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February 16, 2010

Tackling the Gazetteer

Our ability to avoid formatting the Gazetteer for the website has been truncated since I figured out how to bulk load data into Drupal via a combination of Drupal modules and direct database insertions (there will be a blog post on this later.)


My approach to formalizing the Gazetteer is as follows:

1) Synchronize our spelling and lat/long information with the USGS Geographic Names Information System. It appears that 306 of 530 sites are listed by the GNIS meaning we immediately have location and other information we can leverage.

2) Incorporate information already collated by Bob. This includes site descriptions, synonyms and location information. For the latter, I re-projected his GAZ.shp file to NAD83, and used ArcMap's ADD XY tool to get coordinates.

The approach has changed:

1) Identify the final list of names. This involves reconciling synonyms and making minor edits to current names. Bob will help finalize this.

2) Add references to the appropriate GNIS feature classes. To find this list, google "gnis feature classes". I added one custom class - Road - to accomodate the UMBS' needs. This categorization should help others explore our research sites.

3) Get lats and longs for the research sites. Bob is working on finalizing this. Re-project the lat/longs to match up with Google Maps projection.

4) Collate all pertinent information into one spreadsheet. This should become our 'working' copy of the gazetteer.

5) Make appropriate changes to the bibliography. This should only involve updating research site names and looking for typos.

6) Adjust the Research Site content type in Drupal to minimize information loss upon uploading the research sites spreadsheet. This will involve adding township/range, county, township and other categories.

7) Once the Research sites and the bibliography are uploaded then create the node references. This is a process unto itself. May need to upload lat/long data separately.

Posted by kkwaiser at February 16, 2010 09:17 AM

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