[Geowanking] no metadata
cholmes at openplans.org
Sat Aug 13 02:07:59 PDT 2005
Quoting Raj Singh <raj at rajsingh.org>:
> Sounds like human nature to me. People do as much work as they must
> to satisfy their own needs--no one really gets properly rewarded for
> creating metadata. So we're expecting them to do this instead of
> going out for a drink, or going home to their families?
> Also sounds like an opportunity for a Web search firm...
> 1. crawl all the geodata on the web (you're already kind of doing
> 2. have parsers for the major geographic data formats
> 3. inspect the data and have clever auto-harvesting tools work some
> metadata magic
> 4. presto--a spatial data infrastructure
5. Allow user input to the resulting metadata, to both comment on how
good the metadata is (ebay/amazon rate this data and was this metadata
useful to you?), and to contribute/fix errors in the metadata. To
remix an open source phrase - The person who understands and fixes the
metadata is not neccessarily or even usually the person who created the
geo data. Granted a later user won't be able to figure out all the
metadata fields, but they can comment on the quality of the data, and
how useful it was to them. If you had enough people doing this you
could get domain specific collaborative filters - how useful this data
was to urban planners, or birdwatchers. Indeed given enough eyeballs
you may even get a co-worker of the person who created the data, people
who recognize a given dataset that they used to work with who could
give a more informed opinion. Granted to work really well there'd need
to be some drive by data aspect of it, but if the data can actually be
accessed one can start to gather stats on the most viewed sets of data.
And indeed with enough users I'm sure you'll get people who feel
strongly one way or another about a dataset, and would be happy to tell
the world. You could take care of the 'keyword' field by just taking
the results of del.icio.us style tagging.
6. presto--the geospatial web (I've come to really dislike the term SDI,
after diving into the literature a decent bit. It's an incredibly
overloaded term, that means too many things to different people (many
papers will start out with 5 definitions), and despite people moving
the term to being more 'user-centric' and focused on 'process' it still
smacks of government and gis 'experts' are the ones who provide
everything, they just should focus their results on users (who often
seemed to be implied as government employees and other 'gis users').
It's also not seen as a shared project - there's (in theory) a local
SDI and a city SDI and a national one and a global one. There's no New
York internet and Thailand internet - there should be one geospatial
web, you're either on it, or you're not.)
> Is this a crazy idea or not?
> On Aug 12, 2005, at 3:10 PM, Mike Liebhold wrote:
> > A colleague, Anthony Townsend, and I had a long chat recently with
> > meta geographer Michael Goodchild, from UCSB about this problem.
> > Although a vast amount of digital geodata has been created over the
> > last few degecades that might be potentially useful, a very large
> > number of digital cartographers, working in the sciences and public
> > and private sectors haven't been labelling their data - at all -
> > with any identifying meta data, regardless of data formats ... and
> > a large number of geodata collections and archives have no meta
> > data describing the collections themselves of geodata, which may or
> > may not include properly labeled geodata objects.
> > So despite a more permissive policy of making geodata public
> > accessable in the US, much is identifiable, but unsearchable data,
> > and much is unidentifiable, though valid, all rendered useless
> > without any descriptive narrative by cartographers or librarians.
> > So, before public or private agencies can offer public access to
> > potentially useful geodata in their collections, the data has to be
> > rehabilitated, and the collections have to be described.
> > Huge problems.
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