Next #geowebchat, Nov 4: Diversity of those studying and doing the Geoweb

Guest hosted by Jessi Breen (@jessibreen) and Jim Thatcher (@alogicalfallacy).

Special time: 2 pm PST, 5pm EST, 22:00 GMT, on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Diversity of those studying and doing the Geoweb

There has been much discussion recently on the limits of Geoweb data, on the gaps in knowledge that inherently arise in the production of digital data. Sometimes termed the ‘data divide,’ this is a topic well worth considering; however, today we’d like to discuss a simultaneous issue – Not who produces the Geoweb’s data, but who produces its infrastructure and the related knoweldges of it? This geowebchat is aimed at discussing issues of diversity in the study and production of the Geoweb and how that may influence what can be known through it. Where are the gaps and how might we fill them in? Is it our role to do so and, if so, how might we do it?

Join us on Twitter at the hashtag #geowebchat for one hour of discussion. Everyone is welcome to join the conversation or just follow along. For more information about #geowebchat, see here:

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#geowebchat transcript, 21 October 2014: #OpenSource, #OpenData, and accessibility

@mappingmashups Oct 20, 5:40pm Tomorrow on #geowebchat: Topic is #OpenSource, #OpenData, as well as “free” and accessible tools (often not the same thing). 12pm PT, Oct 21

@mapperz Oct 21, 9:46am @mappingmashups lists #accessible GIS datasets updated 11th October 2014 #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:00pm Welcome everybody to today’s #geowebchat. We’re talking about #OpenSource, #OpenData, and usability of mapping tools.

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:01pm As always, I suggest you try smthng like to follow along with #geowebchat, + include the hashtag in all your tweets

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:03pm We had an interesting internal convo w/ the #maptime organizers this weekend regarding #geowebchat’s topic. Is #OpenSource always best?

@skorasaurus Oct 21, 12:09pm I’ll start: suggesting very expensive software to someone who’s curious about GIS or maps isn’t very welcoming #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:10pm These days there are tools that are #OpenSource but cost money to use heavily online, like @Mapbox & @cartoDB… #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:11pm Compute time costs money, there’s no real way to avoid that… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:11pm …@cartoDB & @Mapbox are cheaper than ESRI tools for sure, but still too much for some #maptime users #geowebchat

@ElizaBettinger Oct 21, 12:12pm @skorasaurus When I tell novice faculty at my uni they can start w free tools that don’t req license, there is visible relief #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:12pm And if it’s “free” yr often paying w/ something else.. RT @alogicalfallacy: Compute time costs money, no real way to avoid that #geowebchat

@skorasaurus Oct 21, 12:12pm my exp. w/ carto. is atypical; started as broke non-student, if #tilemill & #qgis had been $, it would have been more difficult. #geowebchat

@ElizaBettinger Oct 21, 12:14pm @skorasaurus …part of the reason this surprises me is that we have campus ESRI license…but signing up is still barrier #geowebchat

@t_stallmann Oct 21, 12:14pm I try to teach that no tool is perfect & there’s a trade-off bxt “easy-then-hard” closed-source and “hard-then-easy” open-source #geowebchat

@rmcooper4 Oct 21, 12:14pm Working in local gov, it’s a challenge to even get folks to imagine something other than ESRI. For now, what works atm is best #geowebchat

@skorasaurus Oct 21, 12:15pm @mappingmashups true; often w/ time b/c docs aren’t great (if they exist); support non-dedicated. #geowebchat.

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:16pm As @alogicalfallacy points out, there’s no free lunch. Bygone days of free GoogleMaps were based on selling personal data, ads. #geowebchat

@counti8 Oct 21, 12:16pm my area is not maps, more public engagement tools like Shareabouts. But I think abt tools&nonprofits as @vpsn board member. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:18pm @wonderchook Yes! And I should clarify that desktop GIS like @qgis can be much cheaper than web maps that need servers&hosting #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:18pm The “Free” vs. “open source” debate of the late ’90s may have gotten pedantic but raised important differences that still apply #geowebchat

@jr_m_ Oct 21, 12:20pm In my gov’t GIS job, there’s a few people using QGIS, especially with one-click installs and .gdb support #geowebchat

@counti8 Oct 21, 12:21pm I’m also interested in collabs btwn gov’s and non-profits as #opendata maintainers; extent to which #opensource enables? that. #geowebchat

@SterlingGIS Oct 21, 12:21pm @t_stallmann FOSS geo s-ware seems to be closing usability gap with proprietary. eg, Easy d-load page and installers on Win #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:21pm @drewdaraabrams “free software” vs “open source” was one of our earliest #geowebchat topics…. Good to revisit.

