The Marine Realms Information Bank (MRIB) is a distributed geolibrary [NRC, 1999] from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), whose purpose is to classify, integrate, and facilitate access to Earth systems science information about ocean, lake, and coastal environments. Core MRIB services are: (1) the search and display of information holdings by place and subject, and (2) linking of information assets that exist in remote physical locations.
The design of the MRIB features a classification system to integrate information from remotely maintained sources. This centralized catalogue organizes information using 12 criteria: locations, geologic time, physiographic features, biota, disciplines, research methods, hot topics, project names, agency names, authors, content type, and file type. For many of these fields, MRIB has developed classification hierarchies.