D-Lib Magazine
February 1997

ISSN 1082-9873

Clips and Pointers

Berkeley Digital Library Technology Assists in California Flood Recovery Efforts

Robert Wilensky, University of California, Berkeley

The DLI-funded UC Berkeley Digital Library Project has been making significant ongoing contributions to California's flood recovery efforts. These efforts have been aided by the ready availability of pertinent on-line information provided by the project. This information had been acquired as part of the project's continuing efforts to create an environmental digital library testbed.

Several of the data sets previously acquired by the project contain valuable information not otherwise easily accessible. An example of such a data set is one that contains authoritative data about all dams under the jurisdiction of the State of California. This data base had been extracted automatically from a printed document by a document recognition process developed as part of the project. The project also developed web-based form and map interfaces to these data, providing recovery efforts with the ability to quickly obtain answers to dam-related queries which were previously not easily obtainable by any means.

Other on-line data sets acquired by the project that proved to be useful include several sets of geo-referenced aerial photographs, especially those of the hard-hit Sacramento delta area. It is noteworthy that none of the data sets were acquired by the project with these specific purposes in mind, but rather, because they were deemed to be of general utility for planning purposes. Thus, the value of acquiring and making available such resources in digital form was made amply manifest in this crisis.

In addition, the project learned from State relief workers that USGS "quad sheets" (essentially detailed maps) of affected areas would be valuable if available. Because of its acquired expertise and developed infrastructure, the project was able to provide rapid response to this request, and acquire and make available the high-priority data within approximately 1.5 weeks. Working in cooperation with USGS, the project plans to imminently supplement these data with USGS so-called DRG quad sheets, which have comparable spatial extent but superior geographic properties.


Goings On

Pointers in This Column:

American Medical Informatics Association
Annual Fall Symposium
Nashville, Tennessee
October 24-29, 1997
Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)/
European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL)
Joint Conference/
Workshop on Intelligent Scalable Text Summarization
(Electronic Library and Visual Information)
Conference on Digital Library Research
International Institute for Electronic Library Research
De Montfort University
Milton Keynes, UK
May 6-8, 1997
Let There Be Light! Licensing Electronic Resources: State of the Evolving Art. Summary of Proceedings http://arl.cni.org/scomm/sum.html,
Metadata: Mapping between metadata formats http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/interoperability/
Museums and the Web
An International Conference
March 16-19, 1997
Los Angeles, California
Online Music Scholarship Resources http://www.iat.unc.edu/technology/music/music.ht ml
Second IEEE Metadata Conference http://www.llnl.gov/liv_comp/metadata/md97.html
Sixth International World Wide Web Conference
Santa Clara, California
April 7-11, 1997
Workshop on AI in Digital Libraries
International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence Workshop Series
Nagoya, Japan
August 23-29, 1997

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