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Decision required: BP 17 "How to work with crowd sourced observations"

From: Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:59:42 +0000
Message-ID: <CADtUq_3SuAj-o8fzrVjbo9ew0j43AVSqoT1JaoRqvzBgxi3qOA@mail.gmail.com>
To: SDW WG Public List <public-sdw-wg@w3.org>
Hi -

BP 17 "How to work with crowd sourced observations" [1] is an 'orphaned'
best practice that is not well aligned with DWBP.

In the BP sub-group call on 24-Aug (minutes [2]), we were unable to decide
whether this candidate best practice is appropriate.

Concerns were raised that there is not anything inherently "spatial" about
crowd sourced data - and, moreover, that introducing crowd sourcing as a
topic is a "can of worms" (particularly relating to governance of that
information etc.).

The feeling on the call was that we should remove the BP and use crowd
sourced observations as an example of spatial data within the Nieuwhaven
flooding scenario.

I took an action to consider if there was anything "special" that we needed
to capture ...

Having thought about this further, I conclude that the governance
arrangements associated with Volunteer Geographic Information (VGI) and
other crowd sourced spatial data are out of scope. However, we should
examine how aggregators of such information, such as social media
platforms, may choose to expose this data on the web.

In particular, users of social media do not routinely use URIs to identify
spatial things; relying instead on addresses or geocodes (e.g. What3Words).

Address, geocode, geographic position (e.g. latitude and longitude) must
all be considered attributes of some spatial thing. If, for example, an
address is provided without an explicitly relationship to a spatial thing
then we must infer that a spatial thing exists, and the (social media)
platform provider should mint an identifier for it and relate it to the

Such inferred spatial things may be reconciled with other spatial things if
one can be sure that they are indeed the same; either immediately by the
data curator or later by any sufficiently knowledgeable party. However,
such reconciliation is complex ( a long time ago, @eparsons said "there be

We may even be able to help individuals using social media platforms
improve their spatial data by select a particular spatial thing … e.g.
twitter provides choice of location based on geocoding and sometimes a
specific spatial thing (based on foursquare).

So ...

PROPOSAL: we remove BP 17, cover spatial data in social media as an example
and treat social media / crowd source data platform providers as a source
of spatial data on the web that should follow our BPs. (more or less).



Your thoughts please.


[1]: http://w3c.github.io/sdw/bp/#crowd-obs
[2]: http://www.w3.org/2016/08/24-sdwbp-minutes.html
Received on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 13:00:27 UTC

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