mapping is now ubiquitous with an increasing amount of spatially referenced information being created by non-governmental organizations, academia, the private sector and government as well by social networks and citizen scientists. Unfortunately despite this explosion of digital mapping little or no attention is being paid to their preservation and, as a result, what has been a fundamental source of scientific and cultural information, maps, are very much at risk. Already we are losing map information faster than it is being created and the loss of this central part of the cultural heritage of societies all over the world is a serious concern. There has already been a serious loss of maps such as the Canada Land Inventory and the 1986 BBC Domesday Project of 1986 and mapping agencies all over the world are struggling to preserve maps in the new digital era. It is somewhat paradoxical that it is easier to get maps that are hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years old than maps of the late 20th and early 21 centuries. This paper examines the challenges and opportunities of preserving and accessing Canadian digital maps, atlases and geospatial information, which are cultural and scientific knowledge assets.

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The Map as a Fundamental Source in the Memory of the World

  1. 1. The Map as a Fundamental Source in the Memory of the World UNESCO Conference The Memory of the World in the Digital age: Digitization andPreservation 26-28 September 2012, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Tracey P. Lauriault, D. R. Fraser Taylor Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre Carleton University, Canada
  2. 2. Introduction Geospatial data, maps and atlases, have been produced formillennia , and are cultural, historical and scientific records ofknowledge and advancement, which makes them a fundamentalsource in memory of the world. Image from the British Library,
  3. 3. Born Digital Maps 1.  The Canadian Geographic Information System (CGIS) was created in the 1960’s & was the world’s 1st GIS 2.  All levels of government produce maps & NRCan has the largest collection (air photos, satellite imagery, geospatial data) and is home to the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) 3.  The Canadian geomatics private sector is a multi-billion dollar industry 4.  Academic institutions produce maps 5.  NGOs, communities, the public and citizens
  4. 4. Maps are ubiquitous in the 21 st century Community based NGO WebMapping Infrastructure VGI & Mashup Citizen Science, Academia Montréal Accessible, Centre de recherche et d’expérimentation sur l’inclusion numérique& & Private Sector Regroupement activistes pour l’inclusion Québec Explorus Data Solutions Inc. (Water Environmental Hub)
  5. 5. 7 Related Topics 1.  Rescue & salvage of the Canada Land Inventory (CLI) & 1986 BBC Domesday 2.  Cybercatographic atlases as collective memory systems and community archives 3.  The Preservation of Canadian Geospatial Data &Geospatial Data Management Models 4.  Canadian digital data and information consultations, studies, reports and initiatives 5.  Legislation, directives and policies 6.  LAC Guidelines pertaining to Geospatial Data and Maps 7.  Research on the preservation of geospatial data in Canada
  6. 6. 1. Rescue and Salvage
  7. 7. Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Conceived in 1960 Created with CGIS Mapped 2.6 million square kilometers of Canada Lost in the 80s Salvaged from boxes of tapes & paper in mid 1990s 1998 Agriculture portion worked on PC from a CD 2011-2012 there were 45,373 CLI map downloads from GeoGratis
  8. 8. 1986 BBC Domesday Project Started in 1984 Released in 1986 in celebration of 900 years of Domesday Obsolete by 1990s w/ few operating systems Emulated in 2002-2003, Reverse engineered and online in 2004, New discs made in 2003 @ UK Archive BBC publishes it online for 25th anniversary
  9. 9. 2. Cybercatographic atlases as collectivememory systems and community archives
  10. 10. Inuit SIKU (sea ice) Atlas
  11. 11. Place Name Atlases Photos © 2012 Gwich in Social and Cultural Institute
  12. 12. Lake Huron Treaty Relationship Process
  13. 13. 3. The Preservation of Geospatial Data Geospatial Data Management Models
  14. 14. Government of Canada geospatial data preservation initiatives IOS/OSD Data Lithoprobe Data National WaveForm GeomagnetismArchive, Department of Archive, NRCan, Archive (NWFA), Summary Plots:Fisheries and Oceans Geological Survey of NRCan, Earthquakes Archives, NRCan, GSC (DFO) Canada (GSC) Canada National Climate The Canadian Ice National Water Data System of Agents forData and Information Service Archive Archive, EC, Water Forest ObservationArchive, Environment (CISA), EC, Canadian Ice Survey of Canada (WSC) Research withCanada (EC) Service w/Archived Sediment Data Advanced HierarchiesIntegrated Science Earth Observation The National Soil (SAFORAH), CanadianData Management Data Services DataBase (NSDB), Forest Service (CFS),(ISDM) Wave Data (EODS), Natural Agriculture and Agri-Food University of Victoria andArchive, DFO Resources Canada Canada (AAFC); Canadian other academic and (NRCan), Canada Centre Soil Information Service government partners. for Remote Sensing (CANSis) (CCRS)
  15. 15. Geospatial Data Management Models
  16. 16. 4. Canadian digital data and informationconsultations, studies, reports and initiatives
  17. 17. Consultations, Studies, Reports Initiatives Open Government Consultations Toward a National Digital Information Strategy: (TBS) Mapping the Current Situation in Canada (LAC) Stewardship of Research Data in Mapping the Data Landscape: National Data Archive Consultation Canada: A Gap Report of the 2011 Canadian (SSHRC) Analysis Research Data Summit 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 GeoConnections study on Archiving, Canadian Digital InformationManagement and Preservation of Geospatial Strategy (CDIS) (LAC) DataNational Consultation on Access to Scientific Digital Economy Consultation, Data Final Report (NCASRD) Industry Canada (IC)
  18. 18. 5. Legislation, regulation, directives policies
  19. 19. Overarching Legislation and Regulation The Library and Privacy Act (R.S., Legal Deposit of Canada Evidence ActArchives of Canada 1985, c. P-21) Publications (R.S., 1985, c. C-5) Act (2004, c. 11) Regulations (SOR/ 2006-337) Copyright Act (R.S., Personal Information Privacy Regulations Access to1985, c. C-42) Protection and (SOR/83-508). Information Act Electronic (R.S., 1985, c. A-1) Documents Act (2000, c. 5)
  20. 20. Overarching Policy, Directives, Standards TBS Standard for Electronic TBS Policy TBS Multi- TBS Directive on Documents and Framework for Institutional Recordkeeping Records Information and Disposition Management Technology Authority (MIDA) Solutions (EDRMS) TBS Directive on Policy on TBS Policy on LAC Guidelines: Information Management of Information Local Digital FormatManagement Roles Information Management Registry (LDFR) and Responsibilities Technology Forthcoming Methodology associated with TBS Standard on TBS Standard on TBS Directive on Recordkeeping, which Geospatial Data Metadata NRCan Records Management Group contributed
  21. 21. Acts regulation governing geospatial data Department of Resources and Energy Monitoring Energy Efficiency Canada LandsNatural Resources Technical Surveys Act Act Surveys Act Act Act (R.S., 1985, c. E-8) (1992, c. 36) (R.S., 1985, c. L-6) (1994, c. 41) (R.S., 1985, c. R-7) Canada Oil and Gas Forestry Act Remote Sensing National Energy Operations Act Canada-Nova (R.S., 1985, c. F-30) and Space Systems Act Board Act(R.S., 1985, c. O-7) and Scotia Offshore Regulations (2005, c. 45) and (R.S., 1985, c. N-7) andCanada Oil and Gas Petroleum Respecting the Remote Sensing National Energy Geophysical Resources Accord Report on the Space Systems Board Electricity Operations Implementation State of Canada’s Regulations Regulations Regulations Act (1988, c. 28) Forests (SOR/95-479) (SOR/2007-66) (SOR/97-130) (SOR/96-117) Charts and Canada- Nuclear Fuel Nautical Canada Petroleum Newfoundland Nuclear Energy Waste Act Publications Resources Act Atlantic AccordAct (R.S., 1985, c. A-16) (2002, c. 23) Regulations (1985, c. 36 (2nd Supp.)) Implementation (SOR/95-149) Act (1987, c. 3) Uranium MinesNuclear Safety and Northern Pipeline and Mills Control Act Act Regulations (SOR/ (1997, c. 9) (R.S., 1985, c. N-26) 2000-206)
