[pdx.computing] SIGCAT FACT BOOK

robertj@tekgen.BV.TEK.COM (Robert Jaquiss) (06/26/91)

     I believe that CD-ROM technology is the most revolutionary advance in 
information dissemination technology since Gutenberg's printing press.  I thought
the readers of this newsgroup might be interested in knowing about a group that
is involved in this technology.

	Robert Jaquiss

Internet: robertj@tekgen.bv.tek.com


          The Special Interest Group on CD-ROM Applications & Technology (SIGCAT) is a user group sponsored by the U.S.
Geological Survey which is devoted to the investigation of CD-ROM technology and its myriad applications. This group provides an
ongoing forum for the exchange of ideas, information and experiences on CD-ROM for the benefit of all concerned. 

          SIGCAT meetings are held bimonthly at various locations on the east and west coasts, often at the U.S. Geological Survey
National Center in Reston, Va. The meetings typically run all day and are open to the general public at no cost. The format typically
accommodates six to eight speakers, including live demonstrations of CD-ROM technology. The content of the meetings is aimed
at providing the membership with updates on all aspects of CD-ROM as well as conveying the  experiences of those both in and
out of Government who are actually using the technology in real applications. 

          The first meeting of SIGCAT took place on Tuesday, May  6, 1986. There are now over 4,400 members on the SIGCAT
mailing list representing over 300 different Government organizations.  Individual working groups and committees have been formed
under SIGCAT to focus on specific issues involving CD-ROM technology. Currently, the following working groups are active:

Chair: George Knapp - Geological Survey - 703/648-6823

          This working group is constantly evaluating new search software which is applicable to CD-ROM applications. A matrix
of software products and their various functional characteristics has been created and is available to SIGCAT members.

SIGLIT - Special Interest Group on Library Information Technology
Chair: Susan David - Library of Congress - 202/707-7169

          One of the most promising application areas for CD-ROM is proving to be the library and information science environment.
The SIGLIT working group is very active in this arena and holds its own meetings in addition the scheduled SIGCAT meetings.

SIGACE - Special Interest Group for the Application of CD-ROM in Education 
Chair: Sheldon Fisher - Dept. of Education - 202/219-1699

          Another active working group is SIGACE which was formed to examine, review and demonstrate CD-ROM discs appropriate
for use in training and education. Discs are available for demonstration at the Department of Education's Technology Resource
Center, 80 F street, Washington, DC. This group is also interested in reviewing teacher training materials using CD-ROM for the
effective use of this medium in the classroom. Professional educators, vendors and others interested in educational aspects of CD-
ROM should contact Mr. Fisher.

CIAS - CD-ROM Index Architecture Specification Working Group
Chair: Cpt. Larry Schankin - U.S. Air Force - 617/377-2105

          An effort is underway to look into the feasibility of developing the specifications for a neutral or common index for use with
textural CD-ROM discs produced by the Federal Government. If such an index were available, organizations could produce CD-ROM
discs complete with indexes that could then be read by a variety of retrieval software packages. This working group will serve as
a focal point for information on the status of such a common indexing structure. 

ISO-9660 Working Group 
Chair: Mike Rubinfeld - National Institute of Standards & Technology - 301/975-3064

          As the ISO 9660 standard becomes more widespread, it allows a CD-ROM disc mastered in this format to be accessed
in a variety of non-MS-DOS operating system environments. Several computer companies are now beta testing their driver software
in accessing a ISO 9660 CD-ROM disc. This working group will track these developments and keep the SIGCAT membership aware
of progress in this area.

CDOWG - CD-ROM Data Origination Working Group 
Chair: Maureen Prettyman - National Institutes of Health -301/496-1936

          Many organizations in the federal sector have now acquired workstations to allow them to perform in-house all of the
operations associated with premastering a CD-ROM disc. A new SIGCAT working group has been established to network the people
familiar with the operation and use of these workstations. The objective is to share solutions to common problems, useful techniques
and other tips that are often  vital to the efficient operation of these systems.

CD-CINC - CD-ROM Consistent INterface Committee 
Co-Chair: Susan David - Chair, SIGLIT - 202/707-7169
Co-Chair: Fred Durr - National Information Services Corp. - 301/243-0797

          The objective of CD-CINC is to describe, in a consistent manner, the basic functions inherent to contemporary search and
retrieval software and to suggest a consistent set of terms for these functions. In addition, the committee will suggest key
assignments (where appropriate) that should be available to users of full text and bibliographic CD-ROM products. Finally, CD-CINC
will seek to identify general guidelines for installing and exiting CD-ROM applications.   

GIS - CD-ROM Working Group 
Chair: Dan Costanzo - Army Engineer Topographic Labs - 703/355-2803

          The technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is finding application in a wide variety of fields, from logistics
to resource management. In most of these applications, large amounts of data are required to generate meaningful output. Since
CD-ROM is able to provide this type of large data storage, it is natural to marry these two technologies. This working group explores
this combination of CD-ROM and GIS and serves as a focal point for information and applications.

                                 SIGTEAL - Special Interest Group To Expedite the Accommodation Law

Co-Chair: Robert Jaquiss - Tektronix Corporation - 503/627-4444
Co-Chair: Tom Dennison - Todd Enterprises, Inc. - 703/379-2842
          The objective of this working group is to use CD-ROM to improve access to published works for the visually impaired, the
deaf, and other physically disabled persons who use computers. The group will focus on issues related to the recently passed
legislation which is intended to provide greater access to the job market for disabled individuals. SIGTEAL will provide a network
of industry, Government, and disability groups to foster an exchange of information on problems that prevent full use of CD-ROM
technology by the disabled.

SIGCLASS Working Group 
Chair: Duane Marquis  - Department of Commerce - 301/261-8002

          This working group serves as a focal point for agencies and organizations involved with the publication and distribution
of classified information on CD-ROM. 

SIGSGML Working Group 
Chair: John Oster - Oster Associates, Inc. - 301/838-1908

          This working group focuses on the use of the Standard Generalized Mark-up Language (SGML - ISO 8879) to structure
databases for optical delivery. 

                                                    The SIGCAT CD-ROM Compendium

          The U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Library and Information Services, in cooperation with SIGCAT, maintains a database
of bibliographic information called the USGS Library/SIGCAT CD-ROM Compendium. This database contains information about
those CD-ROM discs which have been produced by agencies and companies based on Government data. Information about this
database can be obtained by contacting the Systems Section, USGS Library at 703/648-7047.             

          If you would like to join SIGCAT (there are no membership fees) and any of the Working Groups, simply send your name,
title, organization, phone number and complete mailing  address to:

                    E. J. (Jerry) McFaul
                    Chair, SIGCAT
                    U.S. Geological Survey
                    904 National Center
                    Reston, VA 22092-9998

          We hope you share with us the enthusiasm we have for CD-ROM technology and its potential for the cost-effective
dissemination of Government data. Your cooperation in joining and promoting SIGCAT would be greatly appreciated and would
further advance the usefulness of SIGCAT as an information sharing forum throughout the Federal Government. We look forward
to hearing from you.