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Project Costs & Benefits 

Benefits of the Foundations Project 

Minnesota environmental information can be found on several state agency servers. The Foundations Project, through the Bridges Web site, is intended to help people working with environmental information locate and use these resources. With simple search functions and automatic updates, Bridges allows all of Minnesota's environmental agencies to be searched at once. Further, the addition of Qualified Dublin Core metadata elements and a controlled subject index increases searching accuracy. Using these elements, searchers and archivists can determine the origin of a resource, its subject matter and other relevant information. 

How much does all this cost? 

Foundations was a two year research and development project that ended in June 2000. The feasibility of integrating access to environmental information across differing computer platforms and media was the project's concern. Throughout the duration of the project, a Cost Benefit Analysis was conducted to determine the necessity of the project, its costs and possible future directions. Summary information from this study is contained in the Usability Study on Controlled Vocabulary and Metadata.  

Funding for the Foundations Project was approved by the Minnesota Legislature, ML 1997, Chapter 216, Section 15, Subd. 11(a) Public Access to Natural Resource Data, as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources, from the Future Resources Fund. The project received a $650,000 appropriation. 

Original funding language is located at: http://www.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/lcmr/97abstr.html 

Usability and Cost Benefit Analyses 

The Usability Studies are part of a process to insure advanced and efficient search and retrieval methods for environmental information. A Usability Study to test the search interface is also complete. 

 
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Updated January 9, 2007