Submitted to: International Symposium and Workshop on Desertification in Developed Countries
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Jornada Experimental Range (JER) is an Agricultural Research Service site consisting of 78,266 hectares, about 37 km north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. The site is contiguous to the 25,900 hectares New Mexico State University Ranch. The JER is a prime research site for investigating the processes leading to desertification of fsemiarid grasslands and the changes in ecosystem properties that accompany desertification. Key ecosystem changes involve the replacement of grassland by creosotebush and mesquite shrub populations. Data related to soil, vegetation, precipitation and livestock have been collected on the JER almost continuously from 1915 to the present. Although some of the data collected are now archived in digital format, either as a spreadsheet or geographic information system data layer, a great deal of the data is maintained in the original hard copy format and is at serious danger of being lost due to deterioration. The JER in conjunction with the New Mexico State University Physical Science Laboratory and the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network has embarked on a pilot project to demonstrate the feasibility of converting the original hard copy data into a digitized format and examining means of visualizing the digitized data in a way that enhances data usage by researchers. This paper addresses the design of the "data rescue" pilot project, describes the technology and methodology being used to digitize the hard copy data and describes "lessons learned" to date. Techniques being considered to visualize the digitized data will also be discussed.