[Geowanking] GB Historic Counties polygons
ijturton at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 11:48:55 PST 2008
On Jan 7, 2008 1:21 PM, Barry Hunter <barry at barryhunter.co.uk> wrote:
> On 07/01/2008, Ian Turton <ijturton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > First I should disclose I worked on developing mapping the Vision of
> > Britain site but I tried really hard to avoid being involved in the
> > political side of things!
> > On Jan 7, 2008 10:39 AM, Tim Bowden <tim.bowden at westnet.com.au> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Mon, 2008-01-07 at 14:43 +0000, Barry Hunter wrote:
> > > > On 07/01/2008, Tim Bowden <tim.bowden at westnet.com.au> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > On Mon, 2008-01-07 at 07:54 +0000, Andrew Larcombe wrote:
> > > > > > On 7 Jan 2008, at 04:21, Tim Bowden wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > Thanks. Looks like I can probably get what I need from their wms.
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > FWIW, it looks like their wms server comes out of edina who are the
> > > > > > suppliers of the academic datasets as mentioned originally.
> > > > >
> > > > > Yes. According to the visionofbritain.org.uk web site about page: "This
> > > > > web site was created by the Great Britain Historical GIS Project". From
> > > > > what I could gather from reading both sites, it appears they have may
> > > > > have been created from separate funding projects though. It would seem
> > > > > the historiccountiestrust.co.uk effort at digitising the county
> > > > > boundaries is duplicating what almost certainly already exists in the
> > > > > gbhg effort, but hasn't been made public because nobody funded them to
> > > > > make it public.
> > As far as I understood the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) part of the
> > Lottery paid us to make the site for the public, so what ever is on
> > the VOB site is public.
> > >
> > > > Now heres an off the wall idea (maybe ;), could WE fund them to make it public.
> > > >
> > >
> > > I'm sure it's worth pursuing. Given the work was publicly funded, I
> > > imagine the costs *shouldn't* be too much beyond the cost of provision.
> > > There is a note on both sites that if you're not academic don't bother
> > > asking for the data, unless you're interested in a commercial
> > > arrangement. Perhaps they have visions of reaping huge dividends from
> > > their publicly funded work.
> > >
> > The biggest problem is that all the data is living in an Oracle
> > database which is used under an academic license - thus saving us
> > about (as I recall) half a million pounds a year. If we did anything
> > commercial with the data we would need to buy a commercial Oracle
> > license which for any reasonably sized machine is prohibitively
> > expensive, or rewrite the system to use Postgis which would require
> > programmer time the project doesn't have.
> Personally thinking more along the line so some dumps of the data (eg
> shp files), which would basically be a one off (or occasional) export.
> > The other problem is that the various projects who's data has been
> > assembled into the database gave it to the the GBHGIS under a variety
> > of restrictions but often required us/them not to give it away.
> Above you said whatever data on the site is public :)
I did indeed - that is why you get images of the data via a WMS not
export of the raw data via a WFS. They don't mind us portraying the
data but they did not give us permission to put their data into the
public domain by releasing the raw data. It's like the road data on
Google Maps, Google can draw images of Navtech's data but they can't
give you a shapefile of the road network.
> > >
> > > Certainly worth a shot, but I suspect there's a decent dose of academic
> > > politics to be dealt with before it pays off. Call me a sceptic, but I
> > > can't see them giving up something of unique value too easily. It'll be
> > > a long road methinks. I suspect the nascent UK chapter of OSGeo would
> > > also like to get involved in such an effort.
> > >
> > I think we reached the best possible release of as much data as
> > possible to as many people as possible as we could considering the
> > funding we had. You get unlimited access to a WMS with all the
> > parishes, counties and multitude of other boundaries in GB through
> > time with Census data attached. See if you can find something similar
> > for any other country in the world?
> Can we use WMS to export data? At the moment can see how to play
> around with the URLs to get various images (and capabilities shows the
> layers), but not raw data.
No WMS doesn't support raw data export that is both a limitation and
an advantage in this case where it not so we wouldn't have been able
to have put up any of the data.
> In my example I want to classify a bunch of points by which historic
> county they are in, and also possibly produce my own maps. With vector
> data that is easy.
Look at using the getfeatureinfo request capability, you might need to
use some python or some such to scrap a bit to get an answer but it
should be doable.
> I guess could produce really large images, and with careful bounding
> boxes, then vectorize the image.
> But would have to do a whole load of scraping to get lists of id's of
> the various counties etc
> As I see it we lack the metadata to be able exploit the WMS for
> plotting maps for use on our own site, even if we not allowed to acess
> the data ourselves.
Think of the resource as more of a historic Google Maps basemap site
for you to mash on top of as opposed to a USGS topo map you can down
load and replot on your site and see if it makes more sense.
Can I recommend my open course on Open Web Mapping
if you want to get a better handle on WMS, WFS and how to use them.
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