  22. 22. 6. LAC Guidelines pertaining to Geospatial Data and Maps
  23. 23. LAC Guidelines 1.  Managing Cartographic, Architectural and Engineering Records in the Government of Canada 2.  Canadian Committee on Archival Description (CCAD) Rules for Archival Description Chapter 5 3.  CCAD Chapter 9: Records in Electronic Form 4.  LAC Local Digital Format Registry (LDFR) File Format Guidelines for Preservation and Long-term Access Version 1.0
  24. 24. 7. Research on the preservation of geospatial data in Canada
  25. 25. IP2 Geospatial Case Studies CS08 CS18 CS19 CS24 CS26 MOST Authenti- City of CS06 Cybercarto- Mars Global Surveyor Data CS14 Coalescent Computeri- zation of cating Vancouver Satellite Mission: Engineering Geographicgraphic Atlas Records in the Communities Alsace- Preservation Objects for Informationof Antarctica Planetary in Arizona Moselle’s of Space Digital System Data System Land Registry Telescope Preservation (VanMap) Data Online Surveyor Archaeological Electronic Examines An enterprise Repository ofinteractive and mission data Records of the registry through an web-based map thedynamic, open records at the American including digital engineering system Microvariabilitystandards, Planetary Data Southwest transcription of experiment the maintained by Oscillations ofinteroperable System (PDS) rendered in a 40 000 existing authentication of the City of Stars satellitemultimedia, Space Science GIS. paper registries digital model Vancouver’s mission data ofmultisensory, Data Archive. and new (CAD) records Information Canada’s firstmultimodal atlas database entries using a content/ Technology space telescope. that renders individually message/ Department. distributed data signed by a judge semantic-basedfrom myriad using a PKI methodologyscientific infrastructure rather thanorganizations. combining media, bit-count, biometric access or static and digital provenancial signatures. attribute-based authentication.
  26. 26. IP2 Geospatial Case Studies Canadian International National Geospatial Long Term Southern Comprehensi Antarctic Geophysical Data Statistics Ecological California ve Ocean Digital Data CenterInfrastructure Canada Research Earthquake Atmosphere Database (NGDC -(CGDI) Access (LTER) Center (SCEC) Data Set (ADD) NOAA) Portal (ICOADS) National Snow U.S. British Global Community Earth USGS Dataand Ice Data Antarctic Antarctic Change Data Portal Systems Grid Portals -Center (NSIDC), Resource Survey (BAS) - Master at NCAR (ESG) portal GEO-DATANASA Center Antarctic Directory Explorer (USARC) Environment (GCMD) – (GEODE) al Data Global Centre Change Data Center
  27. 27. Conclusion
  28. 28. Conclusions 1.  Preservation as an afterthought may not result in a full recovery 2.  Open source, interoperable, open specifications 3.  Data and systems need to be preserved 4.  Proactive archiving is an interim strategy 5.  Atlases as community archives conditions for secondary provenance 6.  Some GoC geospatial data archives some policies upon which to build 7.  Many studies consultations but few results while experts remain committed to the issues of data preservation 8.  Much law, regulation policy but little implementation no dedicated resources 9.  IP2 research demonstrated that in science and geospatial fields, there are many good practices 10.  Data in portals are appraised – build archiving into these 11.  CGDI could add preservation as a key component
  29. 29. Conclusion Geospatial data, maps and atlases as shown in this paper, are a fundamental source in our memory of the world. They form part of our collective memory system, they help us understand our geo-narratives, they counter colonial mappings, are the result of scientific endeavours, represent multiple worldviews, and they inform decisions. We simply need to overcome the many challenges preventing their preservation and build upon existing preservation examples and implement our laws, regulations, directives and policies.