[Geowanking] Gulf Oil Spill Disaster GIS data locked behind BP Corporate Firewall
sean at fortiusone.com
Wed Jun 16 14:54:10 PDT 2010
One last try then I give up for lack of time if not frustration.
I'm not talking about building things (web apps) and I'm not talking about
raw imagery - (ps Chris I never said WMS was a "picture" - actually I
never mentioned WMS period. I said the AGS "mapping service" was a picture
most of your arguments seems to be around imagery which was never part of
what I was discussing.)
There are data formats that people commonly would like to have data in .csv
.kml .shp .xls etc.
These are file formats that can be used on-line and off-line by a wide
variety of applications.
When you build a Web app it would be great if you could also get the data
used on top of it, out in a format that makes it re-usable.
That way I can take it into the field and do useful things with it; like
create derivative work that I can then contribute back and you can put on
your Web app.
I shouldn't have to be a Web developer to do this or know how to use an API.
I'm not saying API's are useless. They are awesome for developers, but not
so awesome if you are not a developer and need some data to take into the
field or load into your app of choice. All the other things
you mentioned are important, but as a community "we" tend to be very tech
and Web centric. I'm simply trying to add the perspective of those on the
ground in disasters.
It is a simple principle that comes from deploying into or supporting many
disasters, and seeing the frustration of those who can't access the data
On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 4:43 PM, Eric Wolf <ebwolf at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think the answer is to Open Chris' DNA. Then we can clone him and
> better take advantage of open data.
> Seriously... Chris' point is valid. What happened in Haiti was no
> accident. Nor was it really a "crowd sourced action". We see the same
> half+dozen or so people in pivotal positions in almost all of these
> "neogeography" actions.
> Wikipedia relies on a common skill - writing - and leverages
> distributed expertise. Neogeography relies on distributed (local,
> situated) understanding of the world but also a degree of technical
> capabilty that is not as well distributed.
> On 6/16/10, christopher.schmidt at nokia.com <christopher.schmidt at nokia.com>
> > On Jun 16, 2010, at 2:54 PM, ext Sean Gorman wrote:
> >> Very few of the people deployed to deal with a disaster - earthquake,
> >> spill, hurricane are developers.
> > Very few of the people deployed to deal with a disaster have
> > any way of dealing with GIS data, in my estimation. Are you
> > saying you feel otherwise?
> >> The presence of a well documented API is not particularly helpful to
> >> of the people responding.
> > No; it's helpful to making data available so that people
> > who know how to work with GIS data can turn it into something
> > that's actually useful.
> >> This is why when the World Bank wanted to provide open data in Haiti
> >> sent terabyte thumb-drives with the raw data available, so it could be
> >> opened in multiple applications and repurposed, or if they did not have
> >> applications there was an OpenLayers viewer for the data. You could get
> >> the data on-line or off-line. If I'm out setting up a boom in Gulf I'm
> >> probably not going to have Internet access.
> > And who built that viewer?
> >> I think what we should be debating is what is the right open data
> >> for disasters, not who knows ArcGIS server the best. I fully concede
> >> Chris will win this contest. If someone builds an AGS map that allows
> >> to download the data from it so I can use it off-line and in other
> >> applications - giddy up that is awesome. My concern is the default I
> >> in the field is an AGS "map service" that just gives me a picture. I
> >> don't find it terribly surprising that AGS has a query function for
> >> server. Bit embarrassed I missed the link for it, but does not change
> >> concern for the disaster responder trying to get data to do their job.
> >> disaster responder who will likely be without Internet, not know GIS,
> >> know Web development, and could greatly benefit from something better
> >> a paper map or a PNG/PDF.
> > What exactly do you want here?
> > There are multiple problems that need to be looked at,
> > and eventually solved, for this and future disasters.
> > 1. Data availability. All data gathered -- especially by
> > government organizations, but also by corporate entities,
> > if government is participating in recovery -- should be
> > made available to the public as quickly as is practical.
> > This type of task is the kind of thing that organizations --
> > governmental and otherwise -- are bad at. Publishing data,
> > and making people aware of it, are *hard* problems. (Ask
> > OSGeo, which has been bickering about Metadata for years.
> > Ask OAM, which died on the vine due to lack of love. Ask
> > anyone who has ever tried to create some kind of GIS data
> > catalog. I'm sure that some of the people in this discussion
> > understand this.)
> > Gathering data and providing it to the public should be a
> > high priority in all disaster scenarios.
> > 2. Data usability. Once data has been gathered and provided, 90%
> > of the target users can't do what they need to do with it.
> > Take the haiti example: over 7 terabytes of imagery were made
> > available to the public. There were very few people who were in
> > a position to consume that data successfully.
