Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A tale of two approaches

Continuing on my "tale of two" series - conferences, cities and systems - here are current affairs promised in my previous blog. Two events displayed contrasting approaches in finding novel ways to solve old problems.

UK Ordnance Survey promoted the Geovation Awards, to use their own words:
where innovative thinkers and geographic data can get together for the benefit of developers, entrepreneurs, website owners, end users and the wider community...ncouraging and supporting innovation for social, economic and environmental benefit through the use of Geography

An impressive array of submittals was just short listed here [note - we're not there]. Is that not a form of crowd-sourcing of ideas, to ask for all and pick the brightest? In the true British tradition of reality shows, this is a democratisation of media in addition to the internet!

Eight time zones over was the GeoDesign Summit, a gathering of industry and academia seeking to merge GIS and design process. Industry covered it well in tweets and blogs like Adena Schutzberg, James Fee and Matt Ball. The tenor of discussions is: how can one conflate what a variety of professions have done for years but not in unison? What I did not see from afar, is current work by OGC 3DIM working group for idoor location and floor plans metadata standards.

Does the complexity of the issues or approaches preclude the inclusion of standards and metadata in the beginning? I see this as a missed opportunity to have them included at the grass-roots or ground-floor. Might this not reflect, also, how often GIS come in late in the game of industry projects [at least in my professional arena]?

In other words, must we not collectivley find better ways to articulate all things geospatial to our peers? Professional organisations such as GITA do a sterling job in infrastrucutre... Perhaps the fresh new voices of Geovation and those found on the internet will lead us to, as Ed Parsons reminded us at BCS GSG, "organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".