Data Mash-Ups and the Future of Mapping

JISC has released Data Mash-Ups and the Future of Mapping.

Here's an excerpt:

The term 'mash-up' refers to websites that weave data from different sources into new Web services. The key to a successful Web service is to gather and use large datasets and harness the scale of the Internet through what is known as network effects. This means that data sources are just as important as the software that 'mashes' them, and one of the most profound pieces of data that a user has at any one time is his or her location. . . .

Since, as this report makes clear, data mash-ups that make use of geospatial data in some form or other are by far the most common mash-ups to date, then they are likely to provide useful lessons for other forms of data. In particular, the education community needs to understand the issues around how to open up data, how to allow data to be added to in ways that do not compromise accuracy and quality and how to deal with issues such as privacy and working with commercial and non-profit third parties—and the GeoWeb is a test ground for much of this. Thirdly, new location-based systems are likely to have educational uses by, for example, facilitating new forms of fieldwork. Understanding the technology behind such systems and the way it is developing is likely to be of benefit to teachers and lecturers who are thinking about new ways to engage with learners. And finally, there is a future watching aspect. Data mash-ups in education and research are part of an emerging, richer information environment with greater integration of mobile applications, sensor platforms, e-science, mixed reality, and semantic, machine-computable data. This report starts to speculate on forms that these might take, in the context of map-based data.

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