New updates to EarthWorks with more access to data

EarthWorks homepage

Over the past two months a team at Stanford Libraries have been working to add new features and resources to our geospatial discovery portal EarthWorks. EarthWorks is the place for users to find and access geospatial data at Stanford. With the recent updates, the amount of data users can find has more than doubled with access to over 70,000 resources from more than 20 institutions. Users can now discover scanned maps alongside Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, index maps, census data and research data. An updated homepage to EarthWorks provides a streamlined entry point to these common types of data.

The team in collaboration with other institutions defined a new community specification for creating and sharing index maps, OpenIndexMaps. Index maps are used for accessing large sets of geographic data. Traditionally these sets have included historic maps and imagery. OpenIndexMaps builds on the work of the Christopher Thiry and the map library community by solidifying common expected features and a common format. OpenIndexMaps can be displayed in a variety of platforms enabling greater flexibility for participating institutions and a wider access of data for users. Users can view and access these index maps in ArcGIS Online, EarthWorks, or even in a GeoJSON viewer like GitHub.

Index maps in EarthWorks

This index map work was built in part of a larger collaboration during a “community sprint” of GeoBlacklight the parent open source software project of EarthWorks. This feature supports enhanced discovery of prominent Stanford Libraries collections like the Gaihozu: Japanese imperial maps and will also support future collections of imagery and charts. More importantly, other institutions can take advantage of these same new features. Thanks to all of our partners and team members that worked to help make this work cycle successful.