Just where are the standards nowadays? (rant)

I am sure I am not the only one, you have the mother of all projects to get some spatial analysis done on by close of business and you go to merge the data for a spot of spatial join action and……there is no consistency, in fact every single data has a different way of structuring its attribute data.

Okay, so maybe you won’t be merging your data together for a spatial join, only a complete noob would be doing that (hello :P) but the point is, where are the standards? You buy survey data and most of its own data uses different attribute labelling formats, you download some Government Open Data and you spend 90% of your time trying to work out what the columns are about…if they are labelled at all!.

This is the modern age, we are looking at big data and cloud based systems yet we can’t even produce 2 data which talk to each other, it is well, embarrassing!! The ironic (or frightening) thing is that I have sat in a few meetings and discussions on Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and each meeting has its own ideas about what needs to be addressed – The hydrographers want something specific to them and then the survey guys want something specific to them….and so on…

Well there are many SDIs about but here’s the problem….too many chiefs and not enough Indians (excuse the analogy), there are too many rules and regulations from too many sources for anyone to make sense of it & without any single specific governing body we end up with everyone having their own ideas over what they think should be right….only most of these guys are analysts, theorists and conspirators, not the people that work with the geospatial data on a day to day basis.

Just a quick scout on Wikipedia reveals just how many different standards are flying around at the moment:

My question to you all is why can’t the field with the object names in be called “Names” or the field with the WGS84 Latitude coordinates (in Decimal Degrees be called “Lat_DD”? Is this too complex?

I’m looking at my Twitter right now and I see 2500 of the best people to answer my question, if not, to spread the word and help to find the BEST answer to the question –

HOW DO WE GO ABOUT GETTING A DEFINITIVE SDI FOR FEATURE ATTRIBUTION?Please feel free to prod me and poke a stick at me if I am completely wrong and there is a standard which should be adhered to, in 10yrs of geospatial work I haven’t found it but I may have been looking in the wrong places. The closest I have got so far is the amazing work being done as part of the Inspire directive, though trying to comprehend it is a real pain and a few of the attribute names are not compliant with shapefile format eg “meanhigherhighwatersprings” & “Gradeseperatedcrossing” is never going to work!

All I want to do is to inter-relate my geospatial data and not spend hours having to rename and re-order the fields so that it I can join 2 tables together! It can’t be that hard….can it?

Nick D

SeaZone announce Hydroview Now – Nautical WFS

Marine and nautical features on-demand with HydroView Now: Features

SeaZone and Snowflake Software have joined forces to create ‘HydroView Now: Features’, a ready to consume Web Feature Service for the marine community.

Consisting of key marine and nautical feature types from vector charting supplied by official International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) chart producers, HydroView Now: Features is an ideal complement to the Free-to-Use HydroView Now: Basemap.

Delivered through an authenticated geography mark-up language (GML) web feature service, organisations can utilise the service via an application programming interface (API) and securely display, select and query HydroView Now: Features within their company’s internally facing intranet, desk top mapping software or externally facing website.

SeaZone and Snowflake can deliver marine data as GML for direct consumption and access. This ease of using HydroView Now: Features allows SeaZone’s Licensees the most up-to-date content available for reuse, without the long term data management costs associated traditional data delivery, management, retrieval and/or web hosting and serving. The GML we deliver complies with the S-100 standard for hydrographic data as well as meeting the requirements for INSPIRE download services.

Offering a Data as a Service (DaaS) platform provides data publishers and consumers with the ability to publish, deliver and consume adaptable cloud services ‘off the shelf’ and at minimal cost.

HydroView Now: Features appeals to organisations with varying coastal, marine and maritime mapping requirements including: oil, gas and renewable energy asset management, environmental monitoring applications; maritime route planning; situational awareness; defence; and vessel tracking for anti-piracy and logistical planning.

For further information please visit the SeaZone website at http://www.SeaZone.com/HydroViewNow.php or contact Zack Abraham, Senior Sales Consultant, SeaZone Solutions. Tel: +44 (0)1491 822 850. Email: Zack.Abraham@SeaZone.com

A live demo will be available soon.

SeaZone Hydrospatial One free to browse!!

SeaZone’s flagship ‘HydroSpatial One’ free-to-browse at SeaZoneDirect.com

SeaZone is proud to announce that its flagship product HydroSpatial One is now available to view free on-line from the SeaZone web-store, SeaZoneDirect.com  http://tinyurl.com/SZDirect-HS-One  Focusing on UK waters, HydroSpatial One is the original and leading “off-the-shelf” authoritative digital marine map, engineered and maintained using raw material from hydrographic offices and other agencies managing marine data.

HydroSpatial One provides the most comprehensive single source reference information for the marine environment and is designed for easy access and cost effective use in desktop and WebGIS, satisfying the majority of user needs and applications. Users can now browse this unique and comprehensive mapping data on-line to select what’s most appropriate for their area.

HydroSpatial One can be viewed and purchased either in its entirety or broken down into its six constituent topics layers;

BE – Bathymetry & Elevation, NP – Natural & Physical Features, SO – Structures & Obstructions, SE – Socio Economic & Marine Use, CE – Conservation and Environment and CO – Climate & Oceanography

Full details of HydroSpatial One and its topic layers can be found at http://www.seazone.com/HydroSpatialOne.php

HydroSpatial One significantly enhances the suite of marine mapping products available on-line from the SeaZone web-store http://www.SeaZoneDirect.com  Our worldwide products include the vector products HydroSpatial Base and HydroSpatial Global and the raster product HydroView Charts.

To browse SeaZone HydroSpatial One or our other data products for free, please set up a free account at www.SeaZoneDirect.com/register

SeaZone Hydrospatial Base available to view and buy online!!

This is a breakthrough for the offshore industry, hydrospatial data available to view online, let alone purchase! I recommend checking this out!

From SeaZone 17th May 2013:

Free-to-view’ improved marine vector mapping at www.SeaZoneDirect.com  

with enhanced map selection and soundings

SeaZone continues to improve the visual experience of its on-line marine map shop with the release of an enhanced version of its vector marine mapping product, ‘HydroSpatial Base’. More of the useful features that you receive when you download HydroSpatial Base are now available when viewing the data in SeaZoneDirect.com http://tiny.cc/hsbase_dubai You are now able to see features such as soundings, restricted areas, lights, navigational buoys, pipelines, cables and much more for free!

At the higher zoom levels there is even more detail than ever before, making the selection of marine data easier and providing our customers with greater confidence in the product that they are purchasing.

Map tile selection is now even easier as well. Either select your area of interest using the selection tools, or use a KML file. Simply create your area of interest in KML using GIS desktop software, or even Google Earth, then upload it to SeaZoneDirect.com. The tiles that are intersecting your KML file will automatically be selected and all you have to do is click ‘Order Now’.

And remember…It can now take only a few minutes for your data to be available to download once you have placed your order! 

To view and select data for free, please set up an account at SeaZoneDirect.com; www.seazonedirect.com/register

For further information about HydroSpatial Base please visit the SeaZone website: http://www.seazone.com/HydroSpatialBase.php

Our product pages at www.SeaZone.com have direct links to everything available at the SeaZone Shop http://tiny.cc/hsbase_london