Finding geographic information: Collection-level metadata

Michael F. Goodchild, Jianyu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Certain types of information are associated with specific locations on Earth's surface, and can be retrieved using location as the primary search key. The combination of a collection of such information and a location-based search mechanism is termed a geolibrary. A search for specific information over multiple collections is more efficient if one knows where to look. Information about the contents of a collection is termed collection-level metadata (CLM). Several conceptual designs for the process of search are reviewed, and the U.S. National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse is discussed. The Alexandria Digital Library provides an example of a large digital collection. Its geographic coverage is analyzed to determine whether its CLM can be modeled effectively. The difficulties of describing CLM are discussed from the perspective of institutional change, as library collections attempt to make themselves more accessible through the Internet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-112
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Digital library
  • Distributed archive
  • Metadata
  • Search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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