Tag Archive | Openness and Standards

Webinar on Geospatial Privacy

Geospatial Privacy: Why You Should Know About it and How it Can be Handled

  • English Webinar: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 – 1:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)
  • French Webinar: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – 1:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)

Webinar Overview
The GeoConnections Program invites you to learn about and discuss emerging issues in geospatial privacy and how these issues can be handled. GeoConnections has conducted a number of studies and supported the development of guidelines related to geospatial privacy. This webinar session will introduce Geospatial Privacy Awareness and Risk Management – Guide for Federal Agencies, a March 2010 guideline that was created to be widely applicable to not only the federal public sector but other levels of government, the private sector, the academic sector, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. In addition, you will learn about other recent GeoConnections work on this topic, including:

  • International Comparative Analysis of Geospatial Information Privacy, March 2010 – an overview of how other leading nations in the implementation of spatial data infrastructure are dealing with geospatial privacy issues
  • Research Related to Privacy and the Use of Geospatial Information, November 2009 – the results of public opinion research in Canada related to the implications of geospatial privacy
  • A Manager’s Guide to Public Health Geomatics , February 2010 – overview of privacy issues in public health geomatics
  • Anonymizing Geospatial Data, 2010 – introduction to web-based tools for anonymizing geospatial data (i.e., preventing the identification of individuals)
  • Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure Operational Policies Needs Analysis – Privacy, March 2011 – results of the recent analysis of the need for operational policy instruments in this area

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) will also speak about their work related to geospatial privacy…. If you would like to participate, please click here to register for this webinar. If you would like more information, please contact Kim Stephens by e-mail at kims [at] hickling [dot] ca, or by telephone at 613-237-2220, ext. 205.

Former FGDC Executive Director on Mapping and the Spatial Data Infrastructure

Mapping and Spatial Data: Infrastructures and Imagination

by John Moeller, Communia Blog,, Woodrow Wilson Center Science and Technology Program, September 6, 2011

“Cartographers, imagery analysts, geographic information system GIS specialists and others who work with maps and geospatial information operate on the premise that location or place is the most effective organizing principal for bringing together information and making it understandable for use. Others outside of the geospatial community are also increasingly recognizing that “where” is the most common integrating element of almost all data and information. In May 2011 the U.S. Congressional Research Service released a Report that highlighted the challenges to coordinating how geospatial data are acquired and used at the local, state, and federal levels, in collaboration with the private sector. The Report concluded that the issues of coordination are not yet resolved and that it will likely take some time, and several budget cycles, to evaluate whether the current model of geospatial data management is the best available model for managing the federal geospatial assets. …”

For full text of the article, visit Communia Mapping and Spatial Data.

UN establishes expert geospatial information group

Thank you to the Res Communis blog for the heads up:

GeoConnexion, 16 August 2011

UN establishes expert geospatial information groupThe United Nations Economic and Social Council ECOSOC made history earlier this month in Geneva by establishing a new intergovernmental body to address an emerging global issue. The UN Committee on Global Geospatial Information Management would bring together, for the first time at the global level, government experts from all member states to consult on the rapidly changing field of geospatial information.At a time when few new intergovernmental bodies are being created, this decision reflected ECOSOC’s concern for promoting greater and wider use of geospatial information globally for sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.

via UN establishes expert geospatial information group – Geo: International.

Agriculture pulls all GIS maps into a single portal – Nextgov

By Joseph Marks, Nextgov, August 17, 2011

A new Web portal being put together by the Agriculture Department aims to reduce duplication in the agency’s mapping work and make high-quality maps more accessible to the public.More than half the department’s 29 divisions are involved in geospatial work, Geospatial Information Officer Stephen Lowe said, either mashing satellite and aerial imagery with survey data or on-the-ground research about crop yields, ground chemicals or farm subsidies, or using other divisions’ maps in their own research and programs.USDA-produced maps and images generally are available to the public for free or for a nominal fee, and frequently crop up in paid data services and even in Google Maps, he said. …

via Agriculture pulls all GIS maps into a single portal – Nextgov.

Outgoing federal CIO warns of ‘an IT cartel’ – Computerworld

en:Vivek Kundra Headshot

Image via Wikipedia

By Patrick Thibodeau, Computer World, July 18, 2011

WASHINGTON – In a wide-ranging discussion Friday with President Barack Obama’s top science advisors, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra warned of the dangers of open data access and complained of “an IT cartel” of vendors. … Kundra, who is leaving his job in mid-August, offered a kaleidoscopic view of his concerns about federal IT in an appearance before President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In particular, Kundra is worried about the “mosaic effect,” the unintended consequence of government data sharing, where data sets are combined and layered in ways that can strip away privacy and pose security threats.

For full text of article, visit Outgoing federal CIO warns of ‘an IT cartel’ – Computerworld.

