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Port - the Maritime Information Gateway

By Dr Ian Sealy, ILRT. <ian.sealy@bristol.ac.uk>

Port - the Maritime Information Gateway

Port, an information gateway dedicated to maritime studies, joined the family of ROADS-based subject gateways over Easter this year. It was developed for the Centre for Maritime Research at the National Maritime Museum by the Internet Development group at the ILRT and is intended to be the gateway for maritime resources on the Web. Like other gateways (for example, Biz/ed) the ROADS-based catalogue is supplemented by additional materials, including research guides describing the Museum's collections, a diary of conferences and exhibitions, and listings of booksellers and maritime-related university courses. These materials are updateable over the Web by staff at the Museum .

Port has a familiar subject gateway interface. The catalogue can be searched by keyword and browsed by subject category (for example, fishing or travel and exploration) and historical period (for example, ancient history or 21st century!). Browsing by geographical region is also possible although this is hidden from users at the moment since the database is currently heavily biased towards the UK. This will change as the catalogue expands. When it was launched the ca talogue contained 600 resources and there are now, two months later, 700 templates in the database. A similar level of growth is expected over the next few months.

Port is using ROADS v2.00 (with appropriate patches applied), although some changes have been made, however, to implement non-standard features that Port required. For example, addsl.pl has been altered to allow browsing by fields other than Subject-De scriptor (in order to allow building subject listings based on historical period and geographical region). Also, changes have been made so that templates held temporarily in the pending directory can be edited prior to being indexed. This was required so that all the templates catalogued by the subject specialists at the Museum can be checked by the project leader before they are added to the database.

Port is one of a number of ROADS-based Web sites that have been produced by the Internet Development group at the ILRT. Another example is BeCaL, the Belief, Culture and Learning information gateway. This is currentl y a pilot service and a ROADS database is a prominent part of the site.

Finally, if anyone would like a Port poster then write to port@nmm.ac.uk and ask for one.

Footnote

Quick message for John Kirriemuir: I'm afraid the site you recommended ("A page detailing the sightings of big cats in rural England and the provinces over the previous year. Some of these cats may have come to England on board ships, hence the relevance to this gateway.") is unlikely to appear in Port. Sorry.

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Issue 9 July 1999

Maintained by Paul Hollands <paul.hollands@bris.ac.uk> - July 1999

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