Abstract: The Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) provides access to authoritative geographic datasets of Canada, which are the source of accurate and reliable data. The process of acquiring, updating and maintaining such datasets using traditional approaches, requires both time and costly resources. As a result, in many cases the datasets are out of date because of the high cost of maintenance. An alternative approach to reliably create and update authoritative datasets is linked to its integration with Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). VGI provides a vast source of spatial information to government, industry and citizens. However, the integration of VGI with CGDI generates several questions, with VGI quality and legal issues at the forefront.
This research has investigated methods for assessing the quality of VGI, and describes the importance of a link between VGI and legal liability in the need for integration of VGI with CGDI. This research developed a prototype to validate data quality and examined legal liability issues around VGI to discover a strategy for possible integration of VGI with CGDI datasets. The research also provides four primary risk management techniques for CGDI to manage risks resulted from incorporating VGI into their datasets.
by Emily Badger, The Atlantic, March 14, 2013
OpenStreetMap is a marvel of modern crowdsourcing. Since its creation in 2004, DIY cartographers – typically armed with GPS devices or satellite photography – have been slowly mapping the world’s road networks and landmarks to create a free alternative to proprietary geographic data that can then support tools like trip planners. The process, which began in the U.K., is painstaking and piecemeal, and nearly a decade into it, more than a million people have contributed a sliver of road here or a surveyed cul-de-sac there. …
For full text of this article, visit Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap – Emily Badger – The Atlantic Cities.
Also check out the great work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.
- Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team: Saving Lives Through Maps (mollweide.wordpress.com)
- Apple, Google, Facebook, and OpenStreetMap: The top 5 changes to expect from maps in 2013 (venturebeat.com)
- How to replace Google Maps with OpenStreet Maps in your BlackBerry 10 Android App (devblog.blackberry.com)
By Professional Survey Magazine, The Political Surveyor: Mobile Mapping and the MAP-21 Act, January 2013
When Congress passed and President Obama signed the MAP-21 Act in July of 2012, mobile mapping may have been given a big green light. On July 6, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4348 that became Public Law 112-141. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century act included provisions reauthorizing the nation’s highway program for two fiscal years, providing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in demand for geospatial data, activities, and requirements.
For full text of this article, visit Mobile Mapping and the MAP-21 Act.
In the past few years, the map has transformed from a static, stylized portrait of the Earth to a dynamic, interactive conversation. (An extended version of an interview from the January/February 2013 issue.) The entire concept of a “map” seems radically different from even a decade ago. It used to be something in a book or on a wall; now it’s something you carry around on your smartphone. Which changes have mattered most? And what further changes should we be ready for? James Fallows interview’s Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal.
For the full text of the article, visit Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal – James Fallows – The Atlantic.
- The Google Maps of the Future Sounds Useful but Creepy (theatlanticwire.com)
Geospatial InformationGAO-13-94, Nov 26, 2012
What GAO Found
While the President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have established policies and procedures for coordinating investments in geospatial data, governmentwide committees and federal departments and agencies have not effectively implemented them. The committee that was established to promote the coordination of geospatial data nationwide–the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)–has developed and endorsed key standards– including a metadata standard that includes descriptive information about a particular set of geospatial data–and established a clearinghouse of metadata; however, the clearinghouse is not being used by agencies to identify planned geospatial investments to promote coordination and reduce duplication. The FGDC has not yet planned or implemented an approach to manage geospatial data as related groups of investments to allow agencies to more effectively plan geospatial data collection efforts and minimize duplicative investments; and its strategic plan is missing key elements, such as performance measures for many of its defined objectives. Further, none of the three federal departments in GAO’s review have fully implemented important activities for coordinating geospatial data, such as preparing and implementing a strategy for advancing geospatial activities within their respective departments.
by Jennifer Chan, US News and World Report, Op-Eds, November 23, 2012
Dr. Jennifer Chan, a Public Voices fellow at the OpEd Project, is the director of Global Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an associate faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
In the wake of Sandy’s destruction, digital volunteers mobilized again. From their homes and offices, using iPads and laptops, hundreds of volunteers crowd-sourced information and took on microtasks to help FEMA and other agencies process large swaths of information and speed humanitarian response.
For instance, in the first 48 hours after the hurricane, 381 aerial photos collected by the Civil Air Patrol were viewed by hundreds of volunteers, with the goal of quickly giving an overview of the extent of storm and flood damage. This project was called the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap MapMill project. In response to a request from FEMA, project developer Schuyler Erle volunteered to launch and lead the project. By mid-afternoon November 2nd, more than 3,000 volunteers had assessed 5,131 images, viewing them more than 12,000 times. Just a week later, more than 24,000 images had been assessed. Each view from a digital volunteer—a mother, a researcher, a friend, a colleague—helped FEMA determine the degree of damage along the eastern seaboard, assessing the condition of buildings, roads, and houses, with the aim of helping the agency in its post-disaster recovery and planning. That’s an amazing effort.
But did it actually help?
For full text of the op-ed, visit How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better – US News and World Report.
- How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better (usnews.com)
- Crowdsourcing the Evaluation of Post-Sandy Building Damage Using Aerial Imagery (irevolution.net)
Science is increasingly driven by data, and spatial data underpin the science directions laid out in the 2007 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Strategy. A robust framework of spatial data, metadata, tools, and a user community that is interactively connected to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way–known as a spatial data infrastructure (SDI)–must be available for scientists and managers to find, use, and share spatial data both within and beyond the USGS. Over the last decade, the USGS has conducted breakthrough research that has overcome some of the challenges associated with implementing a large SDI. This report is intended to ground those efforts by providing a practical roadmap to full implementation of an SDI to enable the USGS to conduct strategic science.
For a PDF copy of the National Academies of Science / National Research Council Mapping Science Committee’s Report, visit: Advancing Strategic Science: A Spatial Data Infrastructure Roadmap for the US Geological Survey
- Spatial Data Infrastructures, Crowdsourcing and VGI (povesham.wordpress.com)
- Science Reference: National Geologic Map Database Gets a Face Lift (infodocket.com)
by Stuart Kent, New Security Beat, Woodrow Wilson Center, May 28, 2012
“In Africa, groundwater is the major source of drinking water and its use for irrigation is forecast to increase substantially to combat growing food insecurity,” yet, a lack of quantitative data has meant that “groundwater storage is consequently omitted from assessments of freshwater availability,” according to new research in Environmental Research Letters. The authors of “Quantitative Maps of Groundwater Resources in Africa,” Alan Macdonald, Helen Bonsor, and Brighid Dochartaigh of the British Geological Survey, and Richard Taylor of University College London, used estimates compiled from geologic data and 283 aquifer summaries from 152 different publications to quantitatively visualize, for the first time, the extent of Africa’s groundwater resources. …
For full of text, please visit New Security Beat: Eye On: Full Extent of Africa’s Groundwater Resources Visualized for the First Time.
- ‘Huge’ water resource in Africa (bbc.co.uk)
- WATCH: Groundwater Mapping Could Help Improve Access To Water (huffingtonpost.com)