“Thank you so much for your email! It is super super helpful! BCC Research and Gartner are especially great, I found a lot of awesome reports on these two databases” -MBA student, April 2020
Over the next few weeks, UBC Library is offering several webinars geared towards helping Faculty navigate and implement Open Educational Resources (OER). Are you planning a project engaging in open practices? Are you interested in learning about workflows and processes to make your open education, open data, or open science project a success? If this […]

Due to the quickly evolving situation with COVID-19, UBC Library branches across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will remain closed until further notice. The library continues to provide access to electronic resources and librarian support for research, teaching and learning.

Research help is available from UBC Education Library via email or remote consultation.

Looking for a book or article? Want to book a Zoom research session? Have a question about citations?

Please reach out to ed.lib@ubc.ca for assistance.

For continued library service updates, please visit: services.library.ubc.ca/covid-19-response

Due to the quickly evolving situation with COVID-19, all UBC Library branches will remain closed until further notice. This includes libraries at both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. See Library Service Updates for more information.

Librarian help is still available at law.library@ubc.ca

UBC.ca continues to be the most up-to-date and authoritative source of information about the University’s response to COVID-19.

The UBC Library Research Commons has launched Geodisy, an open-source tool that allows users to search online for Canadian research data through map-based discovery. After UBC Library was named the successful recipient for the Research Data Management (RDM) funding call from CANARIE in November 2018, the team at the Research Commons worked in collaboration with partners at UBC Advanced Research Computing (ARC), McMaster University, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, Scholars Portal, University of Saskatchewan, and Portage Network to create a more robust version of their originally proposed federated geospatial data discovery tool.

The resulting software is an innovative solution to a unique problem faced by researchers across disciplines. “There is an increasing demand for geographic components in research, but most repositories allow for only text-based searching. We realized that discovery could be improved by providing a map-based search alternative,” says Mark Goodwin, Geospatial Metadata Coordinator at the Research Commons and core member of the Geodisy team.

“Visualizing data is being recognized as a powerful form of discovery. While map-based search portals are becoming common, most are focused on a particular domain or subject area. Geodisy is intended to be useful to a wide variety of users in different subject areas, including climate change, public health, community development, conservation, or any other research area that is tied to geographic location,” says Eugene Barsky, Principal Investigator for Geodisy and Head of the Research Commons.

Answering more complex research questions in a fraction of the time

As a current doctoral student in the UBC Faculty of Forestry, Ira Sutherland has already found Geodisy helpful in his work, which uses GIS and historical analysis to investigate critical sustainability questions. His research focuses on how the historical management of environments in British Columbia have contributed to problems seen today, like wildfires, collapsing salmon stocks and the depletion of First Nations cultural resources. “Compiling large amounts of historical spatial data, as I do, would not be possible without tools like Geodisy and open data initiatives,” says Sutherland. “With increased data availability, researchers like me will be able to answer more complex questions concerning sustainability and do it in a fraction of the time.”

Screenshot of Geodisy results page.

With Geodisy, users can simply adjust the map or draw a box directly it to bring up relevant records in an area of interest. Currently, Geodisy users have access to content from Scholars Portal Dataverse, a publicly accessible data repository platform, which houses data from dozens of Canadian institutions. Thanks to additional funding from Canada’s New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO), the Research Commons will be working with the team at the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) to expand Geodisy’s content and further integrate it with the FRDR national discovery service.

“This impressive tool is an example of one of the many ways UBC Library and academic libraries in general are playing a critical role in the development of a national digital research infrastructure ecosystem,” says Dr. Susan E. Parker, University Librarian. “Through our work with bodies like the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) and The Portage Network, the library and the expertise we offer is making a deep impact in the Canadian post-secondary research landscape.”

Get started using Geodisy by visiting geo.frdr.ca or download the software from UBC Library GitHub. You can also learn more about the benefits of Geodisy through an upcoming webinar, hosted by Portage Network. Register now for “Introduction to Geodisy an Open-source Spatial Discovery Platform” on May 5, 2020, at 10 a.m. (PDT).

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The UBC Library Research Commons is a multidisciplinary hub that supports research endeavours and provides training in research-enabling skills. We embrace both new and traditional exploratory scholarship and provide services, software, and expertise. Our services include expertise in digital scholarship, including geospatial and data services; welcoming space for projects and presentations; digital Scholarship Lab with powerful computers, for research, experimentation, collaboration, and work with big data; and consultations and workshops for UBC researchers.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to advance research, learning and scholarship.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

Library service updates

Due to the quickly evolving situation with COVID-19, UBC Library branches across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will remain closed until further notice. The library continues to provide access to electronic resources and librarian support for research, teaching and learning.

Like many of you, we are spending a lot more time on virtual meetings here at the Digitization Centre. For this post, we’ve compiled a bunch of backgrounds from Open Collections that will refresh your space and make your next video call, online lecture, or virtual party more fun.

From the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs, we found images that bring the spectacular BC scenery to your home office.

The Lions, [1919]

Suspension Bridge, Capilano Canyon,1917

Sunset, English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., 1927

If you are looking for something artistic, make sure to check out prints from the Chung Collection and Meiji at 150.

Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s Steamship Fleets, [1910]

Mount Eisenhower, [not before 1940]

Tōkyō nishikie seizō no zu, 東京錦繪製造之図, [1877]

The following images can probably beat most million-dollar-view offices in downtown.

The U.B.C. and Vancouver, [between 1940 and 1950?]

Aerial view showing Brockton Point & city, Vancouver, B.C., [not before 1937]

[View of downtown Vancouver B. C.], 1957

Is your room messy? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out the following images of interiors from hotels and a Canadian Pacific steamship.

Interior of Grouse Mountain Chalet, [between 1920 and 1930?]

Palm Garden, The Empress, Victoria, B.C., [between 1908 and 1910?]

Cabin dining saloon, [Canadian Pacific S.S. Melita], [1918?]

And finally, you can host your meeting here from UBC.

Main Library concourse, 1929

Cows grazing in front of Library, May 31, 1937

This is a composite photograph created from two separate images.

View of Main Library from Koerner Library, 2002

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

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