Jisc’s call for research data management ideas (Research Data Spring). Please cast your vote for the Cloud Work Bench proposal

researchATrisk

As part of their effort to create new solutions to common research problems, Jisc are looking for ideas from individuals and groups with an interest in research data. Please submit your ideas to promote solutions, and offer fresh perspectives for facilitating research data management. Everyone is also invited to vote for their favourite idea, or against other ideas! A simple registration is required in order to participate.

In particular, Research Data Spring is interested in ideas that make it easier to manage research data, especially from the researchers’ perspective (in addition to protocols mentioned within the first theme); in this context, it includes the re-use of data. In other words, Research Data Spring is seeking ideas that will smooth the processes of data management, deposit and re-use within the research lifecycle. This area is closely related with “data creation, deposit and re-use�, but the two are split in order to emphasize that some ideas might be focusing on generic data management support and related protocols and solutions for deposit and re-use, while others would address key disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research aspects.

As of today, the following 25 ideas have been submitted for voters’ considerations:

  • Streamlining Deposit: An OJS to Repository Plugin
  • Badges as a proxy for peer review of data
  • Standards and Schemas for Digital Research Notebooks
  • The Lab Box: Solve local backup, work towards rich metadata
  • Exchanging experience on RDM integration and interoperability
  • Research Data Infrastructure for the Visual Arts (RDIVA)
  • Provenance and Packaging
  • Standard protocol for research equipment
  • A metadata standard to enable automated genealogy generation
  • Mock idea: note that title is limited to 68 characters
  • Integrated RDM toolkit/service
  • Data browsing tools for repositories
  • Collaboration tool for qualitative data analysis
  • One page micro repositories
  • Symplectic for RDM purposes
  • DAF Question Bank
  • BOOKISH: Infrastructure Sharing for the NLS
  • Workshops/Training on Stakeholder Support of Researchers
  • Data retrieval via persistent identifiers (DOIs)
  • Exporting from DMPonline to data journals
  • Linked data notebook
  • Use semantic desktop to capture contextual research data
  • Streamline repository submissions from Zotero profiles
  • Research Data requirements vocabulary
  • Cloud Work Bench

The one idea submitted that is relevant to the geo-community comes from EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, and below is a summary of the proposal. If you find it an idea worth supporting, please visit the Research Data Spring website and cast your vote.

Cloud Work Bench

The concept of Cloud Work Bench (CWB) is quite simple – to provide researchers in the geospatial domain (GI Scientists, geomaticians, GIS experts, spatial disciplines) the tools, storage and data persistence they require to conduct research without the need to manage the same in a local context that can be fraught with socio-technical barriers that impede the actual research. By streamlining the availability and deployment of open source software tools, by supporting auto-generated web services and using open data, the work bench concept is geared towards removing the barriers that are inherent in geospatial research workflows – how to deploy the tools you want and have the storage and data management capabilities without the overhead of doing it all yourself. Think of it as an academic Dropbox with additional geospatial software tools and data thrown in…

We propose piloting the CWB approach within the geospatial research community which has a well established and broad user base across academia and industry (reflected for example via the uptake of Jisc’s flagship Digimap service), and also has a mature open source toolset and data stack which are prerequisites to conducting research e.g. Open Street Map, Ordnance Survey Open data, Postgis, Geoserver, GDAL/OGR.

We anticipate that the CWB concept will be transferable to other domain and disciplinary contexts e.g. statistics.

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EDINA Geo Services at GeoDATA London Showcase 2014

Early this month, EDINA Geodata Services held an exhibit at the GeoDATA Showcase 2014 event in London. This was our second time to exhibit at this event which is aimed primarily at the commercial end of the GI industry covering current data and technology topics. This follows on from other events in the series as described previously on the GoGeo Blog.

A summary of the talks can be found online.

We had a small stand, but the positive responses we got from visitors was very encouraging: from students who are currently using Digimap in their studies, to the lecturer in a university who said that Digimap was a great resource and essential to his teaching. Even more encouraging was the number of delegates and staff on other stands, with successful careers in the GI industry, who came up and said that they had used Digimap during their studies and it was a vital to their degree. It’s good to know that the future generations in the GI industry have the expectation that they will have easy access to high quality geospatial data, readily available from Digimap (at least while they are in education!).

