Is my metadata nice?

Jo Walsh blogs on mappinghacks.com about metadata, cataloguing standards, and the importance of just getting something out there which will be easy to read, use and develop upon. It got me thinking about some incentives to publish or “write stuff about stuff”, since no one writes metadata at all, at the moment.

Metadata as marketing?

“Why would someone else want to see this dataset?”

Within a context of sharing and community (perhaps I should use Architectures of Participation?) – and FOSS approaches to geodata encourages both of these – I can imagine it being like putting a description on a video that you have just uploaded to your video sharing site of choice. It should encourage feedback and commenting on data, such as “by the way, this is out of date now….see X” or… “I’ve used this dataset on my Website, here”. It would give two way feedback, instead of just publishing metadata, doing the painful duty, and forgetting about it.

However, what about the data that you have to release, but don’t care about sharing, or are not allowed to, or where sharing is a formality. Not all publishing of information is viewed as a positive thing? Perhaps all data would benefit from comments.

Foss4g2006, workshops, presentations & ideas

Taken a while to write something about FOSS4G conference, butI’ve been holidaying in Switzerland afterwards (more about that in a later post)

The poster and demo went reasonably well, except the “demo fest” was more of a “demo slumber” as not that many people came to it. Ideas for Tagger were generated however. In particular, making it more usable, adding new comparisons. For example, a user to know intuitively what to do, and seeing the comparisons of one set of perceptions vs another set. “Where do people think have the most crime” and “where do (another bunch of) people think has the worst air pollution”?.

Highlights include seeing Geotracing, which looks excellent, seeing Andrew Turner’s and Mikel Marons geoPress extension. Mikels presentation about Time for Time rang a bell for me. I would like to see something like Timeliner, but with maps. Openstreetmap had a workshop of a dozen people walking around Lausanne campus with GPS units. OSM was well received at the conference, many people see it as Dave M said its “Going to Rock the World”.

Meeting people of course was the main highlight, as was fondue, late night chats and beer. Very good to meet people from all over the world, Taiwan, Jamaica, the USA, and people from the Internet. Workshops were excellent. I attended the introduction to Grass workshop, and am now less intimidated by that software package. Other workshop  I went to was the ka-map workshop – It looked very powerful, very nice caching mechanism, with the usual lighting fast mapserver. Its layers/groups and easy to configure options are a big plus.

Some photos from the Castle Chillion social event can be found here, and the day trip to Gruyere here.