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Project Apollo Archive

Apollo moon landerAll 12,588 photos taken during the Apollo missions are up on Flickr in high-res. Wow, endless hours of fascination if you’re a space geek!

The Project Apollo Archive was created in 1999 as a companion to my “Contact Light” web site…a personal retrospective of the era of the space race. A subsequent collaboration between the Archive and Eric Jones’ Apollo Lunar Surface Journal led to aquisition over the years of countless historic Apollo and other space history images generously provided by NASA and others for processing and hosting on the NASA-hosted Journal as well as on my site. Contrary to some recent media reports, this new Flickr gallery is not a NASA undertaking, but an independent one, involving the re-presentation of the public domain NASA-provided Apollo mission imagery as it was originally provided in its raw, high-resolution and unprocessed form by the Johnson Space Center on DVD-R and including from the center’s Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth web site. Processed images from few film magazines to fill in gaps were also obtained from the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Apollo Image Atlas.

All mission photographs in this new gallery are courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, specifically the Johnson Space Center, with special thanks to Mike Gentry as well as to Steve Garber of the NASA History Office for their invaluable assistance. I am also greatly indebted to Eric Jones who has dedicated countless hours to building and curating the exhaustive Apollo Lunar Surface Journal web site. This new Flickr gallery would have not been possible without the support of Mike, Steve and Eric, and many others over the years.

Thank you for your interest and for helping to keep alive the spirit of space exploration and its history.

Kipp Teague
October, 2015

Lots of enhancements to Congress.gov

Enhancements include a new series of “Two-Minute Tips” videos, a browsable list of Popular Titles and Short Titles of legislation, and indexing of Senate Executive Communications.

For more information:

Hat tip to InfoDocket!

How to use public records

This very nice “how-to” article provides an example of how “public records” are much more than the published record of governments.

  • How public records can shed light on private prisons, by Beryl Lipton, Muckrock (October 6, 2015).

    The details of our prisons typically are and have been matters of public record, if one only knows how to ask. Data-driven snapshots of whole segments are difficult to obtain, but not impossible. Even for-profit prisons, whose status as private corporations make them notorious for being exempt from public records laws, can’t hide everything they’ve got. Some information must find its way back to the government bosses.

Supreme Court Website Addresses link-rot and content-drift

The Supreme Court has announced two important changes to its website. The Court will now highlight changes to slip opinions and the Court will now attempt to preserve web-based content cited in Court opinions. These website enhancements address two digital preservation problems: changes to content over time, known as “content-drift”, and content being deleted or moved, called “link-rot.”

Here is the text of the two announcements, which appeared under the “What’s New” section of the Court’s homepage:

Beginning with the October Term 2015, postrelease edits to slip opinions on the Court’s website will be highlighted and the date they occur will be noted. The date of any revision will be listed in a new “Revised” column on the charts of Opinions, In-Chambers Opinions, and Opinions Related to Orders under the “Opinions” tab on the website. The location of a revision will be highlighted in the opinion. When a cursor is placed over a highlighted section, a dialog box will open to show both old and new text. See Sample Opinions” for an example of how postrelease edits will appear on the website.

The Court’s Office of Information Technology is collaborating with the Library, the Reporter of Decisions’ Office, and the Clerk’s Office to preserve web-based content cited in Court opinions. To address the problem of “link rot,” where internet material cited in Court opinions may change or cease to exist, web-based content included in Court opinions from the 2005 Term forward is being made available on the Court’s website. Hard copies will continue to be retained in the case files by the Clerk’s Office. See “Internet Sources Cited in Opinions.”

An article in the New York Times puts these changes into context:

  • Supreme Court Plans to Highlight Revisions in Its Opinions, By ADAM LIPTAKOCT. New York Times (Oct. 5, 2015).

    The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would disclose after-the-fact changes to its opinions, a common practice that had garnered little attention until a law professor at Harvard wrote about it last year.

    The court also took steps to address “link rot” in its decisions. A study last year found that nearly half of hyperlinks in Supreme Court opinions no longer work.

Vanishing Canadian Government Data

Records deleted, burned, tossed in Dumpsters. A Maclean’s investigation on the crisis in government data : Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data by Anne Kingston, Maceans (September 18, 2015).

“A months-long Maclean’s investigation, which includes interviews with dozens of academics, scientists, statisticians, economists and librarians, has found that the federal government’s “austerity” program, which resulted in staff cuts and library closures (16 libraries since 2012)—as well as arbitrary changes to policy, when it comes to data—has led to a systematic erosion of government records far deeper than most realize, with the data and data-gathering capability we do have severely compromised as a result.”

  • In 2010 Canada’s decision to make their long-form census voluntary. The result of the high non-response rate in the province of Saskatchewan is that there are now no socioeconomic statistics about the populations in about one-half of Saskatchewan communities.
  • Environment Canada’s website has apparently deleted internal reports on the oil sands experiments of the 1970s and reports on air pollution in transport and toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes — including pioneering work on acid rain between 1975 and 1999.
  • The Aboriginal Canada portal was taken offline on Feb. 12.
  • More than 60 per cent of content was shed when 1,500 government websites were centralized into one.
  • Where digitization has helped other governments and companies make more information available, it is having the opposite effect here. The edict to eliminate information deemed “redundant, outdated and trivial” (known as “ROT”) gives federal managers licence to decide what data should be cut and what kept, says Li, the U of T librarian.
  • … and more…


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