The Internet and the World Wide Web offer a new solution to the problem of sharing scientific knowledge. Unlike traditional libraries based on print media, these new technologies facilitate the sharing of any information that can be expressed in a binary alphabet. Environmental models expressed as computer codes are instances of such information objects, and codes are the last of a four-stage process of model formulation. The transition to digital technologies changes the relative importance of the four stages. We present a six-stage model of the process of searching for information in distributed digital libraries. Search is made possible by metadata, which serve several distinct purposes, including description of the contents of information objects and their fitness for specified use, and the details needed to make use of information objects once accessed and retrieved. We present a straw-man structure for model metadata, explain the process used in its development, and invite its evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law