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Conference Presentations 2004

  • IASSIST 2004-Data Futures: Building on 30 Years of Advocacy, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Host Institution: Data and Program Library Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison

B3: The DDI Expert Committee: Who We Are, Where We're Going, and What It Means to You (Wed, 2004-05-26)
Chair:Mary Vardigan

  • Substantive Content Group
    Ilona Einowski (University of California, Berkeley)

C2: Mapping the Past with GIS (Wed, 2004-05-26)
Chair:Steve Citron-Pousty

  • Counting Cows and Cabbages: Web-based Extraction and Delivery of Geo-referenced Data
    Stuart Macdonald (Edinburgh University Data Library)


    As we move towards a 'common geographic framework' for a range of data, the concept of 'walking across' geo-spatial resources as diverse as population censuses, digital mapping data, historic statistical data, and digital boundary data, is becoming a reality, with the potential for introducing or removing 'layers' of geo-referenced data to suit the sophisticated needs of end-users. To use such data users must be able to find it and ascertain quality and suitability, thus the need for robust metadata with appropriate geographic tagging.

    The Agricultural Data Service (AgDS), as part of Edinburgh University Data Library, supplies geo-referenced data, derived from Agricultural Censuses from 1969, on the distribution of agricultural activity in Great Britain. For any year the data are collected for groups of farm holdings and made available as grid square estimates at various resolutions based on the British National Grid.

    This paper will describe the evolution from a command-line driven extraction and delivery service, to an online, web-based service complete with geo-interface allowing data visualisation and end-user interaction. Such a mechanism and resource forms part of a 'common geographic framework' that allows diverse geo-referenced data to be located by standardised common themes.

  • Effort Towards a Dutch Historical Geographic Information System
    Luuk Schreven (Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services (NIWI))


    The history department of the Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services (NIWI) has recently started a Historical GIS project. The project will be set up as a pilot that first of all focuses on the Dutch censuses that were held between 1795 and 1971. More historical datasets will become available through this GIS in the future if this pilot is successful. Within the project we will focus on a geographical level that is below the municipality. The least aggregated data available in the census records concern districts and neighbourhoods. This presentation will address the basic principles of our GIS project and the progress made thus far.

  • NHGIS: The Bonus Materials
    Wendy Thomas (Minnesota Population Center)


    The goal of the National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is to collect, describe, and provide access to U.S. aggregate data going back to 1790 and to create the boundary files for counties and tracts back to their inception. Our approach has always been to integrate over 300 file descriptions and millions of data item descriptions through the DDI metadata description. In doing this integration, we have created a wide range of auxiliary files describing:

    • geographic entities and their relationships over time
    • cross-walks between various coding systems over time
    • legal name changes of geographic entities
    • geographic hierarchies and their relationships to each other
    • DDI instances of standard variables (ready to cut-edit-and-paste)
    • and more.

    For data users and particularly for data archivists and metadata creators these are truly bonus materials. The files are all ASCII fixed format and come with DDI compliant metadata. The modular approach of NHGIS lets you benefit from our work without tying you to the NHGIS system itself. This presentation will show you those materials currently available and what we're working on in the future. Hopefully our work will allow you to save time and increase the benefit of the NHGIS project to the research world.

C3: Data Management Infrastructures: Advances in Processing and Dissemination (Wed, 2004-05-26)
Chair:Chuck Humphrey

  • UIS RUSSIA Technologies for Social Sciences Research Network
    Tatyana Yudina (Moscow State University, UIS RUSSIA)


    The UIS RUSSIA (University Information System RUSSIA),, operates since 2000 as a freely-accessible Internet-based collective digital library for research and education in social sciences. The system maintains holdings of social domain data and documents obtained from primary sources: government, non-governmental organizations and private holders. Currently the system integrates 1.5+ million documents from 60+ collections.

    Users' increasing demand for additional holdings and the numerous high-quality resources maintained inside the research community have led the UIS RUSSIA team to develop a distributed network of high-quality holdings among participating organizations. The team is sharing the technology created with other participants ready to adopt the software to process their holdings and make the metadata available for the UIS RUSSIA search engine.

    Cooperation has started with several journals, online sites and other resources. A user may search across these virtually integrated collections and download full text documents from a holder's server. This approach is particularly appropriate for some partners whose information cannot be held on remote servers due to its status or commercial interests. Support and trouble-shooting is provided by the UIS RUSSIA team. The presentation will discuss the progress of this project.

  • New User Interface for Managing the Archiving Process in FSD
    Jouni Sivonen (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)


    In the beginning of its operations, the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) started to use a simple Access97 database for managing the archiving process of data. This database, called Tiipii, was developed gradually as the routine procedures for archiving were being established.

