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Re: Rewrite of the BP narrative [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

From: Bill Roberts <bill@swirrl.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:38:55 +0100
Message-ID: <CAMTVsunFv6jDCV=O8m4PhyfLD+wbJeq9ZYeodK+GD_ktV5MmKA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bruce Bannerman <B.Bannerman@bom.gov.au>
Cc: Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>, SDW WG Public List <public-sdw-wg@w3.org>, "dmckenzie@opengeospatial.org" <dmckenzie@opengeospatial.org>, "ssimmons@opengeospatial.org" <ssimmons@opengeospatial.org>
Hi Bruce

I think you identify a good point, that for any working group like this it
is always tempting to invent new things, rather than review and perhaps
augment existing things - so as a group, we should always question
ourselves and test the justification for any recommendation to do something
other than use current common approaches.  Perhaps there is scope to do
that more rigorously or more completely, though I have been involved in
several discussions on variations of that topic.

I think the driving force for the 'reinventing' is the first point of the
stated mission of the working group: "to determine how spatial information
can best be integrated with other data on the Web".

Some of the existing approaches, while serving their existing communities
of (mostly expert) users well, tend to use the web as a transport mechanism
for files to be analysed offline.  In order to integrate with other data on
the web, we need to look at web identifiers and links 'inside' the data,
and to find ways of expressing spatial data that is compatible or
inter-linkable with other web-based information about places.

So my feeling (and I'm not claiming to speak on behalf of the working group
in any way) is that the existing tools and formats generally serve the
expert user of spatial data quite well, and we are not trying to replace
those but to supplement them.

To connect spatial data to other data on the web means that the users and
creators/curators of the other data on the web should be able to understand
it.  Some aspects of spatial data are inherently complicated, but if we can
identify ways in which some common use cases can be supported simply, then
we stand the chance of greatly increasing the overall value that can be
gained from using spatial data.

While doing that, we should ensure that we are clear about which users we
are targeting and which design choices we are making - to ensure that we
are not just inventing a new (but probably less well supported and tested)
equivalent of what already exists.

Best regards


On 27 April 2016 at 02:04, Bruce Bannerman <B.Bannerman@bom.gov.au> wrote:

> Hi Jeremy,
> You do not have an enviable task. Well done for persevering!
> @All,
> I note that these user stories are from the perspective of the data
> publisher and to be honest using concepts that are alien to most current
> data publishers.
> Perhaps we can add some complementary perspectives from the point of view
> of the end users of the published data and of how they would utilise that
> data. In many (perhaps most) cases, for this type of situation, I suspect
> that end users will need to undertake some kind of spatial analysis for
> their own purposes, probably using very specialised applications and
> processes that have evolved over many years. Most of these users will
> similarly find many of the concepts expressed to be alien. Most of these
> users will probably not be web developers.
> I'm personally at a loss to understand why we are trying to invent data
> formats and data services when we have perfectly adequate representations
> available now as 'Best Practice'. In the case of multi-dimensional array
> data described in several of these examples, we have formats like netCDF
> and services like WCS.
> Why do we want to reinvent the wheel?
> What is it about the current approaches that aren't working?
> Perhaps this is where we can target the 'Best Practice'. Use what is good
> and can be effectively used now. And envision a better way for the aspects
> that aren't working well.
> Just my 2c as a frustrated W3C SDWWG observer trying to make sense of this
> from 'data publisher' and 'spatial data analyst user' perspectives.
> <Rant>
> I can see a lot of potential from Linked Data and Data Semantics
> approaches, that is why I'm investing time with this working group. But I
> don't want to see the good work from many people over many years
> disregarded out of hand with no clear rationale provided.
> This is supposed to be a joint W3C and OGC working group, but I'm
> personally not seeing much attempt at reusing the good aspects that have
> come from the OGC community.
> By way of a reality check: I recently attended our national spatial
> information forum. This is a cross disciplinary and technology neutral
> forum. Most people had a reasonable understanding of open spatial standards
> and services, but very, very few had any understanding of the Linked
> Data/Data Semantics concepts that we're discussing here. When discussed in
> presentations it was typically referred to as a research concept that may
> possibly have some relevance at some time in the future.
> We have an opportunity here to make a real difference with Linked Data and
> Data Semantics, just don't throw the baby out with the bath water please.
> I need good, pragmatic, approaches that allow me to work with federated,
> consistent, data services to underpin global analysis of a number of
> inter-related scientific domains. I need to understand the semantic nuances
> within the federated data services, the semantic relationships in the
> concepts between domains, together with the need for a very good
> understanding of data quality and data provenance. So I'm not just after a
> way of finding linked resources, I need to be able to analyse them and
> exploit the rich information contained within. I cannot see that I will be
> able to do this effectively with just using current approaches, but we do
> appear to be on the right path when we start complementing them Linked Data
> and Data Semantics approaches.
> Spatial Information is not a simple concept. People undertake substantial
> tertiary study to understand the basics.
> </Rant>    ...with apologies.
> Bruce
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, 27 April 2016 7:55 AM
> *To:* SDW WG Public List
> *Subject:* Rewrite of the BP narrative
> All-
> In working through ACTION 162
> <https://www.w3.org/2015/spatial/track/actions/162> I've taken a good
> look at the narrative we plan to use for the Best Practice document. We
> needed to include tangible examples the we can elaborate on ...
> I offer a second version of the narrative [1] that tries to do this.
> You'll find 9 discrete parts, each of which can be elaborated with
> detailed examples.
> This doesn't represent consensus between the editors as we've not had the
> opportunity for wider discussion. However, I wanted to share this with the
> wider group prior to the plenary call tomorrow.
> Comments welcome - even if it's "back to the drawing board please".
> Regards, Jeremy
> [1]: https://www.w3.org/2015/spatial/wiki/BP_Narrative_2
Received on Wednesday, 27 April 2016 08:39:24 UTC

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