@lifewinning Oct 21, 12:22pm @mappingmashups yeah, cloud infra expands access to tools while making it really hard to make them “free” #geowebchat @wonderchook @qgis

@wonderchook Oct 21, 12:23pm @lifewinning @mappingmashups one of the reason that #inasafe moved from web to being a @qgis plugin was to avoid scaling issues #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:23pm @counti8 Or even collabs w/ for-profits as #opendata maintainers. Many of us have complex relationship w/ #OpenStreetMap forex. #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:23pm @mappingmashups ah. Given that #geowebchat has already discussed Free, libre, gratis, open, “open”… no need to open the vocab debate again

@t_stallmann Oct 21, 12:23pm @SterlingGIS Definitely! Tho I find interface on‘s free service easier to grok than CartoDB. Do others? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:24pm @drewdaraabrams I wouldn’t hesitate to reopen if there’s interest. Totally different audience today. #geowebchat

@mapperz Oct 21, 12:24pm There is more than one #opengis like #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:26pm @lifewinning @mappingmashups @wonderchook CartoDB sets a great example, open-sourcing all their back-end services and glue #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:26pm @mapperz Yes, @qgis is not the only #FOSS #GIS, but it seems dominant today. Diversity of tools is also an #opensource advantage #geowebchat

@SterlingGIS Oct 21, 12:26pm Interesting to speculate how much a slick-looking UI contribs to users’ (or mgrs’) perceptions of FOSS quality (or any s-ware) #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:27pm @mappingmashups @mapperz One interesting note is that GIS use actually varies quite a bit geographically. #geowebchat

@rmcooper4 Oct 21, 12:29pm @t_stallmann @SterlingGIS I just finished the @esrimooc and learned that is surprisingly powerful/easy #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:32pm @mappingmashups @counti8 NYC gov’t apparently uses OSM changes as notifications to check their own data (but not direct import) #geowebchat

@michael_d_gould Oct 21, 12:33pm @alogicalfallacy around the world people use cracked arcgis. #geowebchat

@hamhandedly Oct 21, 12:33pm From the #maptime slack the other day, academy often focuses too much on learning software pkgs rather than geog concepts #geowebchat

@lifewinning Oct 21, 12:33pm @drewdaraabrams though I don’t know anyone who’s actually compiled their own instance of cartodb… @mappingmashups @wonderchook #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:33pm I certainly agree with @mappingmashups about having a “complex relationship” with OSM community, license, tooling, etc. #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:35pm @michael_d_gould Re: Cracked Arc, mostly yes. But you’ll find institutions using GRASS or even IDRISI due to lineages, etc. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:37pm @hamhandedly It’s true, but that’s also the academy’s biggest self-critique. They always talk about trying to teach concepts #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:38pm @lifewinning neither have I That said, CartoDB’s docs pass my interocular impact test Looks like more than a one-off code dump #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:38pm This may be true, too. #opensource #geowebchat RT @briantimoney: The future of GIS on the desktop isn’t DesktopGIS ™ #RStudio #IPython

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:39pm RT @andrewxhill: @lifewinning well, not knowing and not being any is quite different. there are quite a few #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:39pm @hamhandedly That’s simply untrue. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:40pm RT @wonderchook: @andrewxhill are there any that are public? Would be great to know about some! :) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:41pm RT @peterajohnson: @alogicalfallacy we def spend more time on concepts. College diploma programs do a good job w/soft pkgs #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:42pm @mappingmashups @peterajohnson Yes, exactly. The academy teaches (and creates) much more than ‘button pushing.’ #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:43pm @UWaterloo we have begun to discuss greater adoption of open source. Mirroring what we hear from many employers #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:44pm @alogicalfallacy @mappingmashups getting beyond button pushing is the main topic of my 3rd year GIS class! Can be tough. #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:45pm @peterajohnson A serious issue and a topic of some discussion at #critgis this weekend. Many students *want* ‘button-pushing’ #geowebchat

@avatarr8 Oct 21, 12:46pm @alogicalfallacy @mappingmashups @peterajohnson and orientation of academic programs vary wildly #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:47pm used @PublicLab mapknitter for a course this year. We crashed their server – will try hosting ourselves next year. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:47pm The #maptime discussion this weekend made me think: maybe it’s okay if #maptime is _more_ tool-focussed than academia? #geowebchat

@_C_Davis Oct 21, 12:47pm @peterajohnson @alogicalfallacy That gets at looking at GIS instruction as a curriculum rather than a single course #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:48pm @mappingmashups Yes, why not? I’m uncertain what #maptime has specifically, but why just copy academia? Different spaces/voices. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:48pm #maptime should avoid locking people into only one tool (as academia does w/ ESRI) but if ppl want practical skills why not? #geowebchat

@_C_Davis Oct 21, 12:48pm @peterajohnson @alogicalfallacy an intro course might only need to be button pushing as an opening to concepts later #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:50pm @_C_Davis I try to make upper year courses more welcoming so students get the ‘curriculum’, not just buttons of the intro course #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:52pm @mappingmashups what, you don’t cover projections, coordinate systems in #maptime ? #geowebchat if tools will get people hooked…why not?

