January 2012

Can open data lead to open government?

The relationship between Open Data and Open Government is one that fascinates me. I’m curious as to how Open Data – that is, data that is easily accessible with a minimum of restrictions governing use or reuse, can be used as a conversation or focus point to increase the involvement of citizens in government. If government data is being collected to support decision-making, shouldn’t that data be shared with citizens?

The impact of climate change on winter ski tourism in the Pyrenees

We all know that climate change is having a major impact on weather patterns around the globe. One industry that is particularly exposed to these changes is the ski industry. Though large mountain/high elevation ski resorts may remain insulated from the impacts of shorter ski seasons and more erratic weather, those ski resorts at low altitude are particularly vulnerable to a changing climate. As a mid-latitude, lower elevation (comparatively) ski region, the Pyrenees are one area where the impacts of a changing climate are pronounced.

Volunteered geographic information special session at CAG 2012

For anyone heading to the 2012 Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Waterloo (May 28 – June 2), I am co-hosting (with Dr. Rob Feick) two sessions on volunteered geographic information (VGI) and GIScience 2.0. The session are called “Technology, Science and Citizens: Geographical information science (GIScience) 2.0 and the role of volunteered geographic information”. The first session is from 1:30-3:00 on Wednesday May 30, and the second is from 3:30–5:00 on the same day.

Why we don't all need to learn code

Today I’m going to provide a counter point to my last post “Why we should all learn to code”. Is it true that coding is an essential skill for undergraduates, particularly those who want to use geospatial data? To interact with technology in an advanced way (i.e., as more than a user) do you have to ‘speak the language’?

Why we should all learn to code

I recently read an article in Inside Higher Education called “Should All Majors, Not Just Computer Science Majors Learn to Code“. If you know me at all, then you probably know my answer to this question: YES.

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