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Research

Marine Realms Information Bank, A Web-Distributed Geo-Library for the Ocean


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MRIB Information Circle
MRIB Information Circle
On October 4th, Debbie Hutchinson, Fran Hotchkiss and Fausto Marincioni from the Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC) demonstrated the Marine Realms Information Bank (MRIB) to Kenneth Lanfear and the Gateway to Earth team at the USGS National Center in Reston, VA. Later, from October 29th to November 3rd, Rebecca Riall joined Fran and Fausto in presenting an exhibit on MRIB at the Information Technology Conference organized by the Department of Interior in Denver, CO.

The MRIB (http://mrib.usgs.gov) is a prototype web-based and web-distributed geo-library, which organizes, indexes, and delivers online information from across the USGS Coastal and Marine Program. The significance of MRIB lies both in the utility of the information bank and in the implementation of a new concept in online information management, which is called a Distributed Information Bank (DIB).

A DIB provides access to information, but it is not an information repository. It incorporates information objects that exist in remote sources without modifying their formats or content. These information objects are owned, updated, and maintained by scientists on their independent internet servers. The DIB succeeds by building an index consisting of collections of Electronic Index Cards each containing various meta-data about their referenced information object, including its geographical area of study and its network location. The meta-data profiles stored in each Electronic Index Card are built on a controlled vocabulary representing the DIB's classification system. To find the desired information, users will choose among the categories of the classification system, instructing a sorting engine to filter the central index.

MRIB team
MRIB Team from left to right: Fausto Marincioni, Fran Hotchkiss, Debbie Hutchinson, and Tom Aldrich.
The outputs, formatted as maps and tables, summarize and provide links to the information objects that meet the user's choices.

The MRIB is a DIB that integrates web information objects from across the USGS Coastal and Marine Program. The current MRIB classification system is based on 11 types of categories (facets): Geologic Time, Location, Discipline, Feature, Issue, Audience, Method, Author, Project, Agency and Class (Data, Knowledge, or Predictions). The MRIB allows the user to build the context in which he or she is viewing information by choosing among these multiple facets.

Distributed Information Banks such as the MRIB can be applied widely as unifying portals for extensive or rapidly developing information bases for which a centralized information bank is impractical. In addition, because the classification system of DIBs can be easily modified, their use can expedite the development and testing of suitable classification systems for existing information bases.


Related Web Sites
Marine Realms Information Bank
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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in this issue: Fieldwork Santa Rosa Island

Research cover story:
MRIB: Ocean Geo-Library

Outreach Nat'l Geography Awareness Week

WHFC GIS Day

Lake Tahoe: "Wonders of the Universe" Calendar

Plymouth County Detention Center

African Dust

Bill Normark Interview

Rock Course for Teachers

Meetings Geologic Framework of U.S. Coastal & Marine Regions

Coastal Marsh Die-Back

Southwest Washington Coastal Erosion

Southeatern U.S. Benthic Habitat

Southern California Benthic Habitat

9th International Coral Reef Symposium

Gulf of Maine

Long Island Sound

WHFC at RRT

Awards Distinguished Lecturer

Earthquake Hazards Video

Hapke Honored by CSBPA

Staff & Center News Senior Leadership Visit

Director's Office & NOAA Visitors

Suspension Modeling

Publications Dec./Jan. Publications List


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