Advancing the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles

by Helen Wood, Co-chair, Data Sharing Task Force, GEO News, Issue #15, July 20, 2011

The “GEOSS Data Sharing Action Plan” that was accepted last November by the GEO-VII Plenary and incorporated into the “Beijing Declaration” calls for the creation of the GEOSS Data Collection of Open Resources for Everyone. This emerging GEOSS Data-CORE is a distributed pool of documented datasets with full, open and unrestricted access at no more than the cost of reproduction and distribution. … The GEO Data Sharing Task Force (DSTF) has been tasked to identify the maximum possible datasets that qualify for the Data CORE and whose providers agree to make it available through GEOSS. …

The Task Force conducted a review of legal options for the exchange of data and developed a detailed document addressing legal options for the exchange of data, metadata, and products through the GEOSS Data-CORE.The review noted that the “legal interoperability” of data made available through the GEOSS Data-CORE is essential for the effective sharing of data in GEOSS. Legal interoperability for data means that the legal rights, terms, and conditions of databases provided by two or more sources are compatible and that the data may be combined by any user without compromising the legal rights of any of the data sources used. … The paper identifies an initial set of common-use licenses that meet all of the GEOSS Data-CORE conditions of access and unrestricted re-use of data. …

For full text of the article, visit GEO – Group on Earth Observations | GEO News issue #15 – article.

FGDC endorses the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard — Federal Geographic Data Committee

Logo of the Federal Geographic Data Committee.

Image via Wikipedia

June 2011

Recently the Steering Committee of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) endorsed the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark and Postal Address Data Standard. The United States Thoroughfare, Landmark and Postal Address Data Standard is the culmination of efforts of the Address Standard Working Group (ASWG) formed by the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) in 2005, when the FGDC accepted a proposal submitted by URISA to create a Street Address Data Standard. The ASWG worked under the authority of the U.S. Census Bureau, which chairs the FGDC Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data (SCDD). The U.S. Census Bureau is the maintenance authority for the standard.

The United States Thoroughfare, Landmark and Postal Address Data Standard contains four parts: address data content, classification, transfer, and quality. The Standard covers each of the main types of addresses found in the United States, and provides a framework for classifying them, understanding their component parts and attributes, testing their quality, and organizing them for exchange with other agencies and the public. …

For full text of the article see FGDC endorses the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard — Federal Geographic Data Committee.

U.S. GAO – Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies

Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies, GAO-11-377 April 20, 2011

Summary: The federal government manages about 650 million acres, or 29 percent, of the 2.27 billion acres of U.S. land. Four land management agencies–the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service (NPS) in the Department of the Interior (Interior) and the Forest Service, in the Department of Agriculture–manage about 95 percent of these federal acres. Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) manages another 1 percent of these acres and focuses on water projects. The five agencies collect certain data to help manage these federal lands. GAO was asked to review whether the five agencies collect certain federal land and resource data (referred to as data elements), how these data elements are stored, and their potential reliability. GAO included over 100 data elements at each agency in its analysis that can be categorized as information on (1) federal land and the resources the five agencies manage, (2) revenues generated from selected activities on these lands, and (3) federal land subject to selected land use designations. GAO assessed the potential reliability of data elements collected by the agencies generally for fiscal years 1996 through 2009 based on a survey of agency officials and a review of available audits and evaluations. GAO did not collect data for each data element. GAO is making no recommendations in this report.

Read More…

GIScience Grand Challenges

GIScience Grand Challenges: How can research and technology in this field address big-picture problems?

by Michael Gould, Director of Educational Industry Solutions, ESRI

To a GIS practitioner, the distinction between GIS and GIScience may be difficult to get a handle on. Geographic information science is a term coined in a 1992 paper in the International Journal of Geographic Information Systems by University of California, Santa Barbara, professor Michael Goodchild. The idea actually came from his 1990 keynote speech called Spatial Information Science, delivered at the 4th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling in Zurich, Switzerland.

I attended that symposium, and I recall some skepticism in the audience: were we witnessing an attempt to turn something methodological into a science merely to build our credibility in the eyes of funding agencies? Some remarked that fields that find the need to add the qualifier “science” to their name (political science, computer science) are by definition not legitimate sciences. But semantics aside, Goodchild’s basic argument that “GIS needs a strong scientific and intellectual component” (or else the technology might be short-lived) was generally accepted. The GIScience term stuck, and almost two decades later, many university graduate programs now focus on GIScience rather than on GIS.

University at Buffalo professor David Mark defined GIScience in 2003 as “the development and use of theories, methods, technology, and data for understanding geographic processes, relationships, and patterns.” Practitioners can think of GIScience as the key foundational ideas (which become algorithms and then code) that make GIS software tick. In many cases, GIS software has become a test bed or sandbox for validating GIScience ideas.

For full text of the article, via GIScience Grand Challenges – ESRI.com.

Also, check out an earlier post on grand challenges from UCGIS members:

Grand Challenges in Geospatial Science Research

Digital Mappers Plot the Future of Maptivism

by Nancy Scola, Tech President, June 3, 2011 – 4:35pm

Every time something happens in the world these days, somebody makes a map about it.We saw it with last January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, the rollout of the U.S.’s long-awaited National Broadband Map in February, the personalized maps that accompanied April’s iPhone tracking story. We see it every election. And with the increasing availability of free and open-source or simply cheap mapping tools, and the growing footprint of the open data movement, democratized mapping is likely only getting started. …

via Digital Mappers Plot the Future of Maptivism | techPresident.

%d bloggers like this: