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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity


The library master archive consists of CDs and DVDs on shelves located in the Biodiversity Center GIS Lab (MAC Hall - Room 238). About half of the discs are filed by geography. Which discs land in this part of the archive is based on the judgment of the staff. Datasets specific to particular governmental units or research sites are the usual candidates.

Filebox Names
Our primary tool for making data disks findable in the archive is the filebox name. For datasets filed by geography:

  • Filebox names begin with a placename that identifies the geographic footprint for the datasets stored there.
  • The placename is followed by some descriptive text that narrows the content down to a specific data type or program.
  • Filebox names end with "_". Underscores are not used anywhere else in the naming system.
  • New fileboxes are created as needed.
  • CamelCase is used when filebox names are written.
Examples of geographic filebox names include "BrownCountyWisDOPx1938_", "PointCreek200607_", "GreenBayAreaOfConcern_".

Data Folder Names
The discs that the datsets are stored on are organized by data folder name:

  • Data folder names consist of the filebox name plus a short modifier. That means they have an underscore somewhere in the middle.
  • On the data discs, the data folder names are written in CamelCase.
  • A data folder contains one or more databases.
  • New datafolders are created as needed.

Geodata Drive
Retrieving specific items from the master archive requires the presence of a Biodiversity Center staff person and is a major hassle for us and for users. For everyone's convenience, we've copied a large subset of our library holdings to a shared drive (called Geodata) on the University network. Users are strongly encouraged to check the Geodata Drive first when they've identified a need for a particular spatial database.
The geodata drive employs the same system of filebox names and data folder names described above for the library master archive. Windows Explorer and/or ArcCatalog are the principal tools for finding individual databases and better-than-average file management skill is essential.
A Kingfisher Farm Parcel database would be a logical candidate for filing by geography so let's move to that part of the Geodata folder tree. The screen shot below shows how one might work through the various levels of folder names to track down the target database.