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Most complete topographic map of Earth released

ASTER GDEM global map

NASA and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) have recently released the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM), the most complete topographic map of Earth to date. From the project's site: "The GDEM was created by stereo-correlating the 1.3 million scene ASTER VNIR archive, covering the Earth?s land surface between 83N and 83S latitudes. The GDEM is produced with 30 meter postings, and is formatted in 1 x 1 degree tiles as GeoTIFF files. Each GDEM file is accompanied by a Quality Assessment file, either giving the number of ASTER scenes used to calculate a pixel?s value, or indicating the source of external DEM data used to fill the ASTER voids."

Examples of the imagery are available on the NASA ASTER imagery site.

Users can also use the Warehouse Inventory Search Tool (WIST) to find related remote sensing and other earth science data provided by NASA.

Jul 02, 2009 | Categories: News & Updates, Web resources | jridener

OskiCat arrives Wednesday, June 24

OskiCat logo

OskiCat, the new UC Berkeley library catalog, is tentatively scheduled to go
live on Wednesday, June 24. It will replace both Pathfinder and GLADIS.

A couple disruptions resulting from the migration:

  • The Library Privileges Desk will be closed on June 22-23. During this time, we will not be able to create new library accounts, renew existing library accounts, clear blocks from patron records, or update patron information.
  • We will not be able to check out or check in materials on the existing system after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 22. As a result, the Earth Sciences and Map Library will use manual charge cards for each item checked in and checked out on Tuesday, June 23. If you're considering checking out twenty map sheets, Wednesday, June 24 might be a better day to come to the library.

If all goes well, OskiCat will launch and circulation services will be available as normal on Wednesday, June 24.

Thanks to the Science and Engineering Libraries blog for the information above.

Jun 22, 2009 | Categories: News & Updates | jridener

USGS Digital Map beta

2009 Mapping plan USGS Digital Map beta

The United States Geographic Survey (USGS) has quietly launched the Digital Map--beta, a "a new kind of georeferenced map that is a synthesis and evolution of USGS's legacy digital map data files, the Digital Raster Graphics (DRG)." According to Adena Schutzberg at the All Points Blog, the beta was released on May 8, 2009.

From the site, "The initial version of "Digital Maps ? Beta" includes orthoimagery plus roads and geographic names in the traditional 7.5 minute quadrangle format. The "Digital Map - Beta" is easily accessible, has reasonable file sizes and a common format with embedded tools, and theme-based layers."

A quick start guide is available in pdf format. 

While the site is still in beta, there may be some variability in its functioning, but this is a fantastic step toward presenting USGS mapping online.

Jun 12, 2009 | Categories: Web resources | jridener A new source of government data search image

The United States Federal Government, as part of the Open Government Initiative, has recently unveiled a new web portal for all types of government data. " increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets."

Currently, Federal, Executive Branch data is available, but more datasets are scheduled to be added.

There are a few GIS data sets available through the site. Users can limit their searches by file type including KML/KMZ for Google Earth and ESRI compatible formats. One nice feature is that can be a one-stop location to search for geographic and non-geographic data.

Other online sources for Federal GIS data include: The National Map, Geospatial One Stop, and the U.S. Census Bureau's TIGER, TIGER/Line, and TIGER-related products page.

Jun 03, 2009 | Categories: Web resources | jridener

OskiCat is coming soon

OskiCat logo

There's a new library catalog on the way. In summer, 2009, OskiCat will replace Pathfinder and Gladis, which will both be retired, as the online catalog for UC Berkeley libraries. OskiCat includes all library materials listed in Pathfinder and GLADIS, plus items in the Institute of Governmental Studies and Transportation Studies Libraries and the Water Resources Center Archives.

OskiCat combines the functions of Pathfinder and GLADIS, and adds some new features.
With OskiCat you will be able to:

  •     Find books & journals from more UCB campus libraries.
  •     Limit results to your preferred libraries & save your searches.
  •     Limit results to online or available items.
  •     Find course reserves quickly & easily.
  •     View status of individual volumes & journal issues.
  •     Quickly see what items you have checked out.
  •     Easily renew items online.
  •     Request materials checked out to another borrower.
  •     Get e-mail notices when your items are about to be due.
  •     Get updates on items you have requested from storage.
  •     ... And much more!

Heather Thams of the Biosciences and Natural Resources Library, in collaboration with the OskiCat Public Information Group, has produced a short movie providing an overview of OskiCat.

May 28, 2009 | Categories: News & Updates, Events | jridener

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