Firstly, congrats on our first online census. That was awesome. I’ve heard there’s been some moaning but, humans + change = complaining, so no surprises there really! Being able to complete my submission on my phone after getting home from work filled me with respect for all the peeps involved.
There was just this one question, and maybe it’s a legacy issue, Continue reading “Dear Australian Census Designers”
Hat Tip to arstechnica for this article
This is a classic example of why we need to question where our data comes from. Once you stop to think about it, there are a number of possible explanations as to how this island came to be on charts and maps when it most likely never was. Effective spatial data analysis needs people’s brains to actually check out any anomalies thrown up when combining datasets. Algorithms can alert us to there being something that ‘needs a closer look’ but the actual looking is probably best done by someone who understands geographic information.
Similarly, any response to a spatial data anomaly must be informed by a number of factors, including things such as:
- where the data was sourced from
- who collected it and why
- what we are using it to do
In some instances a conservative response is the best way to go, in others, we may get away with ignoring the fact that an anomaly was even found. What we shouldn’t do is assume that there is a “correct response” that will then apply for all possible instances – real life just doesn’t work that way.
Unless you happened to be, or know, an oceanic vulcanologist, ‘floating pumice islands‘ are probably not the explanation that comes to mind!
I’ve noticed a bit of a theme lately in spatial industry communications, further evidence of which hit me in the recent email inviting the submission of papers for OZRI 2012:
…this year’s conference is designed to engage and inspire the next wave of new GIS adopters.
Continue reading “Always looking for the next wave…”