We talked to delegates from a wide range of industries including environmental consultancies, government, data providers, local councils, defence and education as well as visiting and talking to many of the other exhibitors. We got a lot of useful feedback on what we’re doing and ideas for what we could be doing in the future including potential opportunities for collaboration. Of particular interest to delegates was the Fieldtrip GB app we were demonstrating which is a mobile data collection platform – especially once the magic word ‘free’ was mentioned, and also that there is an Open version available on Github.

Mince pies and mulled wine near the end were a welcome break from a long day, so busy that we didn’t actually get a chance to attend any of the talks, many of which looked very interesting, however it was a very useful event to attend. We look forward to next year’s event on the 3rd December 2015.

Service Availability 26 – 28th Jan – new registration system release

New users will not be able to register for Digimap from 4pm on 26th Jan and all Digimap services will be unavailable all day on 27th Jan. Normal service will resume by 9am on 28th Jan. This is to allow us to release a new Registration System.

New registrations for Digimap (using the current system) will be closed from 4pm Monday 26th January.

Digimap will then be unavailable all day on Tuesday 27th January, while we release the new system.

The service will be available again from Wednesday 28th 9am.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Due to the significant changes required to release the new system, we must close access to Digimap during this time.

We urge you to create any maps or download data that you may need during the period of service unavailability in advance.

The new registration system will allow users to register and instantly access Digimap Collections. New registrations will no longer have to be manually approved by the EDINA Helpdesk and then processed overnight. This will speed up access for new users significantly.

Existing registered and active users will not notice any change.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact EDINA on edina@ed.ac.uk or 0131 650 3302.

More details about how the new system looks and works will be posted on the Digimap blog in the New Year.

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Writing Edinburgh competition

edinburgh Writing Edinburgh

From the Old Town, with its dark, winding closes and looming gothic spires, watched over by the castle perched on craggy cliffs, to the New Town with its elegant rows of Georgian houses, public gardens and dramatic vistas out over the Forth, Edinburgh has inspired countless writers.

We invite you to respond to this rich literary history and/or to Edinburgh’s geography and urban development, taking as your starting point either a map or a text. The style and genre of the piece are up to you, but submissions should be prose fiction up to a maximum of 3000 words.

The contest will be judged by a team of literary critics and published authors, led by Edinburgh-based novelist Doug Johnstone. The results will be announced at public reception in March and shortlisted authors will be invited to read at the reception. There will be one winner, who will receive a cash prize of £250. The winning entry will be incorporated into Palimpsest’s literary history of Edinburgh through publication on our website.

Doug Johnstone is the author of six novels, most recently The Dead Beat which was published by Faber & Faber in May 2014.

Doug Johnstone is the author of six novels, most recently The Dead Beat which was published by Faber & Faber in May 2014. Photo credit: Chris Scott.

The competition deadline is midnight on Friday 30th January 2015.

The competition is open to anyone over 16 years of age.

Entry is free but all entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form.

You can download an entry form here: Palimpsest Writing Competition – Entry Form.

 

 

 

Full Terms and Conditions


General

  • Entries are restricted to one entry per person and all entries must be accompanied by an entry form including contact details. Submissions will be acknowledged within seven days.
  • All work submitted for consideration can be on any subject, and written in any style or form, but must be fiction and the entrant’s own original writing, and should not have appeared in print or appear on a website (including blogs and social networking sites) or have been broadcast, or be submitted for publication or consideration elsewhere,
  • Entries must clearly address the brief, responding to historical or contemporary mappings of Edinburgh and/or to the city’s geography.  A collection of historical maps digitised by the National Library of Scotland is available here.
  • All work must be typed or word processed, clearly legible and written in English. Presentation (e.g. font) is at the entrant’s discretion.
  • The maximum word count for each entry is 3000 words (titles, pager numbers and blank spaces/lines are not to be included in the word count) and entries longer than 3000 words will be automatically disqualified.
  • Entries received after the deadline (given in UK time) will not be considered.
  • Entries will be accepted only by post or online via the competition email.
  • Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted; stories cannot be amended, corrected or substituted.
  • The organisers reserve the right to disqualify any entry if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these terms and conditions.

