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April 03, 2008

Live Blogging from KSL GIS Symposium--Closing panel discussion

Joe Koonce moderated a closing panel discussion with several of the earlier speakers: Andrew Curtis, Nina Lam, Daniel Janies, Uriel Kitron, Dave Wagner

Preservation of data sets
Open access issues
Tools are required to reconstruct the data
There are no standards, some emerging standards/best practices
Archiving becomes more complicated

Curtis: After Katrina, people were keeping control of data sets by means of manila folders "up" or "down" in a file drawer. His group created the "Katrina [data] warehouse" using a revision of LSU climate gathering software. As soon as FEMA stopped paying for it, it became a dead entity. The data sets were a complete mess. You need money to support preserved data: answering queries, organizing, etc. Much of the data has now been lost, because there was no system/structure in place to protect and preserve it.

Lam: One of her funders now requires the deposit of data and metadata about the data. Even data that cannot be deposited (e.g. because of privacy issues), must have metadata deposited.

Janies: A lot of projects turn into software development projects. He uses journals/supplemental data.

Kitron: With human data, for all practical purposes the data is not available for privacy issues. Librarians are now actively recruiting data sets.

Audience member 1: Even if you have large data sets and they are created by proprietary software, do you really have access to your data if you stop paying the license fee, or if the software vendor stops supporting features. He encourages the use of open source GIS software.

Curtis: It is an issue of both data collection and dissemination: how do we redistribute the data, especially to developing countries who may not be able to afford the licensing fees?

Audience member 2: Question about availability of air quality data.

Kitron: Gave several possibilities

Wagner: Difficulty of getting data in a standard format

Koonce: Are there emerging standards for data?

Lam: Yes, there are standards for some types of data; but there is a difference between the standard and the quality of the data. Also some cross-mapping is going on.

Audience member 3: We do not have the "ecosystem" for data that we do for physical artifacts (e.g. a truck, with a garage, with a mechanism for fueling it, and a mechanism to prove ownership)

Koonce: When will this problem change?

Panel members: When it is funded top down.

[This concludes the live blogging from the Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library 2008 GIS Symposium.]


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Posted by tdr at April 3, 2008 04:52 PM

Comments

"It is an issue of both data collection and dissemination: how do we redistribute the data, especially to developing countries who may not be able to afford the licensing fees?" I think this is a fundamental question that will decide how well can we cope with global threats that are increasing daily due to global warming and global terrorism. Any idea on what solutions you have come up with.

Posted by: Charita|Wireless Outdoor Speaker at December 7, 2008 09:47 PM