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:52pm @mappingmashups re: ‘locking in’ also depends on program. We’re teaching qgis, gdal, ipython, etc. right now… w/ @bricker #geowebchat

@avatarr8 Oct 21, 12:52pm Big concern for me is less tools and more quality/usefulness of (open) data. Students/others just mapping whatever they find #geowebchat

@BrookeEHarding Oct 21, 12:53pm @mappingmashups great point! As a recent grad I valued the extra organized time to work on specific skills with diverse tools. #geowebchat

@SeanGorman Oct 21, 12:53pm Would love to see the equivalent of nbviewer for sharing geo work or just more geo in nbviewer. Great learning tool #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:53pm @avatarr8 We’re in agreement there. Data, data, data – all day, er’ry day. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:54pm @peterajohnson Yes, we do cover coordinate systems at #maptime sometimes. For the pleasure of it! #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:55pm @andrewxhill Props to @cartoDB! Many open-source companies keep their client-side GUIs private and hide key back-end glue #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:57pm @mappingmashups amazing! Good to know. I should pick your brain about #maptime #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:58pm @peterajohnson And that slide deck (like most of our best ones) was made by the inimitable @lyzidiamond #maptime #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:59pm Well, thanks everyone for an amazing #geowebchat! The transcript will be posted here in a few days.

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:59pm Next #geowebchat is November 4th, special time: 2pm PT, 5pm ET. Guest hosted by @alogicalfallacy and @JessiBreen!

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 1:00pm @drewdaraabrams @andrewxhill @cartoDB agreed. Lots to like about cartoDB from an instructional perspective #geowebchat

@ElizaBettinger Oct 21, 1:08pm Can any #geowebchat -ers recommend a resource to help explain pros/cons of using FOSS base map data vs. closed to researchers in humanties?

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#geowebchat transcript, 7 October 2014: The geoweb and time

@mappingmashups Oct 05, 5:32pm Next #geowebchat topic: “The Geoweb and Time”, inspired by theme for #NACIS2014. Join us 12pm PDT, 3pm EDT, 20:00 BST, Tue Oct 7. Pls RT!

@TheMapSmith Oct 07, 5:06am Driving to #nacis2014 during #geowebchat, so heres a great article by @kennethfield about Esri’s carto-temporal tools…

@kennethfield Oct 07, 5:39am Saves me tweeting it. Thanks :) MT @TheMapSmith #geowebchat, a great articleabout Esri’s carto-temporal tools…

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 11:46am Relevant to Geoweb & Time: #geowebchat RT @mrogati: Your body doesn’t care about timezones…

@maptimestl Oct 07, 11:50am Love maps? Get to know the hashtag #geowebchat – next discussion is “The Geoweb and Time” & starts in 10 minutes.

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:01pm Starting now on #geowebchat: Cartography and Time (specifically The Geoweb and Time). Special #NACIS2014-themed chat! How do _you_ map time?

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:02pm As usual with #geowebchat, make sure you include the hashtag in all your tweets. Try something like to follow along

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:04pm A view min ago I posted this interesting @Jawbone viz about timezones & sleep. #geowebchat…

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:06pm Interesting point #geowebchat MT @briantimoney: 2015 Year of Small Multiples (very few use your time slider anyway)

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:06pm The @Jawbone viz is also an example of time on a static map. Now with the Geoweb animations are easier to do… #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:08pm where does “(very few use your time slider anyway)” come from @eleanortutt? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:08pm @eleanortutt @briantimoney Okay, we have our first #geowebchat prediction of 2015! Small Multiples! One my my faves:

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:08pm (concerned as i am right now building something with a time slider) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:12pm @eleanortutt @briantimoney Now I realize that @mbostock drought example uses animation _and_ small multiples. But no slider! #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:12pm @erictheise Honestly not sure. That was all @briantimoney. I personally like time sliders, but his tweet was thought provoking. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:16pm One newish tool for mapping time on the web is @cartoDB’s torque. For example, this @GuardianData viz… #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:17pm would want to back up that conjecture with data. actually i wonder if the stuff @geo_will is working on would vet that. #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:17pm @erictheise Add a way to track slider use & prove him wrong! #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:18pm INSTRUMENT ALL THE THINGS! #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:22pm (what @geo_will is working on being #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:26pm MT @briantimoney analytics of web maps: people know to click on points, some pan/zoom, less familiar elements very little #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:28pm Has anyone in this #geowebchat mapped historical data? Some projects like OpenHistoricalMap haven’t really taken off…

