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Seafloor Mapping Group Publishes First DVD-ROM

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As part of an ongoing effort to release data to the public in an efficient manner, the WHFC Seafloor Mapping Group (SFMG) has published its first DVD-R print-on-demand product. The DVD-R contains Open File Report 00-340, Archive of Boomer Subbottom Data Collected during USGS Cruise SEAX 96004 in the New York Bight Apex, 1 May—9 June 1996. This DVD-R is authored by Jenna C. Hill, William C. Schwab, and David S. Foster and is an electronic publication that furthers the initiative to distribute seismic and sidescan-sonar data archives as print-on-demand products. They are replicated and distributed to the USGS library system and forwarded to Denver for sale (we currently have over 200 CD-ROMs in the system). A DVD-ROM has the capacity of 7 CD-ROMs and will significantly reduce the production time required in order for the SFMG to publish these types of data. The WHFC SFMG has developed a standard template for its archive data that helps facilitate production and distribution of the data. The template is used on both CD-R and DVD-R media and may be mounted to the web as needed. The DVD-R release was staged after three months of in-house evaluation of media and DVD players. As a result of the tests, some new DVD drives were ordered to provide appropriate capabilities at critical sites (i.e., Center Chief, library, etc.).

Recently, DVD data publications have become available (Landview III - USA/DVD, the Nations Data on DVD) as many agencies begin to collaborate on large GIS data publications. USA/DVD was released last year (~7 Gbytes), with Landview III as the viewer and is available from SIGCAT 2000 (Jerry McFaul, Reston). Jerry is also working with EPA, NOAA, and Census on a new release with expanded capabilities and additional data. What this all points to is the importance of all sites to take DVD seriously and to make sure that some drives are available for data retrieval.

The USGS publications group has purchased DVD-R drives for each center (Dave Traudt, East; Jim Hoffman, Central; and Mike Diggles, West) for testing and evaluation. National Mapping is purchasing a Rimage DVD-R robotic mastering system. SFMG has plans to add additional DVD-R systems this next fiscal year to augment the data archive process. However, these units do not entirely replace CD-R. They merely augment the process of building our optical archive on a media that is handled on compatible readers (CD-R and DVD-R may be read on the same drives!). We have plans to utilize this technology both at sea and in the lab during future mapping efforts.

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