While cleaning up old emails I ended up on this scientific article named Metrics to Measure Open Geospatial Data Quality published last year by Jingfeng Xia. Data quality is a topic we discussed before.
From the conclusion: "Because of the uniqueness and complexity of geospatial data, quality control is always a challenge to data providers, managers, analysts and data service providers. Metrics developed to measure data quality need to reflect the nature of the data, and therefore must be diversely structured to handle maps, coordinates, attributes and other types of geospatial data. A list of dimensions with clear and accurate definitions will provide necessary standards for the measurement. When the practice of open access is also considered, several more layers of complexity are added and additional tasks are created to solve issues pertaining to web communication, data usability, data integrity and related issues. Both quantitative metrics based on objective measurement and qualitative metrics based on subjective measurement are essential to the quality control of geospatial data."
Via OpenWeatherMap I learned about the OpenMeteoData.org, that has the aim to make meteorological data available for everyone.
From the website: "
What is OpenMeteoData?
Who can use the data?
When will it be available?
Every frequent Slashgeo reader knows about OpenStreetMap, and now, the project reached another important milestone: 1 million OpenStreetMappers.
From the blog entry: "OpenStreetMap has just passed 1 million users! That's a million people who have signed up on openstreetmap.org to join in with creating a free map of the world. At first glance you may think that OpenStreetMap is a map. Those who know more will tell you that it's actually a database; a flexible editable repository of free geospatial data. But above all OpenStreetMap is a community. A massive community in which people like you and me come together collaborate and help build this thing... and now there's a million of us!"
To ease contributions even more, they also introduced the alpha version of the new OpenStreetMap editor, codenamed iD (screenshot below). And for its beauty, see the short animation on OpenStreetMap: A Year of Edits 2012.
Via James I learned that earlier this month was released Natural Earth v2.0.0. A quick reminder: "Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software." We mentioned this dataset in the past quite a few times.
From the 2.0.0 release notes: "The 2.0.0 release focuses on 7 major areas and is available to download today à la carte at NaturalEarthData. ZIP combo downloads of all vectors: SHP (279 mb) or SQLite (222 mb) or QuickStart kit for ArcMap and QGIS (165 mb). [What's new:]
Many of us probably deal with a lot of geodata that significantly evolve over time, the need for geodata versioning mechanisms is clearly a major one in many sectors. About a year ago we mentioned OpenGeo's GeoGit project, and now OpenGeo shared their vision for distributed versioning of geospatial data. This is important stuff.
In addition to this intro, here's the 3-part series:
From their introduction: "As opposed to spatial data being be locked-up in a single machine or database, we see a future where it could live in a collaborative infrastructure that can track data’s origin and evolution, much like source code. [...] A distributed version control model can better address such problems as collaborating between users or organization, maintaining authoritative data, and enabling offline, low-bandwidth, or intermittent connectivity."
A colleague informed me of the new Open Access 'Geoscience Data Journal', specifically for describing geospatial datasets.
From their aims and scope: "Geoscience Data Journal provides an Open Access platform where scientific data can be formally published, in a way that includes scientific peer-review. Thus the dataset creator attains full credit for their efforts, while also improving the scientific record, providing version control for the community and allowing major datasets to be fully described, cited and discovered. An online-only journal, GDJ publishes short data papers cross-linked to – and citing – datasets that have been deposited in approved data centres and awarded DOIs."
Their content description: "A data article describes a dataset, giving details of its collection, processing, file formats etc., but does not go into detail of any scientific analysis of the dataset or draw conclusions from that data. The data paper should allow the reader to understand the when, why and how the data was collected, and what the data is."
Modelling our world in 3D gets more and more important within the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project. There are several people in the community trying to push forward this development. A major problem is that OSM was not really designed for complex 3D modelling. The node/way/relation + tags based data model does not allow for complicated 3D modelling. Therefore, the community agreed to make use of external repositories containing more complex data which can be linked to OSM.
OpenBuildingModels is such a repository for complex architectural 3D building models. It is free-to-use and aims to improve crowdsourced 3D city models. Anyone can up- or download the models. They can be referenced in OSM and appear on the OSM-3D globe. A first beta version of the web platform is now online and models can be uploaded.
It's Slashdot that discussed the bad news about Canada Post Files Copyright Lawsuit Over Crowd-sourced Postal Code Database.
Their summary: "Canada Post has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Geolytica, which operates GeoCoder.ca, a website that provides several geocoding services including free access to a crowd-sourced, compiled database of Canadian postal codes. Canada Post argues that it is the exclusive copyright holder of all Canadian postal codes and claims that GeoCoder appropriated the database and made unauthorized reproductions. GeoCoder compiled the postal code database by using crowdsourcing techniques, without any reliance on Canada Post's database, and argues that there can be no copyright on postal codes and thus no infringement (PDF)."
It's not the first time we discuss postal codes data. In 2006, we mentioned the PAGC open source project that geocodes postal addresses. And since 2005 we heard of the global postal codes product from NACGeo, but to my knowledge, it was never really used by anyone (I am wrong?). In 2009 there was news of the U.K. opening up their postal code database.
That's the name of a recent O'Reilly article, Visualization deconstructed: Why animated geospatial data works.
From the article: "Sebastien shared a great quote, attributed to Paul Butler, which read: "Visualizing data is like photography. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you manipulate the lens used to present the data from a certain angle." [...] Central to the impact and effectiveness of these designs is the simple animation of the data over time. Some exist with just a play/pause button; others have more interactive options to control the speed, flow and progress of the timeline. For the viewer, there is palpable excitement when anticipating how the patterns will evolve; when the data spread will increase or decline; when the data activity will speed up or slow down; and when it will pop up in new, previously uncharted territories."
This announcement may be interesting to the geonews community. Earth Cube is a very ambitious initiative. I did not see Open Source considerations explicitly mentioned. Some experts should review the announcement and develop the story for presentation on slashgeo ---Dale
From: National Science Foundation Update <[email protected]>
Date: Sep, Thu 29 2011 10:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Earth Cube Guidance for the Community
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[Editor's note: to provide a bit more context, here's a snippet of the pdf:
"EarthCube will be the transformative vehicle to address the scientific drivers in the GEO Vision document: 1) Understanding and forecasting the behavior of a complex and evolving Earth system; 2) Reducing vulnerability and sustaining life; and 3) Growing the geosciences workforce of the future. EarthCube is inspired by the vision of a national cyberinfrastructure in CIF21."]