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:29pm my #NACIS2014 talk is about 1950s-60s era signs built by an albuquerque company, @mappingmashups, slider shows when/where built #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:30pm interesting to see the dispersion grow from albuquerque route 66 outward over time, as far as arizona and colorado #geowebchat

@PetersonGIS Oct 07, 12:31pm @mappingmashups I’ve created data for the history of U.S. westward expansion and European country boundaries on the eve of WWII. #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:31pm So @erictheise talk sounds amazing. Also, mostly b/c of content, I’m a fan of this historic NYC plan map: #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:32pm also to see reinforcement of certain sign-dense stretches of major thoroughfares #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:33pm talk will show a number of their working drawings for the signs, color pencil and ink, @eleanortutt, those are quite striking. #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:34pm @mappingmashups Maybe part of challenge w/ historical maps is handling data sources w/ diff availabilities in diff years #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:35pm @mappingmashups i.e., I know a building existed in 1940 & didn’t in 1970 – but that’s all I know. So what do I map for 1955? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:36pm @eleanortutt Yes, or whoever assembled that data might make assumptions for you. #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:37pm @mappingmashups To try & solve my own problem, I wonder if changes in layer opacity should be used more often…. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 12:38pm @eleanortutt Forex, was looking at this old @stamen proj… which has spike in 1900 (rounding err in data) #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:38pm remarkably deep spec for date/time w/fuzziness, @eleanortutt @mappingmashups, #EDTF, anyone know it? #geowebchat

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 12:41pm @erictheise @mappingmashups Nope, but this could be helpful (or cause more pain). #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:42pm p.s. @geo_will confirms that sliptics would satisfy this use case (time slider usage by users) /cc @briantimoney #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:45pm learned about #EDTF in #geojsonld discussion , @sgillies’ project; few implementations, i gather, but thought thru @eleanortutt #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:47pm are your WWII maps online, @PetersonGIS? #geowebchat

@erictheise Oct 07, 12:51pm RT @sgillies @erictheise this too… … #geowebchat

@PetersonGIS Oct 07, 12:53pm @erictheise Sadly no. The map is published in “The Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy” by McMahon. #geowebchat

@kennethfield Oct 07, 12:53pm I wrote some stuff about mapping time… inc stuff in my #nacis2014 talk #geowebchat

@kennethfield Oct 07, 12:55pm following earlier thread, we’ve done couple of historical maps for WWI… & WWII… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 1:00pm Thanks to everyone who joined today’s #geowebchat about cartography and time. Now I’m off to #NACIS2014 where I hope to see many of you f2f!

@erictheise Oct 07, 1:01pm also hope to see/meet folks at #NACIS2014. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 1:01pm Next #geowebchat will be in two weeks, on October 21. Topic TBD.

@eleanortutt Oct 07, 1:02pm Thanks @mappingmashups for hosting #geowebchat – that was fun!

@geovis_isprs Oct 07, 2:41pm Check the hashtag #geowebchat for some interesting geo-related discussions. Too late for today but you can still read it!

@mappingmashups Oct 07, 2:51pm Thanks! All archived at RT @geovis_isprs: Check the hashtag #geowebchat for some interesting geo-related discussions.

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OpenStreetMap and the Ada Initiative #osm4ada

Thanks to Kathleen Danielson, there is now an OpenStreetMap community campaign to donate money to the Ada Initiative. The Ada Initiative is a group doing important work supporting women in open technology and culture, and it would be great to see more connections between OpenStreetMap and Ada.

To donate to the #osm4ada campaign, click on this donation tracker widget:

Or go to

To learn more about the diversity challenges OSM faces, watch these presentations by Alyssa Wright and Monica Stephens, for a start, and join the osm-diversity mailing list.

The current Ada Initiative campaign ends in three days, so donate now if you can!

Posted in Mapping, Networks, not_geowebchat | 1 Response

AAG 2015 CFP: OpenStreetMap Studies: Research Perspectives on a Decade of OSM

Muki Haklay and I are organizing a session at AAG 2015 about “OpenStreetMap Studies”, inspired by his recent blog post: “OpenStreetMap studies (and why VGI not equal OSM)

You can read our full CFP here: AAG 2015 CFP: OpenStreetMap Studies: Research Perspectives on a Decade of OSM. Submissions are due October 31!

Posted in Mapping, Networks, not_geowebchat | Leave a comment