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Spatial Data Visualization And Analysis Support In The Library

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Library Instruction Forum

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1113.1 - 9.1113.8



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Paper Authors

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Francis Derby

author page

Bruce Reid

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

Session 3451

Spatial Data Visualization and Analysis Support in the Library

Bruce Reid and Francis W. Derby

The Pennsylvania State University P. O. Box PSU Lehman, PA 18627


In many institutions of higher education, the primary mission of the library is to be a resource for students, faculty and researchers. In meeting this objective, the library has served as a repository for print materials. With regard to spatial data, a collection of monographic materials, maps and other materials of cartographic nature, have often been the sole source of support for geographically referenced data.

In today’s information age, the need for current and up-to-date data has become essential for decision-making and resource management. The utility of spatially referenced materials in hard copy format has become greatly curtailed due to the difficulty and cost for keeping them current. The need for spatially referenced materials in digital or electronic format to support new technologies and applications has become increasingly apparent in many institutions.

One major application of spatially referenced data is in geographic information systems (GIS) technology. A decision support and resource management technology, GIS is a tool for analyzing spatially referenced data to identify trends, and assess possible impact of options for solving spatially related problems. No longer restricted to engineering and the social sciences, the application of GIS technology extends to all forms of activities where geographically referenced data are used. In addition to academia, the technology is being used extensively by Federal, State and local agencies, public and private institutions, as well as individuals.

In order to provide data and visualization support for such activities, libraries are compelled to provide the requisite data, computer hardware, and software for patrons to perform spatial analysis and visualization. Many institutions are investing financial resources to acquire electronic data, computer hardware, and software to equip the libraries and to provide the requisite staff training. The functions of the library have thus, been extended beyond the original

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Derby, F., & Reid, B. (2004, June), Spatial Data Visualization And Analysis Support In The Library Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13797

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