Geodata Committee Meeting 20060329

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Public Geospatial Data Committee Meeting 2006-Mar-29

Meeting Info

 Chair: Jo Walsh
 Minutes: Schuyler Erle
 IRC: #osgeo channel on
 Date: 2006-Mar-29 (at least in the Americas and Europe)
 Time: Wednesday March 29, 15:00 UTC

Agenda Items

Old Business

New Items



David Bitner, Daniel Brookshier, Steve Coast, Schuyler Erle, John Graham, Florian Kindl, Mikel Maron, Jeff McKenna, Perry Nacionales, Markus Neteler, Daniel Putler, Norman Vine, Jo Walsh, Frank Warmerdam

IRC log

Old Business

Noted that three working groups came out of the previous meeting: geodata discovery, packaging, licensing. Participants are encouraged to sign up for the working groups. Agreed that working groups should set meeting times via the mailing list.

Project Portal

  • Project portal lives at, currently just a first draft. The committee votes to add a screenshot or two.
  • Some discussion of whether to keep the portal page or move everything to the wiki. Agreed that we need a single clean URL to hand people. Also agreed that standards for public presentation of committees are somewhat unclear.
  • Resolved that we should pile content into the project wiki page, which will then be ported into the portal's SVN next week. Jo volunteers to share SVN access with any committee member who wants to help maintain the portal site.

Geodata Hosting


  • John Graham and Norman Vine have volunteered to provide hosting for geodata download and (possibly?) services at the San Diego Supercomputing Center. John is already hosting LandSat and Blue Marble there.
  • Recommended we put together a "one-stop" catalog for public geodata access.
  • Discussion of whether to provide download or OGC-compliant web services. Agreed we ultimately want to provide both.
  • List of data sets added to Geodata Discovery Working Group page.
  • Recommended we set up a ticket tracker or equivalent to submit URLs of geodata sources to.
  • Some discussion of distributed WMS tiling. Agreed that this is a thing that some of us want to work on. EOGEO hosts a mailing list for this purpose, which interested parties should join.

Metadata Standards

  • Agreed that any services or data hosted by the foundation should be discoverable with OGC protocols.
  • Some discussion of division of labor: metadata for the Discovery group, hosting for the Packaging group. Debate over whether it makes sense to keep them separate or not. Agreed that the two groups can fold together if it turns out to be necessary.
  • Discussion of FGDC metadata standards, and applicability outside the US. Recommended we consider FGDC compatibility.
  • Discussion of multiple levels or 'bars' of compatibility / usefulness.

Next Actions

  • Come up with a draft proposal for what makes OSGeo-hosted data "metadata-complete", ideally example driven.
  • Discuss with OGC people who have considered the matter closely.
  • Also discuss with Mapdex people et al., solicit their advice, involvement.
  • Contemplate drafting standard letters to enable scientists to free their project data ("how to convince my boss")
  • Contemplate creating user interfaces for creating metadata, e.g.

INSPIRE Directive Discussion

  • The European Union INSPIPRE directive is a framework for sharing environmental information which has grown to include a lot of cadastral, addressing, etc information.
  • INSPIRE's guarantee of public rights to view or access public geodata is slowly dwindling to nothing through the EU legislative process.
  • has a quick outline of what is happening with INSPIRE.
  • How you can help!
    • Sign the petition against INSPIRE if you are an EU citizen.
    • Send testimonies or statements of support from business and academic groups identifying the direct benefits of public geodata access, ideally with hard numbers.
    • Contact your MEPs and national legislators and express to them how important public access to geodata is.
    • Put a banner on your web page.

The IRC log of the meeting:

Next Meeting

Next meeting in exactly one week, Wed 5th April 2006, 1500 UTC on #osgeo. The next meeting will focus more directly on hosting data sets at Telascience.

Back to the Main Geodata Committee Page