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Adding value to digitizing with GIS

Marianne Stowell Bracke (Purdue University Libraries – LIFE, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
C.C. Miller (Purdue University Libraries – EAS Library, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Jae Kim (Geomatics Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present a project that digitized the 1906 Soil Survey of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, extracted its contents into full‐text and geospatial datasets, and then built them into a web application designed to approximate but improve upon the way soil surveys are typically used by soil scientists in their research and field work.


The components of a 1906 soil survey document were scanned and their contents were extracted using several different methods, chief among them imagery segmentation and classification. The resulting datasets included a full‐text version of the original narrative and two georeferenced versions of the soil survey map.


Going several steps beyond just scanning, including the application of geographic information system (GIS) capabilities, adds significant value to geospatial materials whose contents are still relevant but whose formats are cumbersome. In addition, this allows for a GIS platform to which other maps and content can be added.


This is a unique approach to enhancing content through GIS.



Stowell Bracke, M., Miller, C.C. and Kim, J. (2008), "Adding value to digitizing with GIS", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 201-212.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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