GRADE Project at EDINA

I have been involved in a project at EDINA (funded by JISC) concerning the scoping of geospatial data repositories (GRADE). Scoping is the central aim here and the project is combining expertise in copyright, digitial repositories and catalogueing. I have been asked to input at an early stage through the provision of “use-case” examples in the application of geospatial data. These will be used as a “test-bed” from which more general working models can be developed in data usage.

The meeting this week brought all the project members together. A full on day where I was able to present the initial results from my report. Expect to see some interesting results over the next 19 months!

NEXTMap for NERC Science

An excellent meeting at the British Geological Survey exploring the use of Intermap’s NEXTMap DEM product of the UK. A very interesting selection of topics on data quality and usage from a whole variety of environmental/earth science applications. Any NERC grant holders (including ARSF) should note that NEXTMap is freely available for use within funded projects.

I was presenting a talk similar to one given earlier in the summer at a conference in Aberystwyth (Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Productson)on DEM data quality (in comparison to detailed field mapping). This presentation was more focused on NEXTMap, illustrating the problems of scale dependence in the use of DEMs and how data products must match the specifications of a project.

Representatives from Intermap were present (including the UK’s new director, Mark Stanley) and provided context sensitive comments to specific queries, whilst taking a (large!) ream of comments back to HQ.

Society of Cartographers

I was speaking in the last session at the Society of Cartographers Annual Summer School (Cambridge) this week. Sadly I couldn’t make other days in the conference, however there appeared to be a wide variety of interesting talks. I was talking about open access journal publication (in my capacity as editor of the Journal of Maps) and, in particular, copyright issues related to the publication of original and third party data.

It is a shame that I was unable to attend the sessions on Tuesday where, amongst others, Ed Parsons (CTO, OS) and Jo Walsh (OpenGeodata) were speaking. Clearly this debate is continuing (click through to their blogs!). At the Journal of Maps we regularly turn away maps (based upon OS data) submitted to us as a direct result of the stringent licensing regulations employed by the OS.

There are clearly signs of change however, with the Research Councils requiring deposition of data from grant holders, the OFT’s investigation in to competition with public sector bodies (presumably including the OS), recent comments about Crown Copyright (see Jo’s blog) and recent legal rulings on databases and copyright within Europe (re: British Horse Racing Board).

So, applications such as Google Earth have demonstrated the huge demand for geospatial data, whilst there is considerable unrest within government concerning access to both research outputs and publicly funded data collection. There are clearly challenges ahead for both the government and the OS. Exciting times!