Sunday, 30 March 2014

... now HOW open is open?

A lot of (virtual) ink has flowed around opening up data, as in this blog, GISuser crowdsourcing open data (below left) etc. etc. And everyone is getting into the act, from White House (below center) and Whitehall (UK Cabinet Office) to the number of open data hits (below right).

click image to enlarge

In his blog GeoHipster co-authored with Glenn Latham, Atanas Entchev teased out of Andrew Turner how Esri see openness - they support it for sure but from their own business perspective - they are providing countless tools, say, on arcgis.com, github, Java and OpenStreetMap, but it's still for Esri services.

click image to enlarge (highlight mine) or go to web log here


So to show a web that is truly open as Volunteer Geographic Information, I end up serving up free data on giscloud.com or AWS via Geocloud2 stack - see this blog and my companion catalogue for examples - note that this is distinct from posting data on Google Earth & Fusion Tables,  ShareGeo or arcgis.com.
Google's Ed Parsons quipped: "uploading data is so, yesterday."

But wait! All is not clear sailing to re-post public maps either... Often you can freely access them, but can you add them to your web app?
  • The National Scottish Library posts historic Ordnance Survey data in a cool Google map index - at various scales and vintages for search and download - but how can I add them to my AWS?   

click image to enlarge or go to web map here

  • The British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies put a lot of work to geo-rectify, clean up, collate and make available geo-historic data for London - crime, disease, population etc. can be searched, tabulated and mapped beautifully - you can export tables but again, how can I add it to AWS?

click image to enlarge or go to web page here 

However wonderful these maps are, they isolated too... And  while Google and Esri profess faith in an open web - they are joined for example in globalforestwatch.org -  #freeandopen means different things to different people. This blog and its companion catalog are dedicated to truly opening up web mapping.

click image to enlarge of go to web log here