GeoData 2014 is a workshop series which supports the EarthCube community of federal/civil agencies, such as the DoE, EPA, NASA, NOAA, NSF, USDA, USGS, and others. We took the following notes during the workshop, and certain themes may be of interest to our article readers.


The focus of the GeoData 2014 workshop concerned how Federal Geodata “Operations Assets” can assist Geoscientists in their work through improved interagency coordination.

Below are our summary notes from the workshop:


Day 1 Breakouts (Culture/Management)

  • Governmental open data
  • Interagency coordination of geodata – progress and challenges
  • Feedback from the academic and commercial sectors
  • Collaborating environment and culture building

Day 2 Breakouts (Tech)

  • Data lifecycle
  • Data citation and data integration frameworks – technical progress
  • Experience and best practices on data interoperability
  • Connections among distributed data repositories – looking forward

Raw Notes

The workshop has some interesting outcomes.

  • About 50 people were in attendance. NOAA and USGS on Fed side primarily.
  • We have pushed forward on our agenda to see if we have progressed on ideation pragmatism since Geodata2011.
  • The focus is on Cultural and Financial issues limiting inter-agency connection.
  • The term agile government came up often… with some laughs, but some defenders (Relates to our efforts with ACT-IAC)
  • Scientists hear Architecture as Big IT contracts and IT infrastructure, not process improvement, data integration, goal/mission alignment, etc., so there are clear vernacular issues.
  • The FGDC and tons of other standards/organizing bodies were seen as competing against others and confusing.
  • and other open data policy hot topics (Seen as good steps, low quality data) – “geoplatform” were mentioned exactly “zero” times.
  • The geo data lifecycle is primarily on the latter end of cycle (citations, discovery, publication for reusability, credit). But, there was not much on project coordination, data acq coordination, no marketplace chatter, little on coordinating sensor investment
  • General questions on how scientists hold interest in how to reach intel groups
  • There was a big push on ESIP
  • Suggesting concrete steps as best practices to agencies and professors
  • You cannot teach Data Management, so what do we expect? You get what you pay for.
  • Finally, there was a big push on how to tie grassroots efforts and top-down efforts together. Grassroots groups agreed we need to showcase more, earlier, and get into the communities top-down folks are looking at.
  • There was not high Federal representation there, but we agreed with limited Government travel budgets We need to bring these concepts to them and meet on their meetings, agendas, conferences, circuits, and push these concepts and needs.

Questions We Posed In General Sessions

  • Of Performance, Portfolio, Architecture, Evangelism, Policy, or other what is more important to the GeoScientist that needs to be addressed in order to improve inter-agency coordination.
  • You noted you want to truly disrupt or re-invent the motivation and other aspects in the culture, what was discussed related to doing such – inter-agency wiki commons a la intellipedia? Gamification and how incents resource Management MMORPGs – i.e. transparent and fun way to incentivize data maturity? Crowdsourcing a la mechanical turk to help in cross-agency knowledge-sharing? Hackathon/TC Disrupt Competitions to help in showcase? Combination – i.e. Gamify metadata lifecycle with crowd model?
  • After registering data, metadata, good citations, and doing all the data lifecycle management, and if we are to “assume internet”, who is responsible for the SEO Rank to help people find scientific data in the internet. Who assures/enhances registrations? Who aligns signals to help with keywords, and thousands of other potential signals? Especially in response to events needing geoscience data? Who helps push and domain catalogs for others to harvest?