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Video Data Management System archives and provides online access to NOAA deep-sea corals digital video and image data

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2 Author(s)
Fiolek, A. ; NOAA Central Libr., Silver Spring, MD, USA ; Collins, D.W.

Since late 2002, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) has been collaborating with the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and its three divisions, the NOAA Central Library (NCL), the Marine Data Stewardship Division (MDSD), and the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) to address the requirements for archiving, preserving, managing, and providing online access to digital videos and still images from OER oceanographic expeditions. The Video Data Management System (VDMS), which was developed to facilitate managing online information and access to video and images obtained during NOAA-sponsored oceanographic expeditions, now enables access to hundreds of digital video clips, highlight movies, still images and related documents and products from OER expeditions. Using discovery tools available via NOAALINC, the NCL online catalog (, NOAA scientists and other researchers can discover and download online video and still images to deep sea coral ecosystems areas. Upon special arrangement, the NCL can provide equipment and an appropriate environment for users to view, copy and/or download requested off-line scientific video data or view original expedition tapes from the NOAA Library Archives. Additional online information includes related cruise reports, educational lesson plans, original video and image annotation documents, digital maps and Web sites, and links to other oceanographic observation data. During the development of the VDMS project plan, which is a part of a larger comprehensive OER Data Management Project, the VDMS team defined and established several 'best practices' to support OER video data management requirements. Metadata guidelines for digital video (DV12) and digital still images (DI12) help scientists and data managers in the field to create complete descriptive metadata about their image data. Scientists, librarians and archivists then- use this information to create MARC21, FGDC, or Dublin Core metadata records. The VDMS team also developed a work-flow for managing digital video by defining the process for moving video data from ship to library to archive, including steps for creating archival backup copies and web-accessible video clips and highlights. The VDMS presently manages off-line access to more than 1500 MiniDV and 500 DVCAM tapes, over 1500 DVDs, and online access to more than 300 digital video clips and highlights collected during NOAA ocean exploration cruises. Over 80% of all digital video and image data are from OER expeditions to various deep-sea coral areas. A growing collection of the digital data, including in situ physical and chemical ocean observations are archived in NCL and NODC. In situ data are accessible through the search and retrieval functions of the NODC Ocean Archive System (OAS) at

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15-18 Sept. 2008