The STEEV project led the discussion on two tasks at the #jiscGEO breakout sessions (as part of the JISC Geo Tools launch on Nov. 28 & 29).
The first task at table 6 was to come up with a recommendation about how spatial and temporal analysis can enhance research. Using the example of digitised boundaries for temporal spatial research the group discussed the unavailability of historic content (bearing in mind the volatile nature (in political terms) of boundaries!). Discussion also centred around the new INSPIRE directive and how compliant spatial datasets must have a temporal component (i.e. a start date). Views on a variety of spatio-temporal analytical approaches and utilities were exchanged – this led to the formulation of two recommendations, namely:
- An audit is required of spatio-tremporal tools, utilities, procedures and techniques used within a research space
- For the purposes of exchange and integration, the creation of an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) XML-based spatio-temporal data standard
Many thanks to Mia Ridge (Open University), Neil Jakeman (Kings College London), Andrew Bradley (University of Leicester), Tom Ensom (UK Data Archive, University of Essex), Richard Fry (University of Glamorgan), Scott Orford (Cardiff University), Andrew Newton (University of Huddersfield), Jasper Tredgold (ILRT, University of Bristol), Kate Byrne (University of Edinburgh) for articulating said recommendations.
The second task at table 5 was to discuss and come up with recommendations about how to fully exploit spatial analysis within research.
Much of this discussion concentrated on spatial literacy as a means to both prepare and engage the student or researcher considering undergoing spatial analysis in an educational setting. The ubiquity of modern web mapping utilities, geo-tools, open geo-browsers means that it is easy to represent spatially a whole range of data. However whether the representation is accurate, makes sense or is reliable is another matter. Thus in order to ensure that spatial analysis is robust, can bear scrutiny, is accurate and understandable the group came up with the following recommendations, namely:
- The establishment of a (JISC) spatial interest group (comprising a whole range of stakeholders) that can advise and critique on spatial analysis methods, applications, documentation, open materials and courses, and provide expertise. This may be national in remit.
- To scope an ‘analytical framework’ robust enough to be cross-disciplinary, which would make explicit spatial representation for the purposes of interpretation, make explicit context be it physical, social, temporal. In addition this framework should be adaptable to work from the generic to the domain specific research scenario, use non-technical jargon and be critical in its approach to include both positive and negative case studies.
Many thanks to Martha LeGess (LaMa studio), Chris Bailey (ILRT, University of Bristol), Patricia Carbajales (Stanford University), Conor Smyth (EDINA, University of Edinburgh), Alexander Hirschfield (University of Huddersfield) for articulating said recommendations.