Larry Carver, UCSB’s retired director of library technologies and digital initiatives, is being recognized for his work by the Library of Congress as a “pioneer of digital preservation.”
Over the past 30 years, geospatial technology has evolved and grown more advanced. Carver is among the contributors to this transformation. If geospatial technology is a foreign concept for you, here is how Carver explained it: “Geospatial technology in the context of libraries is to create software to search for information by pointing to a place on the Earth’s surface and – say using the Internet – ask what data, books, art, etc. is available for that spot or location. It searches by using longitude/latitude coordinates to look for information about that spot. So, the technology is a complex software that can search over millions of maps, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, or any other information that has location information in its metadata [catalog record].”
Carver’s collection of maps, aerial photography, and satellite imagery eventually led to the establishment of the Map and Imagery Library (MIL) in 1979. As the MIL expanded, Carver was among the researchers who spent years developing an exhaustive set of requirements that would produce a geospatial information management system. In 1994, UCSB was given funding from the National Science Foundation to build the Alexandria Digital Library. Now, the concepts developed by the Alexandria Digital Library have been adopted by Google Earth, Wikipedia, and more.