Earth Science, Web 2.0+, and Geospatial Applications
Sunday, January 17 – 9-10:05am
Description: We will discuss online and mobile applications for earth science research, including solid earth, ocean, and atmosphere subtopics – although the principles being discussed here apply to other field sciences, and contributions/suggestions from these areas would be welcomed.
Current topics planned for discussion are Google Earth for geospatial applications, iPhone and other mobile applications, and possibly applications of cloud computing platforms such as Amazon’s EC2 for computationally intensive applications such as seismic tomography or climate modeling. Discussion will be focussed around:
What’s available? As well as reviewing currently available geospatial datasets (feel free to add suggestions here, or to the wave on the subject, we’d like to discuss what makes a portal good or bad, so we can try to identify ‘best practices’ that would be useful when developing geospatial resources in the future. We’ll also discuss web analytics: defining and measuring what makes a science website or online application successful, with insights provided by people and organisations currently developing or hosting geospatial resources.
What would you like to see? What data are not available that could/should be? This could be in terms of specific datasets, or in types of data – should we be geocoding papers, blog posts, photos? As a subsidiary question, there is also the issue of what other contextual tagging is required in addition to geocoding (e.g., age is just as important in many geological contexts).
What tools are we missing? We need more user-friendly tools: for searching geocoded data, perhaps using a graphical map interface; for integrating and visualising it, perhaps through broad mash-ups like a Google Earth geology layer; and for submitting and collecting new geocoded data through the web. What should these tools look like?
From Andria Krewson: I’m specifically interested in the iPhone app. “Trails,” or others like it, for this specific example: A new sewer line is proposed for a greenway near my house in Charlotte, N.C., and green “proposed” markers have been staked out along the greenway. No new information has been shared with local residents, however, about the proposed route yet. I’m curious whether apps like Trails could be used to map out the proposed route using the staked markers and then exported easily to something like Google maps to be shared online with simple blogging tools with neighbors, to increase civic engagement.