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International Workshop on Improving the Usability of Geospatial Data


14th June 2017

Producers of geospatial data wish to be able to maximise the use of their data and solve users’ problems quickly. Understanding whether a dataset is suitable for an intended use is critical in deciding which dataset to use. All too often, users only find that the dataset is unsuitable for use after they have invested time and effort in it.

Most producers create some quality metrics but these are often difficult to interpret. The elements described in ISO19157 are written in a technical language and are purely for specialists. Few outside the world of spatial data quality understand them. The producers of such data have the ability to measure the quality of the data but are unlikely to know what use a potential user is likely to try and use the data for. Indeed, they may not even know or meet the user.

What’s required is a method of communicating the quality information in a way that the user will be able to follow. The solution must be simple enough for the potential user to understand, yet clear enough, to allow potentially detailed information to be communicated. The method must also work for datasets produced at different scales. Done well, this could significantly enhance the user experience when searching for new datasets to use.

This workshop will bring together producers, users, and academics in order to examine the issue in greater detail. We will hear what producers know about their data and what users really need to know. We will also look at the ways that other industries have solved these issues. In the afternoon, we will discuss potential solutions and options for research into the topic.

Workshop outline can be found here.

See the agenda.

Workshop presentations

Title Author
Introduction to EuroSDR Jon Arne Trollvik, EuroSDR
Data quality from a producer’s perspective 1 Ed Mainwaring, Ordnance Survey Great Britain
Data quality from a producer’s perspective 2  Dolors Barrot, Institute Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya
A university perspective Claire Ellul, University College London
How other industries have addressed these issues Jonathan Holmes, Eurogeographics QKEN Chair
Breakout Sessions (Three Groups) – Notes  
Recording YouTube 

Workshop output

Research Proposal 18 kb, DOC


14th June 2017


Ordnance Survey
Southampton, United Kingdom