My wrap-up from a very engaged and provocative 1.5 day workshop on geospatial technology futures, hosted by the CyberGIS Center: “Towards a National Geospatial Software Ecosystem”. First: great group of cool peeps all hyper-engaged in geospatial data, tools, use cases, science, and community. Second: fun to be involved in big-picture thinking on what a geospatial software institute might look like if it was to be built from scratch. Finally, I was on the panel discussing core questions bridging use cases and core technical capabilities, and I share my reflections of the workshop here.
- Question 1. Are there any significant gaps between the use cases and core technical capabilities that GSI should address?
- Training needs: beyond GIS training – “spatial data science” training, for K-12; undergrad; graduate; veterans; professionals
- Easy ways to get access to cloud storage and computation, and for different datasets like UAVs. There are examples like CyVerse (from Tyson Swetnam) and others
- Data integration: Data assimilation, Data fusion, Sensor triangulation.
- Whatever you want to call it – this remains a challenge for geospatial experts and beginners alike. And it is especially a challenge when you work across disciplines (e.g. the work of SESYNC from Mary Shelley and Margaret Palmer, SESYNC, University of Maryland)
- Dynamics: Spatio-temporal and real-time data streams: sensor networks, social media, cube sats
- in space (e.g. the new Antarctic DEM from Paul Morin, University of Minnesota);
- in time (e.g. cubesats, sensor networks; social media);
- in depth?: going under-ground (from Debra Laefer, NYU)
- We love FAIR for data. What about FAIR for tools: make tools Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable
- Question 2: What does the CyberGIS Geographic Software Institute (GSI) need to do to address community needs and contribute to the national CyberInfrastructure ecosystem?
- Link strongly with existing diversity-supporting frameworks: HBCU; community colleges; tribes; networks such as @WomenWhoCode, @LadiesOfLandsat, @BlackGirlsCode, @500womensci, @RLadiesGlobal, etc.
- More of these workshops! Multi-disciplinary meetings of people with tight/packed agendas and make use of workshop attendees between workshops; what can we do to spread the word
- Create GSI Data Institute or Bootcamp or Faculty Education Mentoring Network
- Support standards for data and software standards to promote interoperability
- Support frameworks for data and software discovery and interoperability: FAIR for data; FAIR for tools
Conclusion: Super Fun. Learned a Ton. Plus parting words from Michael Goodchild: It is not location that matters, it is context. Location provides context; context allows integration: with data, between disciplines, between people, between tools. "Let's get above the layers".