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GEOSTATS: FW: Requirements of the academic community

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  • Evans, Nathaniel
    Apologies for cross-posting. ... From: Ohanlon, Christopher [mailto:cohanlon@essex.ac.uk] Sent: 12 September 2000 10:04 To: lis-maps@mailbase.ac.uk Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2000
      Apologies for cross-posting.

      I thought this may be of interest to list members:

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ohanlon, Christopher [mailto:cohanlon@...]
      Sent: 12 September 2000 10:04
      To: 'lis-maps@...'
      Subject: Requirements of the academic community

      I am currently working on a project looking at the feasibility of having a
      Geo-data Browser for the HE community. At the moment the project is in its
      initial stages, and I am trying to find out what level of detail the
      academic community would require for a geo-spatial portal.
      Firstly let me explain what the portal will do.
      Increasing amounts of geo-spatial data are being created within the UK HE
      community, much of which has value both within and outside academia. It is
      estimated that over 80% of all scientific data sets are geographically
      referenced in some way. At the same time the demand for access to
      geo-spatial data is growing, but there are two major barriers confronting
      the potential use of geo-spatial data resources.
      * How to find out what geo-spatial data exist.
      * Having located it how to ascertain its quality and suitability for
      The solution to overcoming these barriers is to provide comprehensive,
      standardised metadata, available through a web-searchable database. The
      metadata has to be easily accessible and provided in such a way that an
      individual can obtain sufficient information to compare suitability of data
      from different sources.
      What I am interested in finding out is what level of detail within the
      metadata the academic community would require in order to suit its needs.
      For instance would the name of the country the dataset is from be enough?,
      or would the dataset have to be more specifically referenced, such as the
      county, town, administrative area etc? Would it be useful to reference the
      dataset by a series of co-ordinates, that could be located on an OS map?, or
      is this level of detail too specific? (remember, there could be hundreds of
      datasets that would need searching if the geographic reference was too
      broad) Also what other information about the dataset would be required to
      ascertain what information the dataset contained? These could be Title,
      Abstract, Keywords, Author(s) etc
      Please could you get back to me with your thoughts on this, and your help
      would be greatly appreciated.

      Many Thanks

      For more information on the Geo-data Browser project and the associated
      Geo-Crosswalk project please go to

      Chris O'Hanlon
      Geographic Information Officer
      Geo-Spatial Project
      The Data Archive
      University of Essex
      Wivenhoe Park
      CO4 3SQ

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