In 2015, the UCSB Library and the Center for Spatial Studies received a private grant to study and address the challenges that libraries and researchers face in making research data discoverable via spatial metadata on diverse platforms and in a variety of environments. The goal of this project was an expanded awareness and adoption of spatial discovery and analysis in research and teaching, supported by novel library services.

Partnering with the UCSB Library in this project, the Center for Spatial Studies convened a second expert meeting, “Spatial Discovery II,” at the Upham Hotel and the UCSB campus on May 11 and 12, 2017 in Santa Barbara.

This meeting built on the discussions at the first Spatial Discovery meeting in June 2015, of challenges, practices, and potential strategies associated with cross-platform content discovery.

The fundamental questions discussed were:

  • How can spatially mediated discovery provide single-point access to research data, across distributed repositories and catalogs?
  • How can the discovery of research objects in general be spatially supported? and
  • How can spatial discovery be applied to topic spaces, not just geographic ones?

Participants, typically involved in research on data-seeking and its requirements, contributed expertise in Library Science, as well as in Geography and Computer science, pertaining to spatial information.

Thursday, May 11 was devoted to discussions in plenary and small-group sessions. Friday, May 12 was spent in part on campus, demonstrating first project results and involving campus researchers and administrators in a discussion of how to move forward.