Columbia Earthscape was conceived along the CIAO model, to create a clearinghouse of information, in the field of Earth and Environmental sciences, drawn from a wide range of contributing institutions, with the idea that the critical mass generated by such a concentration of material provides a better tool for research, as well as supporting scholarly dialogue. Further, by publishing different types of content, in close proximity, Earthscape is able to connect hard scientific research directly with their social, political, and economic dimensions. In addition, Earthscape offers a well developed education component, publishing detailed curriculum models for teachers, and a range of learning resources for students.
Rather than organize the material in reference to type (as CIAO is organized by content categories – working papers, books, journals, etc.), Earthscape is first organized around different user communities (researchers, policy-makers, teachers, and students). While search functions and internal links make it possible for any user to find material in any area, it also makes it immediately easier for a user to find material more explicitly geared to their needs. In addition, Earthscape also features a regular overview of Earth and Environmental science issues in the news, in upcoming conferences, and by way of special features.
Best New Internet-Based Electronic Product, Math /Science 1999 by the Association of American Publishers, Inc., (AAP), Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division.
"An excellent value . . . Recommended." — Choice
"Best new Internet-based electronic product: math/science" — Association of American Publishers
"Teachers at all levels, from high school to graduate school, will find much of value here. . . . Every Earth-science library should have a subscription." — Brian J. Skinner, Eugene Higgins Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University
over 70,000 pages of multi-media web content