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The goals of the proposed distributed national geoscience information network (GIN) and other associated initiatives such as OneGeology ("create dynamic digital geological map data for the world") are to provide interoperable accessibility to geospatial data. The mission statement of one geology acknowledges that ldquomap data is essential to advancing science and education.rdquo In the United States, this involves a proposal to use Web services, open source standards and common protocols to link to multiple and disparately structured datasets. This approach will build on existing and developing data systems to access the thousands of existing databases, catalogues, and inventories maintained by the United States and individual state geological surveys. The GIN approach is in accord with a recent editorial in the journal Nature, that noted, ldquomaking standardized data openly available to both commercial and not-for-profit organizations could spur innovation of superior information services.rdquo It is one of several initiatives within the public and private sectors that are developing and adapting applications to make use of the large quantities of public sector information. But to fully achieve the goal, a method of geographic search and referencing is required for the estimated 85 percent of all digital business and scientific information that was estimated to exist as unstructured data over a decade ago and now commonly appears in reports, white papers, presentations, research papers, news, Web pages, and memos.