GeoWeb 2010

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See also the pre meeting of the OSGeo Local Chapter British Columbia meeting 2010.


Geoweb Conference

GeoWeb 2010 - Everything is Connected - will take place in Vancouver, Canada July 26-30

GeoWeb encourages the attendance of all senior decision-makers, industry leaders and technologists that are interested in the convergence of web technologies, XML, web services and GIS. GeoWeb 2010 is open to all businesses, academic institutions and governments that are interested in:

  • the development of new GeoWeb technology
  • the impact of the GeoWeb on businesses and government policies
  • the emergence of new business models for the GeoWeb
  • the multitude of applications associate with the new GeoWeb technology

The Potential of Digital (Meta)data

Type - Technical Session
Theme: GeoWeb & SDI architecture & registries including Sensor Webs
Presenter: Arnulf Christl


75-Word Abstract

Modern metadata catalogs use ontologies and thesauri to create hierarchical and polyhierarchical indexes. But catalogs still seem to miss the needs of both consumers and producers of geospatail data alike. A concise introduction to the syntax and semantics of geospatial metadata shows how to get there and that it misses pragmatics (the third semiotic discipline). One path to solve this problem is to automize metadata generation by better linking IT and to allow more interaction of actors.

200-Word Abstract

To understand the concepts behind metadata it is helpful to look into linguistics and derive the meanings of syntax and semantics. The third discipline of semiotics is pragmatics, it describes "the relation between signs and their effects on those who use them". This is exactly what we are missing in current catalogs, there is no meaningful relation between the metadata created by producers and an unknown group of potential users. To understand the potential of digital metadata the three levels of order that apply to matter (first level of order), alphabetical catalogs (second) and digital data (third level of order) are explained. From this outlook it is easy to understand why second order catalogs can never fathom the potential of digital data. The solution to this problem is to first allow metadata to automagically permeate from geospatial data and then to link it together. This provides the platform that allows communities to interact with the data and metadata, derive their own meaning (semantics) and from there build their own ontologies. The syntax is already well defined in known standards and technically available. When these two concepts are combined in an agile environment it will allow collaborative development which in turn will create the new level of order that will finally realize the promise that spatial data infrastructure publish-find-bind paradigms have promised years ago.


Some impressions from Geoweb 2010. Click on the image to enlarge.

GeoWeb's main event location (Asia Pacific Hall)
Paul Ramsey enjoying Geoweb
The Geoweb Comet (aka Planet Earth)
Chris Helm himself


This was my first time at GeoWeb and it was definitely worth going. Will try to fit my schedule around it to be able to attend the 2011 edition. The presentations were in general of a high quality, a good mix between business, techno and user reports. Some of the invited speakers did not live quite up to my expectations but then - this might also just be my strange expectations.

The topic was Going Real Time and it showed in quite a few presentations. On the other hand this is not really a seminal finding as it just reflects how information, technology and spatial are currently developing. To me it was quite intriguing that this is such an international event, especially because it is in Vancouver which for many is quite a distance to go. Presenters came from pretty much all over the world making a good mix.

The venue is great, especially Asia Pacific Hall offers perfect infrastructure for dialog. This feature could have added a special note to the event but I know how hard it is to leave the traditional half hour (yawn) presentation and do something different.

Infrastructure (online access, screens, audio, coffee, all the nitty gritty details) was impeccable. A great thanks to the folks from GITA for putting on a really good show. And a big thanks again to Ron Lake and the staff at Galdos for making this possible in the first place.