Judging

  • Judging will be fair and unbiased: judges will declare any potential conflict of interest e.g. family relationship with entrants. All entries will be assigned a number and made anonymous upon receipt. Judges will not have entrants’ names during the reading and judging processes. Names will be reattributed to entries only after the short list and winners have been decided.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.
  • Judges are unable to comment on individual entries
  • Short-listed entrants will be invited to attend a prize-giving event in mid-March 2015. The winners will be announced at this event. Short-listed entrants will be notified by email or telephone before the end of February 2015, and asked to confirm attendance at the event. In cases where short-listed entrants are unable to attend the event, an extract of their entry will be read and they will be asked to submit a short written statement to be read out at the ceremony should they win.

Copyright

  • Selected pieces may be printed in publications and journals in relation to the Palimpsest project and may appear in electronic format on the project website, or in other electronic forms. For this reason, entrants are deemed to grant to Palimpsest a non-exclusive, worldwide licence over each entry. The copyright in each story submitted remains with the author and authors are free to submit stories for consideration elsewhere after the competition has concluded.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

The SUNCAT team would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. Thanks to everyone who has contributed and used SUNCAT throughout 2014. Here are some weird and wonderful Christmas-themed titles to enjoy.

Image of the EDINA Christmas tree with a SUNCAT poster in the background.

The EDINA Christmas tree with a SUNCAT poster in the background.

  • Country accents Christmas cookies.
  • Shortcut holiday cooking.
  • Prevention’s have a natural Christmas.
  • Sunset Christmas ideas and answers.
  • Christmas with Victoria.
  • Christmas from the heart : home for the holidays.
  • Early American life holiday foods.
  • Christmas at home by the fireside.
  • Santa Claus collection.
  • Selling Christmas decorations.
  • Quilter’s newsletter magazine’s quilt it for Christmas.
  • Turkey marketing guide.
  • Turkey call / National Wild Turkey Federation.
  • Poultry meat broiler and turkey edition.
  • Cranberries : the national cranberry magazine.
  • Marketing Massachusetts cranberries.
  • Marketing California brussel sprouts.
  • Christmas gifts of good taste.

We look forward to making the SUNCAT service even bigger and better in 2015!


SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated.  Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week.  The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Bath University (10 Nov 14)
  • Bristol University (04 Dec 14)
  • CONSER (10 Dec 14)
  • Essex University (06 Nov 14)
  • King’s College London (02 Dec 14)
  • NERC: Natural Environment Research Council (01 Dec 14)
  • Nottingham University (01 Dec 14)
  • Queen Mary, University of London (15 Nov 14)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (05 Dec 14)
  • St Andrews University (03 Dec 14)
  • Southampton University (07 Dec 14)
  • Sussex University (03 Dec 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.


Digimap Data: New datasets coming in the New Year

The new Ordnance Survey Licence includes some new and very interesting datasets for the Digimap service. We have already added OS Terrain 5, Ordnance Survey’s most detailed digital terrain model and contour data to the the Data Download facility. The other new datasets will require some additional effort to add into the service but we should have them available to download early in the new year. These new datasets are as follows:


OS MasterMap ITN Urban Paths

Routing information for walkers and cyclists in towns and cities.

More Info from Ordnance Survey…

OS MasterMap Sites LayerOS MasterMap Sites Layer

Identifies areas as being in categories such as schools, hospitals, transport facilities etc. The data also highlights access points to the sites and routing destinations for more accurate travel distances.

More Info from Ordnance Survey…

Points of Interest

Over 4 million points of interest classified into 3 tiers; 9 groups, 52 categories and 616 classes. The points of interest include accommodation, eating and drinking, commercial services, attractions, sport and entertainment, education and health, public infrastructure, manufacturing and production,retail, and transport.

More Info from Ordnance Survey…


EDINA has had many requests for these datasets, especially the Urban Paths so we are very pleased to be able to offer them to you. We also intend adding some of these datasets to Digimap Roam so that they can be added to the maps you view and print as well.

