For more than three decades the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program (GVP) has compiled descriptions of both ongoing and past volcanism around the world in order to better understand the full range of Earth's eruptive activity, building its database the Volcano Reference File (VRF). To make these data available to the ever-broadening community interested in volcanism, three hardcopy versions of this data set (Simkin et al., 1981; Simkin and Siebert, 1994; and Siebert et al., 2010) have been published.
The development of the world wide web has made possible much wider dissemination of these data in a form that is easily updateable. Beginning in 1999 GVP staff designed a website to allow limited virtual access to the VRF (http://www.volcano.si.edu/). GVP is currently developing an enhanced web interface that will provide expanded search functionality and download capabilities.
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