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Re: Best Practice sub-team call: 14:00 UTC, 20-April-2016

From: Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 21:28:30 +0000
Message-ID: <CADtUq_3s0Cn0DBwtvSBi1Zf0b43yO=PRxs_p_3t8WDUvHi90DA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Frans Knibbe <frans.knibbe@geodan.nl>, Simon Cox <Simon.Cox@csiro.au>, SDW WG Public List <public-sdw-wg@w3.org>
Frans - thanks for the suggestion. Simon, Andrea - thanks for discussion.
Certainly a thorny issue to resolve, but one that we need to address openly
and transparently. Even if a single solution cannot be found, we _will_
need to document the reasons why a single solution is not possible - which
will help us establish [best] practices for when and where each of the
multiple solutions should be used. Of course, life would be easier with one
solution; so we should begin by striving for that.

If we're going to start from mathematical foundations, this sounds like a
rigorous piece of work. Would it be best published as an independent Note?
(the WG has the remit to do so if we see fit).

I've updated the agenda [1] to include the proposed topic (see below).
Frans - can you take the lead on this subject please? Given that this is a
massive topic, we won't finish the discussion in one meeting! So I will
time-box the discussion to 30-mins to allow for time to discuss other items.

*Part 1 (30-mins): establishing an "agreed spatial ontology"*

   - *[Frans] problem statement*
   - *solution criteria - what do we need the "agreed spatial ontology" to
   do?*
   - *prior art - what can we learn from (and where are the overlaps and
   gaps in existing work)*
   - *define plan of work - how do we move forward; who will lead?*


[1]:
https://www.w3.org/2015/spatial/wiki/Meetings:BP-Telecon20160420#Main_agenda

On Tue, 19 Apr 2016 at 11:57 Frans Knibbe <frans.knibbe@geodan.nl> wrote:

> Yes, it would be tough issue. But I am afraid that not addressing the
> issue properly will incur much greater costs. Perhaps not on our group, but
> certainly on society and the web as a whole. But also within our group
> there can be immediate benefits of having a basic spatial ontology. I have
> the feeling that many of the problems we are trying to solve are are a
> result of the absence of a solid theoretical foundation of the things we
> try to work with. We are mostly scratching the surface instead of attacking
> the core issues. I think it is likely that if the few core issues are
> resolved satisfactorily, many other problems will cease to be problems.
>
> I also think that the undertaking of defining a spatial ontology can be
> broken up in consecutive steps. We do not need to finish all those steps in
> order to be successful. But we can leave a solid foundation for others to
> continue with.
>
> To keep things simple, a first goal could be just to define vector
> geometry as a data type. Having just that would solve a lot of
> interoperability problems and would clear the way for universal ways of
> storing and exchanging spatial data. Humanity has been able to do the same
> for numbers and text, and having agreed upon models for those data types
> makes IT a lot simpler than it would have been if there was no such
> agreement.
>
> So a first step could be defining vector geometry as a mathematical
> construct, an ordered set of coordinates in some reference system. Much
> could be built on top of such a foundation, and even if in the end there
> would still be need for different serializations of geometry, it would help
> if those serializations share a common base model - going to a more basic
> level would achieve interoperability. And if the mathematical foundations
> are solid, a lot of derived ways of working with spatial data
> (transformations, spatial relationships, topology,...) will be much easier
> to set up. And as said before, we would also have a common ground for
> geographic geometry and non-geographic geometry, so that we can use methods
> from both worlds interchangeably.
>
> Perhaps what has been going on in the area of improving temporal data on
> the web can be an example for spatial data. I noticed that when a
> mathematical approach to time is adopted, the difference between time
> instants and time intervals disappears. On the surface there still is a
> difference, but at the core the situation is simpler. At the core, the
> concept of time is more unified than all the different expressions that can
> be encountered in the wild. I think that the same principle - going to the
> core of the matter to make things simpler and more universal - can also be
> applied to spatial data.
>
> Regards,
> Frans
>
>
>
> 2016-04-19 1:36 GMT+02:00 <Simon.Cox@csiro.au>:
>
>> +1 for considering this openly.
>>
>> It is probably the issue that the wider community would most expect to
>> see dealt with in the WG. However, it is definitely a tough issue, and I’m
>> sceptical that it is possible or even desirable to imagine that a single
>> solution is necessary.
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* Frans Knibbe [mailto:frans.knibbe@geodan.nl]
>> *Sent:* Monday, 18 April 2016 11:42 PM
>> *To:* Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>
>> *Cc:* SDW WG Public List <public-sdw-wg@w3.org>
>> *Subject:* Re: Best Practice sub-team call: 14:00 UTC, 20-April-2016
>>
>>
>>
>> Hello Jeremy,
>>
>>
>>
>> Could this meeting be an opportunity to discuss the 'agreed spatial
>> ontology' mentioned in the charter (also see this e-mail thread
>> <https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-sdw-wg/2016Mar/0057.html>)?
>> I feel it could be the most crucial contribution to the data web our group
>> could make, so it would be good to have more clarity on whether and how we
>> wish to pursue this.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Frans
>>
>>
>>
>> 2016-04-18 12:09 GMT+02:00 Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>:
>>
>> All. For those participating in the Best Practices sub-team, the next
>> meeting is scheduled for 14:00 UTC this Wednesday (20-April).
>>
>>
>>
>> Preliminary agenda is here:
>> https://www.w3.org/2015/spatial/wiki/Meetings:BP-Telecon20160420
>>
>>
>>
>> Please advise if you want to add anything. If you can't make the meeting,
>> please record your 'regrets', else we'll see you there.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards - Jeremy, Linda and Payam.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 21:29:10 UTC

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