This workshop took place last week, at University College London. My proposal to demonstrate worldKit was accepted, so it was exciting to attend the one day I could make it. This was a fairly professional meeting, with several show and tell demonstrations of Earth Observation and GIS-ish technologies and implementations, as well as some fairly heavy discussion on standards like GML, SensorML, Web Service coordination, and GRID computing. On a different level from geowanking, with all the pluses and minuses that implies. They have access to some amazing data sets, satellites, supercomputers, and unmanned aerial vehicles. That’s traded against less openness and the compromises of working within large government organizations.
Still, the intention, and purpose of EOGEO specifically, is to open up this information for the general good beyond agencies, in the form of Civil Society. Yes, it moves slower than loose knit web hackers, but they have huge masses to move. They want to pick up on the margins, from their perspective the, and this was the source of the invitation for submissions to geowanking that I responded to. worldKit demos were received very well I think, a lot of folks grokking that this level of technology suffices and is more suitable for a lot of purposes out there — particularly in Civil Society where technical resources are limited.
A couple stand outs for me. “A Web Map Server for satellite imagery in the ESA Multi-Mission Catalogue” from Swedish researchers impressively constructed composite images from numerous satellites and sensors, on the fly (reminded me of the app at David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Clive Best talked on European Media Monitor, from the European Commision Joint Research Centre; they will be building news maps to monitor opinion and events from media across all the member states. That’s quite exciting, the EU taking such a forward approach to keeping informed. On the other side of the spectrum, the Ordnance Survey gave a very commercial focused talk, detail on their new web based shopping system; the subtext for me was don’t expect free UK geo data any time soon.