The Center for Land Use Interpretation Newsletter

CLUI Land Use Database Upgrades


640The CLUI Server. CLUI photo

THE CLUI HAS RECENTLY UPGRADED the system that operates the Land Use Database, the core element of the Center’s resources, and the repository for information about the built landscape of America. The database is now housed in a new server, automatically backed up by a RAID system and duplicated on an off-site server in the Bay Area. This redundancy was essential, and a great relief given the ephemerality of electronic media.

Ryan McKinley, who developed the new database system for in house use also developed the new online interface, which includes new features such as a list that shows users what other users have been looking at. His upgrades have also enabled the content of the publicly available portion of the database to be visible to search engines like Google, dramatically increasing the number of visitors to the Center’s online resources.

One unintended and sometimes amusing result has been an increase in confused inquiries. Certain word combinations, like “walmart” and “headquarters” are scarce enough on the web that we get a lot of messages, even on the phone, from people who don’t seem to read very carefully. They think they have gotten to the home office, and complain about the disappearance of their favorite catfood, poor service, and things like that.

McKinley has also been working on the online mapping portion of the Land Use Database, which now uses the nationwide scalable map and satellite coverage provided by Google’s new mapping service.