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Spatial Data (Gis) Support For Multiple Disciplines With Land Surveying Engineering As The Lead Element: A Work In Progress At The Penn State Wilkes Barre Campus

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Thinking Ahead: Supporting New Technologies in Engineering Libraries

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1291.1 - 12.1291.7



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Paper Authors


Bruce Reid Pennsylvania State University-Wilkes-Barre

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BRUCE REID is the Head Librarian at Penn State University, Wilkes-Barre campus. He has a B.S. degree in Business from Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and a Library Information degree from the University of Minnesota. His subject areas are Business, GIS applications, Telecommunications, and Land Surveying

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Francis Derby Pennsylvania State University-Lehman

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FRANCIS DERBY, is currently Associate Professor of Surveying and Geographic Information Systems at Penn State University. He has extensive international experience in cadastre and Land Information Systems and GIS. His current interests include land tenure issues, implementation of Cadastral, Land and Geographic Information Systems.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Spatial Data (GIS) Support for Multiple Disciplines with Land Surveying

Engineering as the Lead Element: A Work in Progress at the Penn State

Wilkes-Barre Campus


Geographic Information Systems GIS) technology has been suitable for applications that make their attainment not only useful, but necessary in the information world in which we currently operate. Awareness of GIS capabilities in the University arena has spawned a dramatic demand for spatially referenced materials in digital or electronic format to support management decisions, resource management, and research activities. No longer confined to engineering and the social sciences, many other disciplines are now using GIS in all forms where geographically referenced data is used. The Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus library is slowly emerging as the logical provider and facilitator for the use of GIS technology across campus. The library occupies both a central and neutral position on campus, and by design, serves all disciplines in like manner. Engineering programs, with Land Surveying Engineering at the lead, had been the sole user of GIS technology on this campus until a library initiative found other disciplines that also had strong desires to use this technology. In the last few years, the campus library has embarked on a mission to extend its services to include GIS support to disciplines and programs at the campus. This work in progress is examined in detail as a follow-up to a paper presented at the 2004 ASEE conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1. Introduction

At the 2004 ASEE Conference and Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah, we presented a paper which discussed an initiative to provide geospatial data visualization support in the library at the Wilkes-Barre campus of the Penn State University. Our Land Engineering Surveying group had suggested that the campus explore the possibility of having a GIS site in the library. Justification for implementing a local GIS support site at this campus focused on the geographically dispersed nature of the Penn State Campus Libraries and the limitations of data communications networks to carry large graphical data packets across campuses during laboratory exercises or geospatial research activities. Another consideration was the inability of local librarians to provide adequate support to users if GIS software and data were operated on a remote system.

The library viewed the GIS initiative as an opportunity to potentially expand services and support to other disciplines throughout the campus. “Providing GIS Support through the libraries gives all users from all departments equal access to services as the library is often in a central location with open access and long hours of operation”.1 Whereas faculty members from programs other then engineering recognize the importance of the technology, they had been slow to incorporate GIS into their course offerings. However, the recent interest level in GIS has been dramatic due to the rapid growth and expansion of digital technology. For example, Business

Reid, B., & Derby, F. (2007, June), Spatial Data (Gis) Support For Multiple Disciplines With Land Surveying Engineering As The Lead Element: A Work In Progress At The Penn State Wilkes Barre Campus Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1735

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