Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE)


Since 1999, the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) has provided searchable access to high-quality, online educational resources for K-12 and undergraduate Earth system science education.   These resources include maps, lesson plans, lab exercises, data sets, virtual field trips, and interactive demonstrations. The holdings of DLESE are created by a wide variety of individual faculty members, federal and state agencies, and cultural institutions.  These resources are held (stored) on local servers and are accessed through the library via searchable metadata records in the ADN format, which extends the IEEE-LOM format to include rich educational metadata, such as educational standards, as well as geospatial and temporal descriptions. Additionally, the library contains user-contributed content in the form of teaching tips and resource reviews. 

DLESE resources and collections can be accessed by the Digital Discovery System (DDS) services and APIs, which can be used to search over DLESE content or flexibly configured to search over any XML schema structure, including user-contributed content. The APIs come in two flavors: a RESTful web service and a JavaScript API. A range of information retrieval features are available including textual and field-based searches such as audience, subject, resource type or educational standard. DDS also supports geospatial search and can be integrated with Web 2.0 applications such as Google Maps. The DLESE repository metadata can also be harvested using OAI-PMH. DLESE collections have been used for a rich variety of computational linguistics, natural language processing, and machine learning research and we welcome the opportunity to work with Digging Into Data researchers to further extend DLESE’s utility as a research test bed. 


John Weatherley ( for information on the DDS API. Tamara Sumner ( for recent publications using DLESE as a research testbed. You can also reach the team by emailing

Terms of Service: