The Geospatial Web

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The Geospatial Web and Open Data:
Trends, Issues and Applications
Paulo Alencar
Computer Systems Group
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Overview
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
A Web Science Project
The Geospatial Web
Issues in Open Data and the Geospatial Web
Successful Applications
Conclusion
Web
Science
The Geospatial
Web
Issues in
Open Data
Applications
Overview
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
A Web Science Project
The Geospatial Web
Issues in Open Data and the Geospatial Web
Successful Applications
Conclusion
Web
Science
The Geospatial
Web
Issues in
Open Data
Applications
The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web
•
The Web and the Internet have become an
extraordinary platform for:
- innovation
- economic growth
- social communication
•
A central backbone of the digital economy, which is
expected to reach $4.2 trillion in the G20 economies
by 2016.
•
The largest information construct in human
history, which is revolutionizing the world by
supporting novel software-intensive systems and
applications in almost every area of human
endeavor.
Web Science
•
A systems approach, in the sense of a large-scale
system that may have emergent properties not
predictable by analyzing micro technical and/or
social effects.
• Emergent properties:
 e-mail -> instant messaging -> social networks (e.
g., Facebook)
 document transfer -> file-sharing (e. g., Napster) > user-generated portals (e. g., Youtube)
• Learning about the Web and its societal and
business effects.
Berners-Lee, T., Hall, W., Hendler, J., Shadbolt, N., and Wietzner, D. Creating a
Science of the Web. Science 311 (2006).
Web Science
Our focus: Web Science in the context of Information
and Communications Technology (ICT).
A Web Science Project
Next Generation Approaches and Tools
Supported by the Ontario Research Fund – Research
Excellence (ORF-RE)
Applicants: Cowan, Alencar, Lucena
Main participants:
- Computer Systems Group (UW)
- Donald Cowan, Paulo Alencar
- Centre for Community Mapping (COMAP)
- Fred McGarry
- SAP (formerly iAnywhere)
A Web Science Project
Next Generation Approaches and Tools
Some Partners: Ministries of the Ontario Government,
Stewardship Network of Ontario, Communities of
Muskoka and Parry Sound, Muskoka Community
Network, Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario,
Oak Ridge Moraine Foundation, Metcalf Foundation,
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters,
comPeters Inc., Huntsville Chamber of Commerce,
the Indigenous Cooperative on the Environment,
United Nations, the Centre for Community Ecology,
Family Services Toronto, United Nations University.
Overview
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
A Web Science Project
The Geospatial Web
Issues in Open Data and the Geospatial Web
Successful Applications
Conclusion
Web
Science
The Geospatial
Web
Issues in
Open Data
Applications
The Geospatial Web
• A convergence of geo-related location-based
information technologies that uses location-oriented
web-based information and maps, enabling functions
such as:
– Searching
– Sharing
– Analyzing
– Displaying
• The geospatial Web is poised for tremendous growth
as location-aware applications and devices become
increasingly popular.
UN-GGIM: Future Trends in Geospatial Information Management (January, 2013).
Web-based Maps
• Analytical maps – offering analytical capabilities (e. g.,
number and types of invasive species in area)
• Animated maps – showing changes in the map over
time (e. g., traffic flow maps)
• Collaborative maps – allowing users collaborate to
create and improve the web mapping experience (e.
g., open street map, joint planning)
• Online atlases – going through a remarkably large
transition when moved to the web (e. g., annotations,
advertisement)
• Real-time maps - showing the situation of a
phenomenon in close to real-time (e. g., weather or
vehicle monitoring systems)
The Geospatial Web
Current trends:
• “Everything happens somewhere”
–
–
–
–
The geography has become ‘mobile’
There is an increasing number of devices
Mobile devices can use and create location information
Information generated using websites and social media is
overlaid on top of geospatial information
The Geospatial Web
Current trends:
• Managing a world of data
– The ability to make sense of this data (e. g., data analytics)
– The ability to identify patterns within this data
– An increasing use and reliance on ‘big data’ technologies
• Linked data and the ‘Internet of things’
– The ability link data on the Web
– Semantic technologies will play an important role
– The network of tomorrow will rely on an increasing number of
sensors (i. e., about 50 billion sensors by 2020), and will
lead to a hyper-connected environment or ‘Internet of Things’
Overview
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
A Web Science Project
The Geospatial Web
Issues in Open Data and the Geospatial Web
Successful Applications
Conclusion
Web
Science
The Geospatial
Web
Issues in
Open Data
Applications
Issues in Open Data
Challenges in Open Data and the Geospatial Web:
• There is a widespread availability of free mapping
information.
• New challenges have been confronted in recent years
with respect to open data:
– Access
– (Re-)use
– Integration (e. g., multi-party, distributed data)
Issues in Open Data
Some current issues:
• Security and privacy
– Use of open data combined with proprietary data
– The development of online access controls
– Is private information going to be released?
• What is the valued gained in using open data?
– The use of high-quality, authoritative geospatial information
– Economic and social value
– Effective use in decision-making
• Adoption of a sustainable model
– The open data needs to be maintained
– The data needs to be made available
– Data maintenance and availability need to be either free of
charge or fee-based
Issues in Open Data
Some current issues:
• Open data integration
– Data from distributed sources needs to be integrated
• Lack of open data standards
– Standardization facilitates data integration and (re-)use
• Open data policies
– Policies should not stifle creativity and rapid development
• Disparities between legal and policy frameworks
– Some applications may not be available in certain countries
• Lack of collaborative approaches
– Collaborative efforts towards integration and interoperability
• Liability for quality and assurance of data
Overview
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
A Web Science Project
The Geospatial Web
Issues in Open Data and the Geospatial Web
Successful Applications
Conclusion
Web
Science
The Geospatial
Web
Trends in
Open Data
Applications
Successful Applications
A. Watershed modeling
–
Application for understanding the behavior of watersheds
B. Water course modeling
–
Application for monitoring water courses for fish populations
C. Invasive tracking system
–
Application for locating and identifying invasive species
D. Oak Ridge Moraine
–
Application for monitoring development approvals
E. Aboriginal Atlas
–
Application to deal with ‘duty to consult’
F. Community Services
–
Application to support community service planning process
Cowan, D., Alencar, P., McGarry, F., Open Data: Issues and Opportunities. IEEE International
Conference on Software Science, Technology and Engineering, 2014 (to appear).
Successful Applications
Encountered issues:
• Data is distributed throughout multiple jurisdictions
• Problems with open data identification
• Open data standardization
• Lack of participatory approach (e. g., crowdsourcing)
• Lack of open data evaluation by experts
• Lack of support for stakeholder communication
• Lack of collaborative mapping approach
• Legal issues
• Lack of support for negotiation
• Lack of proper access control to open data
• Lack of support for using open data combined with
secure data
Watershed Modeling
Sources of data:
Federal departments, provincial ministries
(departments), conservation authorities, political regions
(municipalities), NGOs, universities, businesses,
consultants
Open data includes:
Watershed models, catchment and stream delineation,
digital elevation, soil texture, water holding capacity,
erosion potential, soil drainage, weather station
locations, daily precipitation, min/max temperature
records, land use, chemical water composition
(phosphorous can decrease oxygen in water; effects on
fish, excessive algae), channel morphology
Watershed Modeling
Constraints on open data:
The application involves private business data
(obfuscation of some private data; in some cases data is
aggregated to hide details).
Encountered issues:
• Data is distributed throughout multiple jurisdictions
• Problems with open data identification
• Open data accessibility issues
• Lack of collaborative mapping approach
• Lack of proper access control to open data
• Lack of support for using open data combined with
secure data
Aboriginal Atlas
Sources of data:
MNCFN (The Mississaugas of New Credit) – a Canadian
indigenous people, provincial and municipal base spatial
data (maps), libraries (archives), universities,
businesses, consultants, lawyers
Open data includes:
Land infrastructure and reserve development (in
aboriginal land), land claims, reserve lands, resources
used
Aboriginal Atlas
Constraints on open data:
Some data involves information on areas with medicinal
plants and sacred sites (location obfuscation for security
reasons), and confidential tribe documentation such as
communications and membership data.
Encountered issues:
• Data is distributed throughout multiple jurisdictions
• Problems with open data identification, standardization
• Lack of participatory approach (e. g., crowdsourcing)
• Lack of support for stakeholder communication
• Lack of collaborative mapping approach, negotiation
• Lack of support for proper access control to open data,
and for using open data combined with secure data
Community Services
Sources of data:
Social service NGOs and agencies, grassroot groups,
businesses, faith groups, residential groups, community
groups, Statistics Canada data, municipalities,
government agencies
Open data includes:
Service areas, service type, Statistics Canada data,
organizational data
Community Services
Constraints on open data:
The application involves private business data (private
statistical and modeling data).
Encountered issues:
• Data is distributed throughout multiple jurisdictions
• Problems with open data identification, standardization
• Lack of participatory approach (e. g., crowdsourcing)
• Lack of open data evaluation by experts
• Lack of support for stakeholder communication
• Lack of collaborative mapping approach
• Lack of support for proper access control to open data,
and for using open data combined with secure data
Conclusion
Future work: How to extend our geospatial approaches
and tools in order to take advantage of the worldwide
open and big data initiatives?
• Novel approaches based on context (e. g.,
involving location, time, tasks, schedule, profile)
• Approaches based on multi-agent systems (e. g.,
involving user goals, intentions, plans)
• Geospatial, temporal, event-based and contextaware data analytics
Overall, combining the potential of the geospatial Web
with the richness of existing open data resources in the
form of novel approaches and tools can definitely help
to ensure that the full value of geospatial information
and open data is realized in the coming years.
Questions?
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