Library of Congress plans geospatial search engine

Library of Congress plans geospatial search engine

The Library of Congress may soon have search engine software that can locate and manage geospatial information in and outside the library system and work with a variety of geographic mapping and analysis tools.

The LOC said it needs the ability to locate, inventory, audit, index, search and generate reports and usage statistics, as well as easily exchange geographic information on local and remote file storage systems or servers.

The “geospatial search engine software solution” would let staff collect data in a variety of formats and sources, including geospatial data sets, digital images, text files, .xml, PDFs and other common file formats, the LOC said in a solicitation on FedBizOpps.

“For many of the content sources, little or no geographic metadata exists,” the LOC said. Instead, “much of the content is housed on enterprise level storage systems and is measured in terabytes. [It is also] complex, often involving highly interdependent elements that must be rendered simultaneously.”

While the information it wants may be in hard-to-reach places, the LOC has an extensive laundry list of requirements for the search tool. For instance, the software must be independent of any specific geospatial mapping or analysis tool that might be used to create or render the data in a map. 

Moreover, “while the product itself needs to be independent, the software solution needs to be interoperable with all major geospatial mapping and analysis tools and content sources.”

The tool must also be able to locate “explicitly identified geographic content and potential geographic content on local and remote file storage systems or servers,” and “must be able to locate geographic content in a combination of secure and open environments, e.g. behind a firewall and on the Internet.

Additionally, the software must be able to locate geographic data in these content sources even when no geographic or other metadata is available. The LOC also wants the ability to find geographic information in free text and translate that information into geospatial information that can be plotted and rendered on maps produced by all major geospatial mapping and analysis tools, including Esri ArcGIS, according to the notice.

Terms of the prospective contract would run five years, to September 2019.

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