Spatial Data Analyst/Curation

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Created: December 2, 2013


Required Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in library/information science from an American Library Association accredited library school, GIS-related field, or equivalent combination of advanced degree and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding of cartographic and geospatial resources and concepts.
  • Experience with geographical information systems, including/especially Esri's ArcGIS software.
  • Experience with metadata creation, schema, and management.
  • Familiarity with tools and techniques involving metadata validation, crosswalks, authorities and registries, and transformations.
  • Excellent assessment, analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated project management skills.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, interpersonal and relationship-building skills.
  • Demonstrated initiative, self-direction, and ability to work independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with faculty, staff and students in a research-intensive environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of ISO 19115 Geographic Information - Metadata family of metadata standards and specifications.
  • Experience with geospatial methods, spatial data formats and models, and spatial statistics.
  • Understanding of common web and open source technologies for geospatial data such as XML, Python, GeoServer, PostGIS, OpenLayers, and GDAL/OGR.
  • Data programming experience, for example scripting or performing batch metadata operations/transformations using standard tools and methods.
  • Knowledge of data repository, preservation, and curation concepts and their application.
  • Demonstrated interest in the applications of current and emerging technologies and their integration into the delivery of information services.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for teaching and developing user-oriented documentation. 

Duties/Responsibilities Reporting to the Head of the John R. Borchert Map Library, and working closely with the U-Spatial Data Core team, the Libraries Research Data Management/Curation Initiative, the University Digital Conservancy program, and other Libraries and campus geospatial information services, the Spatial Data Analyst/Curator holds primary responsibilities in these areas:

-- Consultation and Advocacy -- consults with University faculty, staff, and students from across the University on policy and procedural issues related to the creation, management and dissemination of spatial data assets. Consultation areas include, but are not limited to, the application of University policies, general issues on copyright and data governance (e.g., open access allowances, as well as controls over legally private and sensitive data), and data management plan compliance and best practices. Coordinates the development, release, and promotion and user support of data core tools and resources (enterprise-level data storage, geospatial information discovery service or portal, archiving and preservation services, web services, spatial analysis service, etc.) among the University community, in coordination with U-Spatial, Libraries, and other University staff. Supports end-user training activities and creates documentation to make it easy for people to use data core resources.

-- Content Recruitment -- Develop and execute a multi-year, community engagement strategy to acquire and build a corpus of digital spatial data for access and preservation via U-Spatial. Conduct community assessments to inform the identification of content recruitment targets.

-- Workflow Analysis and Process Development -- analyzes user workflows and data flows to inform the design and development of low-barrier processes for content submission into the access and repository systems used by U-Spatial (i.e., geoportal federated web application access system, and a DPS-digital preservation repository management system). Develop, in collaboration with U-Spatial technology staff and the Libraries' Digital Preservation and Repository Technologies staff, systematic processes for ensuring that ingested spatial data is made discoverable/accessible (via a geoportal) and is archived/preserved (via DPS).

-- Metadata Management -- standards, creation, transformation, ingest. Establish metadata guidelines, following standardized geospatial metadata application profiles, and in coordination with Libraries' Data Management and Access. Develop geospatial metadata creation and editing processes including use of linked data. Manage metadata crosswalks, transformations, and efficient spatial data ingest processes. Oversee quality control measures to ensure effective discovery and access to spatial data by the user community. 
Program/Unit Description The University of Minnesota's U-Spatial: Support for Spatial Research ( initiative seeks a knowledgeable and proactive Spatial Data Analyst/Curator to advance U-Spatial's Data Core mission, which focuses on significantly enhancing access to University-generated digital geospatial research information through functions of data collection, discovery, and archiving/preservation. The Spatial Data Analyst/Curator works with the U-Spatial Data Core team under the management and direction of the University Libraries, which holds institutional responsibility for supporting the products and processes of scholarship through the collection, provisioning, and preservation of information resources in all formats and media. As such, the work of the Spatial Data Analyst/Curator uses a life-cycle data management approach to serve the specific needs of the spatial data creator/user community while ensuring that processes and methods employed are strongly aligned with enterprise strategies and systems.

Background and Context:

Building on a rich history of research, scholarship, and teaching related to spatial topics, the University of Minnesota has embarked on a visionary endeavor to develop U-Spatial, a collaborative consortium that supports the spatial sciences and creative activities. U-Spatial provides support for spatial research, providing a framework of data, equipment, expertise, and resources that benefits all researchers working with spatial related sciences and creative activities. In doing so, the initiative seeks to eliminate duplication and fragmentation of scientific resources. U-Spatial is primarily funded by the Office of the Vice-President for Research's Infrastructure Investment Initiative, with additional investments made by investments of 11 University colleges, including the Libraries.

The Libraries play a lead role in U-Spatial's Data Core mission, which focuses on significantly enhancing access to University-generated digital geospatial research information through functions of data collection, discovery, and archiving/preservation. The Data Core has developed a plan for collaborating with large data projects and is developing a prototype data management and access environment for geographic information. Access to spatial data is being addressed from two directions. One effort is piloting a web-based system to make spatial data easy to discover and access, while a second effort is focusing on the long term archiving and preservation of data to ensure data access and usability over time. Within the U-Spatial framework, the Spatial Data Analyst/Curator contributes to the development of full life-cycle based research data access and curation services.

The University Libraries are an integral part of campus life and contribute significant resources and programs to the state, region, and broader profession. The University Libraries provide a highly collaborative environment, distinguished by significant engagement in teaching/learning and research support, significant digital collection and infrastructure development, and new models for advancing access to content and collections. Outreach is strengthened by unparalleled infrastructure for resource sharing, information access, digitization, and digital preservation within the state and region provided by the University Libraries-based Minitex program. The Libraries is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Center for Library Initiatives, the HathiTrust, the Digital Library Federation, the Center for Research Libraries, the Digital Preservation Network, and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance.


Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 18:03 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:44 UTC