Monday, 11 April 2011

Dead or Just Sleeping?

Ok so here goes, blog number one. Of how many remains to be seen, depending on response and my own lazy arse.

On of the big issues in GIS right now isnt Metadata. But it should be. It reared its head a couple of years ago when the EU brought in the INSPIRE directive and half the GIS world got upset and exasperated at yet more work to do, deadlines to meet and management structures to put in place. The other half rejoiced for here came structure and order to the chaos of the the many thousands of datasets they had.

Then the banks imploded, the government borrowed, and cuts came in.

And INSPIRE died and dragged metadata down with it.

All the world of Geeks talk about now is Open Data and Open Source.

But surely if we're getting our hands on a deluge of data (6100+ in the UK right now), then surely metadata becomes more important not less. Where did it come from? When did I get it? When is it dated? Is it maintained? Is it the latest release? Not to mention hard drive space of storing all the blooming stuff when its been downloaded 18 times by all and sundry.

If you have not sorted INSPIRE or have started then stopped, its time to get it going before its too late. Central Goverment is ignoring INSPIRE right now, but its only a matter of time before the folks at DEFRA (via the UK Location Council) start to turn the big red (Dark Lord Sauron esque) beady eye on this issue once more. And lets face it If Mr Pickles can clobber you with financial penalties then he will.

metedata isnt dead, its just sleeping and when it wakes, you'd better be ready.

1 comment:

  1. I thought I'd post a comment, everyone wants a comment after all...

    In 10 plus years of using GIS, metadata never really got me, well I never do it... Sometimes though, especially when I was a 'data manager' I did think it would be useful to know what 'we' had (and it was in my GIS Strategy pending 4 years later)...especially with the more expensive / commercial datasets...

    Nowadays, with Open data etc, do you not think data has become more 'throw away' as a commodity? As you say there are no boundaries to download, anyone can do it, so how can you control what and how someone gets it, or make them understand...the data manager has been made more of a pest controller, stopping people downloading and filling up their hard drives...

    Different story for primary collected data of course, you need to know what's been collected, who did it and how it was done but then I've never dabbled with my own primary collected data. I was looking at some data for Albania yesterday, from the t'web, doubts over quality overhang like a large mallet, without metadata/quality information ultimatley I cannot trust it.

    Keith (not drunk, must change that for professional reasons)