B205: Bringing Our Communities the World #CILDC

Tuesday, April 28 2015
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Librarians are constantly struggling with ways of providing access to nontextual collections and improving UX with those collections. The NGA library staff have many challenges when providing access to library materials through a geospatial lens. Discover how they overcame these challenges by creating robust metadata records for their special collections combined with a transition to an open source ILS that supports a visual search interface. Learn how they utilized metadata to enable cartographic visualization and manage change as well as user and Agency expectations, all to support the goal of placing the world at its patrons’ fingertips.


Unique digital objects.


How do we get there?



Metadata librarians

Collection – maps and photos, digital objects

Records – metadata records from previous systems.

All original cataloging using MARC and AACR2

Old System

  • 3 separate databases
  • desktop application based.

New System

  • better ux
  • map search tool
  • add geocoordinate data to metadata
  • Coordinate builder

Faceting Different Collections

  • managing inconsistencies
  • importance of filters


  • know your data

Lessons learned

  • No perfect fit
  • anticipate weirdness
  • Find ways to minimize abnormalities
  • Use tools available to make the most of the data you have at hand.
  • Metadata librarians as advocates