[geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module

Andy Turner A.G.D.Turner at leeds.ac.uk
Fri Apr 29 20:18:31 UTC 2011

Hi Mikel,

The module is shaping up to cover a lot of ground and different approaches to geography. If it was down to me, the digital learning resources we develop would be open access, but it's not, so we'll have to see how it works out. I'll do my best to argue for greater openness and try my best to keep my work in the open.

It would be good to be more active in responding to crises, but maybe this comes later...

OSM is great, and I'm very keen to get the students using and learning how to develop it.

OSM is not the be all and end all though, it focuses on the current physical socio-economic infrastructure and that is only part of the picture that these geographers are interested in. I want OM and I see OSM moving that way...

Wikimapia allows for a lot of information to be added to a collaboratively developed map and that is both interesting and useful. The interface is quite nice, but I appreciate it has drawbacks and the one you point out is quite major. Still, it is something I want to expose and get the students using, likewise Google Map Maker. I'd like to have something like this, maybe based on Ordnance Survey data that allows us to develop data that would be really open...

It is key to be able to link to information about non-physical things on a map for many types of geography. We can do that with layers and indeed get the students developing and sharing GIS type data that links to details on resources like wikipedia...



From: Mikel Maron [mikel_maron at yahoo.com]
Sent: 29 April 2011 15:56
To: Andy Turner; geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module

Hi Andy

Nice. Just quickly...

--- Curriculum is something I'm very interested in, and others in OpenStreetMap, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, GroundTruth Initiative/Map Kibera are also interested in.
--- Crisis Mapping classes in the US (Tufts, John Carroll, Columbia) have incorporated OSM. Tufts is using OSM quite a bit in research projects in GIS. Probably many others as well. In France, academic connections are being built through HOT. UCL has done a great deal of research.
--- Possibly the right time to start thinking about an OSM academic research network.
--- There are local awesome OSM folks in Leeds.
--- Wikimapia is closed data, and deriving from Google; proceed with caution.


== Mikel Maron ==
+14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

From: Andy Turner <A.G.D.Turner at leeds.ac.uk>
To: "geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org" <geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org>
Sent: Thu, April 28, 2011 1:15:48 PM
Subject: [geo-discuss] Hello and request for advice w.r.t developing open geo-data as part of an undergraduate degree course geography module


I'm a researcher based at the University of Leeds. I expect some of us have met :) Anyway, I've just joined this list as I think it is a good one to perhaps field a question I have. Sorry not to have joined the list sooner.

I'm working with a small team to develop a proposal for a new module for an undergraduate level 1 module in geography to be run at the University of Leeds from October. The focus and proposed title for the module is "Leeds: From local to global". The idea is to focus some teaching and learning (and research and data development) about our local region (and introspectively mapping out how the University of Leeds collaborates/collaborated with other organisations around the world).

I have interested David Bell, the Director of Learning and Teaching, (who is leading the development of the module) in developing open data and linked data and geo-data in particular. The plan is for something like 50-100 students to take the module and learn about the different types of data that exist and then actively contribute to developing maps.

So we're still in the planning stage and I'm after some advice.

I want us to get the students and staff engaging more in creating their own open web content and contributing more to collective efforts like OpenStreetMap, Wikimapia and Wikipedia. I'm also keen to somehow be able to show what we have added collectively and hopefully show our contributions blossoming and developing year on year. I'd like us to have a lovely map of Leeds through time that can be merged with other maps through time in a virtual world based on reality.

We are keen to work with Ordnance Survey and our Local Authority and local organisations (especially those developing open data).

Should we be thinking about maintaining our own wiki's be they map based or otherwise.

I want some comparisons happening with all the data we have available including comparisons with more open commercial data like Google/Bing/Yahoo maps and especially from things like Google Map Maker and similar.

Do you have any advice?

Thanks in advance,


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