Leo Stezano (University of California, San Diego) has published a post on the LITA blog about his work at the Avery Library of Architectural and Fine Arts at Columbia University to “explore the possibilities that GIS data offers for providing access to and context for collections. Stezano recounts three projects (The New York Real Estate Brochures Collection, The Built Works Registry, and the Seymour B. Durst Old York Library) “that highlight different ways in which the same basic data can be used to change the way in which a library user interacts with a collection.” Stezano reflects:
All of these projects basically use the same GIS data; what varies is the purpose to which the data is put, based on the different perceived needs of each project’s target audience. There is no single way of providing access to a collection, just a set of tools that librarians can use in whatever way they believe best fits the user’s information needs.
The three projects present different models for making digital collections accessible with geospatial approaches, and serve as examples creative ways of meeting the needs of their users.