Home Island: Oahu
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Akamai Project: Going Digital: Converting Paper Documentation to Digital Form for Collaboration at Keck Observatory
Project Site: W.M. Keck Observatory
Mentors: Craig Nance & John Baldwin
Organized and accessible information is key in any organization. The Operations and Infrastructure (OID) department at W.M. Keck Observatory seeks to compile two decades’ worth of paper documentation into digital form. The need for this is so that anyone on Keck’s staff can obtain the information quickly from potentially anywhere in the world. The documents are gathered, sorted and labeled at their location in the observatory on the Mauna Kea summit. The documents are then brought down to Keck’s Headquarters and scanned using a Xerox copier into PDF file format. The files of the scanned documents are named a specific way to distinguish formal documents from informal documents. The files are then uploaded to a file repository called Keckshare and the links to the files are inserted on the proper Twiki web pages. The heart of the project is this Twiki website, a “wiki”-style website hosted on Keck’s internal network. Twiki is the front-end where anyone on Keck’s staff can easily access their documents. Here they can also edit the website, posting their documents or comments on the Twiki webpages, allowing for a flexible and collaborative environment. The OID department also wanted this information available “in the field” to its staff working on the summit. A rugged tablet was recommended for use, which would have the entire contents of the Twiki website stored locally, as wireless connections are not allowed on the summit. The Twiki content would be copied through a wired connection when the tablet is docked. For true accessibility, an outside computer could remotely connect to a PC on Keck’s internal network using a program called Real VNC. This would allow access to the Twiki content and PDF documents from virtually anywhere in the world. A large part of this project has been to define a structured process that general staff can follow for getting the paper documentation into digital form on the website and on the tablet. The end result of this project is an organized catalog of documents that is easily accessible and allows staff collaboration. In the future, a better, more organized file repository system, such as the existing Keck Library Webcatalog, may work better. Also, implementing a true synchronization of the files onto the tablet would be beneficial.