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11 · Title, share maps, data, and documents and publish their Internet · Author, map services through this portal. There is no charge for par- · Date, ticipants, although some labor is required each time a partic- · Site number (optional), ipant updates the site. · Theme (possibly use existing state plans as a starting Users search the website by selecting a geographic region, point), content type (maps, documents, live data, or all), and content · Time period, and theme. The user can also enter a keyword. The results are · Document type. displayed, as shown in Figure 1. Users can view information about the data (i.e., metadata) The group discussed the pros and cons of having this tool or the link to the content type or theme. The participants in on a CD versus a web option. It was noted that web avail- the network can decide how much information they want to ability seemed to be more productive and useful than a CD, post. At a minimum, they provide information about the though the prototype could involve both. With web access, types of data and documents they have and provide a contact the trick would be to publicize the website and post informa- (e-mail or phone number). They may publish their data for tion that was useful so it became a "bookmarked" site for downloading, or if they already have a website, they can pro- conducting resource evaluations. The group noted that one vide a link to their website. could measure the success of a web-based tool by tracking The Geography Network includes access to data (live link the number of "hits" on the site. They also noted that with the or downloadable), documents (could include static maps, web-based or CD option, one could conduct follow-up phone reports, etc.), and resources (links to other on-line services). calls and interviews to measure the tool's success. Metadata are the key to these data, documents, and resources The pros for this application, identified by the focus group, because they are how users search the Network. Searches were as follows: are done using keywords, "bounding boxes" over geographic areas, content types, and themes. Further, the metadata have · The database would enhance use of historic context data to comply with Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) by multiple states. requirements. Applying this tool to the NCHRP study would · The database would allow for regional access and use of require the definition of metadata. For non-spatial informa- historic contexts. tion, fields and attributes similar to those to be used in devel- · The database would increase awareness of existing his- oping Tool 4 (a common electronic format for historic con- toric contexts. texts) could serve as metadata. · The database would provide examples for creating new In terms of the NCHRP study, there would be two options historic contexts. for using the Network. The first would be to simply use the · The database would facilitate use of historic contexts. Network following its current parameters. This would require no special customization. To access the Network, one would Cons for this application were as follows: register any existing ArcIMS service (or similar Internet map · The database would require up-front time and cost to index and define keywords and to convert existing doc- uments and files. · The database would require classifying documents and their contents, which may result in misclassifications. · Agencies may not use the tool, given that historic con- texts are rarely used by agencies (according to the Phase 1 findings). Ultimately, the focus group strongly recommended this option. The group felt this was the most useful and important of the four proposed tools. The Geography Network Kevin Neimond from ESRI provided the following infor- mation on the Geography Network to the focus group and URS team. The Geography Network is an Internet site run by ESRI Figure 1. The Geography Network--screen showing (www.geographynetwork.com). Participants in the network results of records search.