Please contact the EDINA help desk if you want access to the datasets mentioned above before they are made available in the Data Download service:

  • Phone: 0131 6503302
  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk

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GeoDATA London Showcase 2014

Last week EDINA Geodata Services were exhibiting at the GeoDATA Showcase 2014 event in London. This was our second time to exhibit at this event which is aimed primarily at the commercial end of the GI industry covering current data and technology topics. This follows on from other events in the series as described previously.

EDINA Geo stand at GeoDATA 2015

EDINA Geo stand at GeoDATA 2015

A summary of the talks can be found online.

We had a small stand, but the positive responses we got from visitors was very encouraging: from students who are currently using Digimap in their studies, to the lecturer in a university who said that Digimap was a great resource and essential to his teaching. Even more encouraging was the number of delegates and staff on other stands, with successful careers in the GI industry, who came up and said that they had used Digimap during their studies and it was a vital to their degree. It’s good to know that the future generations in the GI industry have the expectation that they will have easy access to high quality geospatial data, readily available from Digimap (at least while they are in education!).

 

We talked to delegates from a wide range of industries including environmental consultancies, government, data providers, local councils, defence and education as well as visiting and talking to many of the other exhibitors. We got a lot of useful feedback on what we’re doing and ideas for what we could be doing in the future including potential opportunities for collaboration. Of particular interest to delegates was the Fieldtrip GB app we were demonstrating which is a mobile data collection platform – especially once the magic word ‘free’ was mentioned, and also that there is an Open version available on Github.

Minced pies and mulled wine near the end were a welcome break from a long day, so busy that we didn’t actually get a chance to attend any of the talks, many of which looked very interesting, however it was a very useful event to attend. We look forward to next years event on the 3rd December 2015.

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End of term map quiz – now and then

It’s getting to that time of year where we all start winding down towards the Christmas holidays.  My memories of this time at school are of normal lessons being replaced by fun (but educational!) activities.  If you’re looking for something map related to give to your pupils, how about trying our fun map quiz?

Ken Lacey, OS Education Manager, has provided three fantastic ‘now and then’ quizes (one for each country)  Ken is extremely knowledgable about landscape changes across GB, and has provided some great examples. Here’s what Ken had to say about the quizzes:

Change happens all the time and certainly in the period between our 1890s historic layer and the modern day map. When you look at North West London ‘Metro land’ on the modern map and then look at the 1890s map the difference is obvious. Similarly at locations such as Milton Keynes they have changed out of all recognition.  

When you look at a lot of towns in Great Britain changes may be less in extent but still significant. It might be the possible loss of a railway line or very probably your town or village has greatly increased in size because of new large housing estates on the edge of the settlement.

But what of the more subtle changes that occur in the landscape? We have put together 3 locations in England, Scotland and Wales which are more rural in character.

The Scottish one is based on the area around the village of Saline which is North West of Dunfermline in Fife. It is rural district but in 1890 it was very much a part of the Fifeshire coalfield. Not today, so what change can you find?

Our Welsh example is along the River Severn. Rivers change their courses for many reasons so have a look and see how it has changed and then see what else you can find.

Our English example is to found at Stamford Bridge. This battle, if the result had gone the other way would have been just as momentous as the battle that we can all name and give the year when it was fought. What changes can you find in this part of East Yorkshire?

We have only recorded 10 changes on each map. Why not have a go finding the changes that we noticed and can you find more?

The maps, questions and answers are available below.  The answers are on the last page/slide, so remember not to give them to your pupils.

We hope you enjoy the quiz (and get top marks!)

English map quiz: PDF, Powerpoint

Scottish map quiz: PDF, Powerpoint

Welsh map quiz: PDF, Powerpoint

SUNCAT Newsletter (December 2014) is now available

Issue 12 of the SUNCAT Newsletter (December 2014) is now available on our website. It provides a round up of the SUNCAT news and developments for this year, including information about:
  • New libraries (we have almost reached 100 contributors!)
  • Ten years of SUNCAT
  • The new SUNCAT platform
  • Future developments
  • Details of the latest survey
  • RDA and SUNCAT
  • Events, presentations and articles
Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments about the contents.
For further information about SUNCAT please see our website, follow our news on Twitter @suncatteam, or contact the EDINA Helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk