June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Thinking Ahead: Supporting New Technologies in Engineering Libraries
12.1291.1 - 12.1291.7
Spatial Data (GIS) Support for Multiple Disciplines with Land Surveying
Engineering as the Lead Element: A Work in Progress at the Penn State
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.
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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