Friday, July 21, 2006


I now have a MySpace presence. My supervisor suggested it, as a way the Lunar and Planetary Institute could get the word out into the undergrad community about our summer intern program. Facebook is perhaps where we should be but that is a more closed community, one I can't get into.

xISBN and ISBN-13

Thom Hickey has some xISBN news. He mentions how it will handle ISBN-13 requests. It will convert them to the older format and then search. The ISBN change will impact plenty of services outside our catalogs aside from the xISBN service, Z39.50 for instance. It will be a while before it is all sorted out.

Searching 2.0

Search 2.0 vs Traditional Search by Ebrahim Ezzy and Richard MacManus is the start of a series of postings on new search tools. It contrasts the early page content ranking to the link based ranking to the new specialized tools. How can tools like these make searching our catalog better? Can they help our catalogs?

The comments make for some interesting reading, they show how some folks approaching searching. "Personally, I like to throw in 'Java Swing SDK' in my Google search bar, let 'er rip, and choose the first three entries."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Planetary Science Internship

Bit off topic. The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI : MPOW) has a wonderful summer intern program. Upper-level undergraduates get to work one-on-one with a staff scientist here or at the Johnson Space Center. They do real research, write an abstract and present their findings at a conference at the end of the summer. We get an exceptional group of about 12 students each year. However, applications tend to come from the same universities each year. We would like to broaden the application pool. If your institution has a geology, astronomy, or related department that would like to be informed of the program, please let me know. We are adding to our announcement mailing list.

Here are the projects the students are working on this summer

  • The Cambrian Carbon Isotope Record
  • Finite Difference Time Domain Simulations to Support Radar Sounding Investigations in the Martian Polar Terrains
  • Investigations of Early Earth Differentiation by High Pressure-Temperature Phase Equilibria of Natural Materials
  • Parametric Electromagnetic Characterization of Ice-Dust Mixtures to Support the MARSIS Data Analysis of the Mars Polar Layered Deposits
  • Investigations of Early Earth Differentiation by High Pressure-Temperature Phase Equilibria of Natural Materials
  • Synthesis of Carbonates under Martian Conditions Â? An Isotopic and Mineralogic Study
  • Automated Detection and Characterization of Martian Craters Using Topography Data
  • Mars Science Laboratory 2009 Â? Landing Site Selection for the Next Mars Rover
  • The Role of Ballistically Emplaced Impact Ejecta as a Resurfacing Agent on Mars
  • Flexural Stresses, Tectonics, and Magma Ascent at Large Volcanoes on Venus
  • Doublet and Elliptical Craters on Ganymede
  • Geochemical and Statistical Study of Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer and Mössbauer Spectrometer Data on Martian Rocks and Soils

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Typos in Our Catalogs

This morning I corrected two typos in my catalog, Ethiopia had been misspelled. One time it was in a note field, another time in the subject heading. The note field would just make us look bad, but the subject field can decrease access to the title. (I found this error by checking the errors reported to Libtypos-L. It was spelt Ethopia)

Helping me clean-up my catalog is the Yahoo group Libtypos-L, Typographical errors in library databases. The messages are used to enrich Typographical Errors in Library Databases and More Typographical Errors in Library Databases. We can build the best system interface for our users with all the best from Google, Amazon, and all the Web2.0 features but if we have garbage in our database it just won't matter. Thanks to all those folks searching for and sharing misspellings present in our catalogs.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Originally uploaded by dbigwood.
Here is the Semacode for Catalogablog.
Semacode's Software Development Kit is a system for ubiquitous computing. Using the Semacode SDK you can create visual tags for objects and contexts, and read them using a mobile camera phone. Our software running on your phone will then deliver you to the appropriate mobile content.

Semacode works by embedding a URL (web address) into a sort of two-dimensional barcode which looks like a dense crossword puzzle (pictured) called the tag. The SDK software contains the capability to detect and decode the tag very rapidly with the camera on your phone. It extracts the URL and sends you to that address using the phone's built-in browser.

What if our barcodes or RIFD tags linked to some content a user could access with their phone? How about tagging an exhibt to connect with other resources both in and out of the library? If you give it a try, let me know if it works.

Introducing Terminology-based Ontologies

Winfried Schmitz-Esser & Alexander Sigel (2006): Introducing Terminology-based Ontologies Papers and Materials presented by the authors at the workshop Introducing Terminology-based Ontologies (Poli/Schmitz-Esser/Sigel) at the 9th International Conference of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO), Vienna, Austria, July 6th, 2006. 130 pages.
  • From traditional Knowledge Organization Systems (authority files, classifications, thesauri) towards ontologies on the web (Alexander Sigel)(Tutorial. Paper with Slides interspersed)
  • Introduction to Integrative Cross-Language Ontology (ICLO): Formalizing and interrelating textual knowledge to enable intelligent action and knowledge sharing (Winfried Schmitz-Esser)
  • First Idea Sketch on Modelling ICLO with Topic Maps (Alexander Sigel)