Costs and Benefits
to Project Participants
for Integrated Access to Environmental and Natural Resource Information
The Foundations Project is a multi-agency collaborative project aimed
at improving public access to environmental and natural resources data
and information. Developing intuitive and easy to use search tools
and strategies is the Project's focus. Staff and agency participants
have added metadata to many kinds of electronic information resources using Dublin
Core metadata, including HTML pages, PDF files, and geographic information.
These resources can be used to develop advanced search and retrieval techniques
that integrate access to this information across agency Web sites.
Based on project research findings and using principles of information architecture,
we have created a "blueprint" that specifies best practices for state environmental
agency Web sites.
In summary, the project has:
The Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources, Information Policy Council
and the Environmental Quality Board has received periodic updates.
Completion date for the project was June 30, 2000. For more information
Identified consumer-oriented needs for environmental information and data
maintained or made available through state agencies
Designed an approach that will provide integrated access to environmental
information and data consistent with emerging technology standards, guidelines
and best practices
Fully evaluated the approach's effectiveness for integrated access, using
external reviewers who represent a wide range of public points of view
Designed, evaluated and expedited guidelines for documentation, thesaurus and
metadata implementation, which promote responsive search and retrieval
Provided and contintue to provide skilled assistance to state agencies that catalog environmental
Prepared a workable blueprint, called Best Practice Guidelines for Web Metadata , to improve
discovery and retrieval of environmental information resources, based on research and testing
throughout the project
Conducted outreach to inform key user groups and promote implementation of
the blueprint throughout state government.
Information Architect 651.297.2341
Funding for the Foundations Project was approved by
the Minnesota Legislature, ML 1997, Chapter 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 11(a) Public
Access to Natural Resource Data, as recommended by the Legislative Commission
on Minnesota Resources from the Future Resources Fund.