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Frequently Asked Questions on Geospatial Data Preservation:

What are geospatial information and geospatial data?

"Geospatial Information" identifies, depicts or describes geographic locations, boundaries or characteristics of Earth's inhabitants or natural or human-constructed features. Geospatial data include geographic coordinates that identify a specific location on the Earth; and data that are linked to geographic locations or have a geospatial component.

Why preserve geospatial data?

What media can be used to store geospatial data?

Since storage technologies evolve over time, consult a recent trade study on storage media to identify current options. See the Archive and Records Management — Fiscal Year 2010 Offline Archive Media Trade Study" produced by the United States Geological Survey:

Which geospatial data products should be preserved?

Consider preserving geospatial data that have potential for use in the future. Establish the process and the criteria for the appraisal and selection of geospatial data products. See documents and presentations from the Digital Geospatial Appraisal Meeting that was hosted by the Library of Congress:

How can I justify the expense for my organization to preserve geospatial data?

Geospatial data that have been created using organizational assets are the intellectual property of the organization that invested in their creation. Similar to physical assets, intellectual property assets, such as geospatial data, should be protected. Geospatial data also may be valuable for scientific and historical research, planning, and logistics.