The Alexandria Digital Library Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara has received $5.4 million to continue its successful research and development of digital libraries.
The funding, which will be distributed over a five-year period, comes from a consortium of federal agencies led by the National Science Foundation, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Under this new funding, the project, directed by Terence R. Smith, will create an Alexandria Digital Earth Prototype (ADEPT).
"Our goal this time is to provide a broad variety of electronic services that will permit users of ADL's collections to construct their own personalized digital libraries from information available over the Internet," said Smith, professor of computer science and geography at UC Santa Barbara, "and to use these 'virtual' digital libraries in creative ways in collaboration with other users.
"In particular, the project will focus on supporting the construction of virtual digital libraries that can be used for classroom instruction purposes in a variety of disciplines, including the arts, humanities, and social, physical, and biological sciences. A significant component of the research is to study how ADEPT can be incorporated into undergraduate instruction and to study students' learning processes."
Project ADEPT will involve more than 15 faculty members and a similar number of students from UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. The team also includes the ADL project's cadre of engineers, the staff of UC Santa Barbara's Map and Imagery Laboratory, the University of California's new California Digital Library and the Instructional Development offices at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA.
Created in 1994, the Alexandria Digital Library Project placed the collections of UC Santa Barbara's Map and Imagery Laboratory online in 1995. It received more than $6.5 million from a variety of sources, including $4 million from NSF, DARPA and NASA.
"What we've developed in the ADL Project is an operational digital library that now allows users scattered across the Internet to access collections of maps, images, and other geo-referenced materials from a 1.5-terabyte, and growing, collection of materials from UCSB's Map and Imagery Laboratory," Smith said.
"The operational version of ADL provides users with access to services allowing them to answer such questions as 'What information is available and what information can you provide me about a given phenomenon at a particular set of places?'"
Its success has captured the attention of the federal government and the scientific, library and academic communities. It has raised many people's awareness of the importance of spatially-indexed information in many applications and has provided new classes of library services relating to gazetteers and other information access tools.
This fall, ADL will become part of the California Digital Library, which the project helped develop. Currently, ADL is taking part in several important
undertakings, including the development of digital libraries for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) project at the San Diego Supercomputer Center.
Dr. Terence Smith, Department of Computer Science and Alexandria Digital Library Project Director
(805) 893-2966 www.alexandria.ucsb.edu
Edith Inta (805) 893-5324
Lillian Kurosaka (805) 893-4620