> > Sean argues that providing the raw data is useful to many users
> > here; given the number of hits that the WMS got, vs. the raw
> > source got, I personally doubt this pretty significantly. The
> > number of users accessing via a friendly web interface is going
> > to be orders of magnitude more useful than someone who is handed
> > a 100GB TIFF and told "Go to it."
> > The 'raw data' that got shipped to haiti was, in part, not 'raw';
> > there was (in one case) an offline-friendly cache of tiles instead.
> > (Taking big images and turning them into tiles is something you can't
> > do easily on a thumb drive.) There probably was some raw data, but
> > feedback I got indicated that raw data was not the most useful.
> > I would argue the most useful thing to do is to help people use their
> > data. Putting it in an ArcGIS server is actually a step forward in
> > this direction because it produces maps (that people can use or
> > cache) and provides *some* UI for doing queries. It's not a perfect
> > UI, but it's a lot better UI than you get from a shapefile sitting
> > on your disk.
> > 3. Data Evaluation + Derivation. In general, this is the part of the
> > puzzle that the 'general' community can help with, assuming #1 and #2
> > are solved. In the case of the Haiti earthquake, this role was played
> > by OpenStreetMap. This is the stage where non-experts may be able to
> > use published *and usable* data to create new sets of data.
> > OpenStreetMap users fell in love with WMS services during the Haiti
> > crisis. These WMS services were not providing raw data to users, but
> > were providing a processed data which could be used to help generate
> > useful
> > secondary datasets, especially in the form of GPS devices and other
> > mapping interfaces used by responders.
> > The WMS is "nothing more than a PDF" -- according to Sean -- but was
> > single most useful service to responders looking to help build a
> > collection
> > of data to help respond to the Haiti disaster.
> > Each of these steps is done by a different group of people. The first has
> > to be done by data collectors, government agencies, etc. -- people who
> > on the ground at the disaster site. (They can be amatuers, but must be
> > nearby to be effective.) Publishing the data from this is currently
> > difficult;
> > improving this is something that the open data community really needs to
> > improve if there is a serious goal of having people use these solutions.
> > http://haiticrisismap.org/layers.html
> > Is an example of #1 for Haiti.
> > #2 is something that experts need to step up to do. Whether they are GIS
> > experts working to build summaries and reports, technology/web experts
> > making easy to use UIs available (http://haiticrisismap.org/), or
> > experts at some other field -- thisi s the step where the raw data
> > is transformed into something that the people who need i most can use.
> > #3 is something that people are talking about here: getting crowdsourced
> > data generated by accomplishing #2. Once it's in OSM, or other similar
> > tools, this type of thing can grow quickly with an active community.
> > (I will say that the ability to save lives, as well as the quickly
> > high quality data, made the Haiti situation unique in this regard; the
> > motivation to help protect fishes, or even beaches, is lower than the
> > desire to help save *real people trapped in rubble.*)
> > Sean, I feel like you are saying that if #1 happens, #2 and #3 happen
> > magically. I've observed too many counter examples to believe that #2
> > gets done in a way that #3 will ever happen; the reason I stepped up
> > during the Haiti disaster was because I felt like there were a million
> > chickens running around with their heads cut off. Until the tools to
> > do what I personally did for Haiti are trivial for non-experts to use
> > and accomplish the same goals, this will simply not be the case.
> > #1 is hugely important. #2 is as well. For this disaster,
> > #1 is not being done well, nor is #2. But arguing that it's not being
> > done at all -- or that the fact that data is published is 'not good
> > enough' for some reason -- is just not fair to the people who are
> > putting at least some effort into getting some data published.
> > There is always room for improvement. That doesn't mean that discounting
> > efforts to try to do better is appropriate; we just need to show what
> > can be better, probably by example. The data behind these things --
> > such as it exists! -- appears to be at least available in part. Improving
> > the distribution of the data -- but more importantly, *doing #2 better*,
> > are the ideal way to show the world the way things really should be done.
> > All of this is in my opinion, of course. I'm usually wrong, but I
> > think that the end result of the efforts in mapping Haiti may show
> > that I'm not totally crazy.
> > Regards,
> > --
> > Christopher Schmidt
> > Nokia
> > _______________________________________________
> > Geowanking mailing list
> > Geowanking at geowanking.org
> > http://geowanking.org/mailman/listinfo/geowanking_geowanking.org
> Sent from my mobile device
> Eric B. Wolf New! 720-334-7734
> USGS Geographer
> Center of Excellence in GIScience
> PhD Student
> CU-Boulder - Geography
> GPG Public Key: http://www.h4h.net/ebwolf.public.key.txt
Sean P. Gorman PhD.
2200 Wilson Blvd. Suite 307
Arlington VA, 22201
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Geowanking