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Making USGS information effective in the electronic age, USGS Open-File Report 03-240

APPENDIX VI - Marine Realms Information Bank (MRIB)

Presentation: F. Marincioni and others - The Example of MRIB

Image of wave.A USGS Distributed Digital Geolibrary .for the Coastal and Marine Environments

USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Team
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution .
Fausto Marincioni
Michael Caruso
Frances Hotchkiss
Andrew Maffei
Rebecca Riall
Steven Lerner
Thomas Aldrich
Gregory Miller

Marine Realms Information Bank

“A distributed geolibrary …

… is a vision for the future. It would permit users to quickly and easily obtain all existing information available about a place that is relevant to a defined need. … A geolibrary is a digital library filled with geoinformation – information associated with a distinct area or footprint on the Earth’s surface – and for which the primary search mechanism is place. A geolibrary is distributed if its users, services, metadata, and information assets can be integrated among many distinct locations.”

National Research Council, 1999. Distributed Geolibraries: Spatial Information Resources.


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Image of boy at computer.
  • Reveal what information is available. and what is not …
  • Present information in context
  • Incorporate quality control
  • Work for a diverse group of users

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The basis of MRIB is a comprehensive organizational structure that integrates Web-based information from across the USGS coastal and marine program, places it in context, and shows what is known and what is unknown about the marine and coastal environments.


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How can the Web-distributed information about the marine realms be integrated and put into a sensible context?

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Electronic Index Cards

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If we assign to each information object a metadata profile, .we will be able to efficiently order, search, and sort information available in the Web. Fashioned after old 3x5 library index cards, MRIB EICs allow fast and easy storing of any specifics necessary to consistently classify information objects.


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MRIB is constituted by three independent modules:
Collection of the
metadata profiles
associated with
the referenced
information objects
Sorting Engine. Database software
that organize and
sort the metadata
on the basis of the
chosen criteria.
Web Interface.
Web site through
which the outputs
of the sorting
engine are made
available to users.

Intersecting Categories

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Image of information circle.

Information Circle

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4DGeoBrowser outputs are Table, Imap and 3D Plot.. .These contain brief descriptions or symbols showing the geographical location of the selected information objects,.and hyperlinks to remote information sources.

Inserting MRIB METADATA in a Web page ...

<!--Start MRIB Metadata-->
<meta NAME="Media" CONTENT="Online.http">
<meta NAME="Format" CONTENT="Imagery Tabular Text">
<meta NAME="URL" CONTENT="">
<meta NAME="Title" CONTENT="Marine Realms Information Bank">
<meta NAME="Principal_Investigator" CONTENT="Aldrich, Thomas">
<meta NAME="Principal_Investigator_Email" CONTENT="">
<meta NAME="Contact_Email" CONTENT="">
<meta NAME="Last_Modified" CONTENT="2000/28/03">
<meta NAME="Geologic_Age" CONTENT=" ">
<meta NAME="Latitude" CONTENT="41.53">
<meta NAME="Longitude" CONTENT="-70.66">
<meta NAME="Elevation" CONTENT="15">
<meta NAME="Class" CONTENT="Knowledge">
<meta NAME="Discipline" CONTENT="Oceanography">
<meta NAME="Subjects" CONTENT="Environment.Climate">
<meta NAME="Methods" CONTENT="Modeling.Conceptual">
<!--End MRIB Metadata-->
<title>Page Title</title>
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" link="#800000" vlink="#550000" alink="#808000" topmargin="0" leftmargin="0">

Here goes the visible part of the Web page …

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Skip past index at bottom of page
Title Page / Summary / Introduction / Goals / Overview /  Outcome

Appendices:  I. Agenda /  II. Vision / III. Earth Science / IV. Communication / V. CORDlink
                       VI. MRIB /  VII. CMGP Homepage / VII. Brainstorming / IX. Participants

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