[open-geodata] We need more actions in the open geodata movement

Maurizio Napolitano maurizio.napolitano at okfn.org
Tue Jul 19 19:59:38 UTC 2011

Thanks a lot for this email!
What you write is great!

Il 07/19/2011 02:54 PM, Lance McKee ha scritto:
> Mauritzio
> re:
>> I believe that the geo topic is very important and needs more actions so
>> we can have more open geo data.
> Yes!
> Open geospatial data depends ultimately on diverse systems being able to
> publish, discover, assess, access and use geographic information of
> diverse types. See the work of the hydrology and oceans/meteorology
> domain working groups (http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/wg)
> in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) to see how this is evolving in
> science. See Mike Jackson's comments below regarding open geospatial
> data in other domains.
> Yesterday I sent Jenny Molloy "18 Reasons for Open Publication of
> Geoscience Data" (see below).
> There's a lot of exciting work being done on this topic, and much more
> remains to be done. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) is
> beginning to look at geospatial as an important aspect of
> cyberinfrastructure
> (http://www.vector1media.com/spatialsustain/nsf-anticipates-16m-in-increased-funding-for-geo-cyberinfrastructure.html).
> Computer-mediated collection, exploration and analysis of geospatial
> data will become increasing important, and open data, for reasons
> outlined below, will be a necessary part of this. As in the non-geo
> neighborhoods of open science, progress depens on redesigning
> institutions, incentives, practices, business models and habits of mind
> that are artifacts of the pre-digital era.
> Thanks.
> Lance
> Lance McKee
> Senior Staff Writer
> Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
> +1 508-752-0108
> lmckee at opengeospatial.org <mailto:lmckee at opengeospatial.org>
> The OGC: Making location count.
> http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact
> 18 Reasons for Open Publication of Geoscience Data
> By Lance McKee
> Senior Staff Writer
> Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
> lancemckee at opengeospatial.org <mailto:lancemckee at opengeospatial.org>
> Despite rapid advances in technical capabilities for data sharing, much
> of the data collected by Earth scientists (other than data from civil
> agencies'’ satellite-borne imaging systems) is not easily available to
> other scientists. There are at least 18 reasons for making Earth
> location-referenced data discoverable, assessable, accessible and widely
> usable:
> Reason 1: Data transparency
> Science demands transparency regarding data collection methods, data
> semantics and processing methods. Data – and scientific rigor -- need to
> be documented! Subtending to this reason is another reason:
> cross-checking between data collections for sensor accuracy.
> Reason 2: Verifiability
> Science demands verifiability. Any competent person should be able to
> examine a researcher’s data to see if those data support the
> researcher’s conclusions.
> Reason 3: Useful unification of observations
> Being able to characterize, in a standardized human-readable and
> machine-readable way, the parameters of sensors, sensor systems and
> sensor-integrated processing chains (including human interventions)
> enables useful unification of many kinds of observations, including
> those that yield a term rather than a number.
> Reason 4: Cross-disciplinary studies
> Diverse data sets with well-documented data models or application
> schemas can be shared among diverse information communities. An
> information community is a group of people, such as a discipline or
> profession, who share a common geospatial feature data dictionary,
> including definitions of feature relationships, and a common metadata
> schema. Cross-disciplinary data sharing provides improved opportunities
> for cross-disciplinary studies.
> Reason 5: Longitudinal studies
> Archiving, publishing and preserving well-documented data yields
> improved opportunities for longitudinal studies. As data formats, data
> structures, and data models evolve, scientists will need to access
> historical data and understand the assumptions so that meaningful
> scientific comparisons can be conducted. Community standards will help
> ensure long-term consistency of data representation. (Subtending to this
> reason is another reason: support for study and advancement of
> scientific ontologies.)
> Reason 6: Re-use
> Open data enables scientists to re-use or repurpose data for new
> investigations, reducing redundant data collection and enabling science
> to be done more efficiently.
> Reason 7: Planning
> Open data policies enable collaborative planning of data collection and
> publishing efforts to serve multiple defined and yet-to-be-defined uses.
> Reason 8: Return on investment
> With open data policies, institutions and society overall will see
> greater return on their investment in research, most directly because of
> reasons 6, 7 and 17, but perhaps most significantly because of reason 15.
> Reason 9: Due diligence
> Open data policies will help research funding institutions perform due
> diligence and policy development because it will be easier to review
> researchers’ and research programs’ past performance with respect to
> data quality and metadata quality.
> Reason 10: Maximizing value
> The value of data increases with the number of potential users. This
> benefits science in a general way. It also creates opportunities for
> businesses that will collect, curate (document, archive, host, catalog,
> publish), and add value to data. (Similar to Metcalf’s law: “The value
> of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square” [or, some
> would say, some positive exponent not always 2] “of the number of
> connected users of the system.”)
> Reason 11: Data discoverability
> Open data is discoverable data. Data are not efficiently discovered
> through literature searches or conventional search engines. Data
> registered in online Web service based catalogs using ISO-standard
> XML-encoded metadata and using services that implement Open Geospatial
> Consortium standards enable efficient and fine-grained searches.
> Reason 12: Data exploration
> Robust data descriptions and quick access to data will enable more
> frequent and rapid exploration of data – “natural experiments
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_experiment)” – to explore
> hypothetical spatial relationships and to discover unexpected spatial
> relationships.
> Reason 13: Data fusion
> Open data improves the ability to "fuse" in-situ measurements with data
> from scanning sensors. This bridges the divide between communities using
> unmediated raw spatial-temporal data and communities using
> spatial-temporal data that is the result of a complex processing chain.
> Reason 14: Service chaining
> Open data (and open online processing services) will improve scientists’
> ability to "chain" Web services for data reduction, analysis and modeling.
> Reason 15: Pace of science
> Open data enables an accelerated pace of scientific discovery, as
> automation and improved institutional arrangements give researchers more
> time for field work, study and communication.
> Reason 16: Citizen science and outreach
> Open science will help Science win the hearts and minds of the
> non-scientific public, because it will make science more believable and
> it will help engage amateur scientists – citizen scientists – who
> contribute to science and help promote science. It will also increase
> the quality and quantity of amateur scientists’ contributions.
> Reason 17: Forward compatibility
> Open Science improves the ability to adopt and utilize new/better data
> storage, format, discovery, and transmission technologies as they become
> available.
> Reason 18: Timely intervention
> “Changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years now take three, one
> reason we need real-time science. ... Governances must be able to see
> and act upon key intervention points.”
> See:
> • Part One: 18 Reasons for Open Publication of Geoscience Data. By Lance
> McKee, posted on August 4th, 2010.
> http://www.earthzine.org/2010/08/04/18-reasons-for-open-publication-of-geoscience-data/
> • Part Two: Geospatial Standards: Opening Up the Geosciences. By Lance
> McKee, posted on February 2nd, 2011
> http://www.earthzine.org/2011/02/02/geospatial-standards-opening-up-the-geosciences/
> • Part Three: Standards Enable Open Geoscience Opportunities. By Lance
> McKee, posted on March 30th, 2011
> http://www.earthzine.org/2011/03/30/standards-enable-open-geoscience-opportunities/

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