    In 2002 FSD started a new project called Tiipii2, aiming to replace the old interface and database with a more user friendly graphical user interface (GUI) and a new relational database. At the moment the GUI is at the testing stage. It will be used to control the data archiving process and to handle internal and external information services. The project has been implemented by open source tools. The paper presents the system which consists of 1) PostgreSQL database in Linux platform, 2) Java code using J2SE, and 3) CORBA architecture using JacORB, which is a free Java implementation of the OMG's CORBA standard.

  • Getting Wired: Caffeinating Microdata Production at the Minnesota Population Center with Java
    Marcus Peterson (Minnesota Population Center)


    Preparing new Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) datasets for public release can be a time-consuming and painstaking process. Even after the digitization and harmonization of a given dataset, considerable work is still required in disseminating the data and its supplementary documentation to the public. To expedite the turnaround of new and often disparate datasets, the Minnesota Population Center (MPC) has developed a suite of Java-based utilities for generating viewable microdata documentation. Powered by centralized metadata, these tools comprise a generalized application programmer interface (API) for documenting frequencies, coding schemes, and overall IPUMS variable design. This Java API employs object-oriented principles to minimize dataset-specific programming and to ensure the rapid deployment of new data. Furthermore, the IPUMS API provides the core of the newly redesigned web-based data dissemination system. These recent programming advances will enable MPC researchers to process and release new IPUMS data with increased accuracy, efficiency, and speed.


D1: When Metadata Standards Meet: Issues of Language and Interoperability (Thu, 2004-05-27)
Chair:Jen Green

  • Can DDI Records Be Accurately Transformed to "Catalog-ready" MARC 21 Format?
    Harrison Dekker (University of California, Berkeley)


    One of the side effects of the increasingly digital nature of library collections is the "hidden resource" problem. As collections become more "virtual," traditional approaches to cataloging, for a variety of reasons, often fall short. As a result, it becomes hard, if not impossible, for users to locate these materials. At UC Berkeley, numerical data is one such hidden resource. A recent review of the numerical data holdings in UC Berkeley Library catalog revealed that much of the library's data holdings were either inaccurately or not cataloged. Given the importance of numerical data sets in teaching and research, a solution was sought to redress these issues. Because of the scope and importance of the ICPSR data collection, it was given priority. After determining that a complete set of catalog records was not available, a decision was made to investigate whether ICPSR's freely available DDI-compliant XML metadata could be efficiently transformed to catalog-quality MARC21 records. In this presentation, I'll discuss the outcome of the project, the technical details of the conversion process, and the problems encountered along the way.

  • Laying the Groundwork for Addressing Interoperability Issues between Geo-spatial Metadata Standards, the DDI and Dublin Core
    Tony Mathys (UK Data Archive, University of Essex)
    Kenneth Miller (UK Data Archive, University of Essex)


    Recent approval of the ISO 19115 Geographic Information Metadata standard offers an opportunity to assess the relationship between geo-spatial and social science portals in terms of interoperability. Numerous social science datasets hold a geo-spatial component and measures are to be discussed and introduced over time to assure that these datasets can be discovered through co-ordinate-based queries. Furthermore, the social sciences and geo-spatial technologies need to come together to assure that a common element set is considered or measures are taken to support cross-searches between geo-spatial and social science portals.

    These are the challenges that have come to light during activities associated with the MADIERA project and the joint UK Data Archive (University of Essex) and EDINA (University of Edinburgh) geo-portal project. The MADIERA project is directed at providing a common integrated interface to the resources of the majority of the existing social science data archives in Europe. The geo-portal project is intended to provide a geo-data portal to serve as a resource discovery tool for the UK academic geo-spatial community.

  • Implementing an ISO/IEC 11179-3 Metadata Repository for Labour Market Data: Building Semantics through Data Structures
    Rob Grim (Institute for Labour Studies, Tilburg University)
    Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers (Institute for Labour Studies, Tilburg University)


    The increasing demand for documentation of the workflow to keep track of large amounts of statistical tables and international comparative research urges the Institute for Labour Studies (ILS) to implement a metadata repository. The ISO/IEC 11179-3 standard offers explicit guidelines for developing metadata-registries. One of the core fundamentals for an ISO/IEC 11179-3 metadata repository is the separation of a conceptual layer from a data representation layer. The paper shows the experiences of the ILS with implementing the necessary data structures for setting up a registry for labour market data. The mapping of data element concepts to conceptual domains and data elements using a concept browser is illustrated. Further it is shown how the concept browser facilitates the management and navigation of knowledge domains in labour market research.

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect


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