Revitalizing Forgotten Data: Bringing 50 years of Glacial Photography into the Digital Age


The GeoData Center (GDC), operated by the Alaska Satellite Facility for the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is the home of a Glacial Photography collection that spans the 1950s to the early 2000s.  The collection consists of photos and negatives taken from planes and the ground of glaciers in Alaska.  Digitizing the photos turned up quality issues, specifically, the photos are dusty and difficult to clean without damaging.  The scans require touch up work to permit them to be printed at high resolutions.  Collection-level metadata has been generated and is available through the ASF Web site.  The metadata generation tool chosen for the project was the Online Metadata editor created by the Core Science Analytics and Synthesis Metadata program of the U.S. Geologic Survey.  The tool generates FGDC formatted XML files and publishes them in the USGS Core Science Metadata Clearinghouse.  Field notes and other communications with the photographers have been scanned and are available for generating granule-level metadata.  An RSS feed with metadata for Greenland datasets was developed as a proof-of-concept for future feeds.  The technology exists to create other feeds in the future as interest develops and funding permits.