Monday, March 2, 2009

Digital Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas

The Lunar and Planetary Institute took a really cool collection, digitized it and made it super difficult to navigate. The project digitized all 675 plates from Bowker and Hughes' “Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas” – a collection of images of the moon collected by the Lunar Missions. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) seem to have completed the project for the LPI, scanning each of the images at 300dpi. This project is all over the place. The U.S. Government Printing Office hosts the Federal Depository Library Program which keeps a list of government digitization initiatives. The FDLP documents information on the collection and administration of the collection. According to their entry on the Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas, they have no set standards for a metadata scheme, digitization policy or policy URL and the files do not meet format standards for preservation.

The LPI site hosts the photos from the Atlas as well as linking to NASA several times to show users images of other kinds of equipment and technical reports. No images on the home page are displayed as thumbnails and often the links take you to other government websites. There are a few ways to browse the images (including searching by latitude) from the Atlas but again there are no thumbnails for the images. The site also has the full text to the Atlas which was published in 1971.

The content of the project is interesting but it's very difficult to navigate the site and the links often take you away from the LPI pages. There is some metadata recorded but for the most part it is simply information that applies to all of the images rather than listing metadata for each image individually. Ultimately, it's a really interesting and dynamic collection but much too difficult to navigate to be especially useful.

No comments:

Post a Comment