Interoperability between Maps
January 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm #3427
Several of us on the Sharing Cities Facebook group began a conversation about how to create a common language/taxonomy for cataloging and sharing data from the large number of maps being created around the world related to the commons, p2p and sharing initiatives. I created this topic so we can continue the conversation. If you know someone working on this topic, please invite them to join us!January 19, 2014 at 8:45 am #3442
Hello friends, maybe we could start writing some requirements on a doc, describe what we are thinking of, what we would like, as a project description? And use this to gather developers and attract funding? I asked Sylvain Lebon on the Ouishare Labs Facebook page how the ‘reciproque’ of the open funding model could work. Here’s my question and his response.
Helene:”I was looking at Open Funding after being on a hangout with Sylvain Le Bon yesterday. And was wondering, what would be the reverse model. Yesterday all of us who attended the call except Sylvain were on the ‘need’ side (the representative of the ‘offer’ side Pavlik didn’t attend finally). All of us were looking for techno solutions to enhance interoperability and enable our transformative action. How could we specify our needs, and have developers come and say that they have adjacent projects? I’ve been posting stuff on github and came to the labs camps in this perspective. What could be done on this front?”
Sylvain:”It’s actually a question we’re often asked. For now we don’t want to post a request that has no developer because it would lack credibility, animation, and would probably get lost. But if you want to move on this subject, we can find a developer that could help specify, and afterwards develop.”January 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm #3443
The logic underlying NORA may be useful in creating interoperability between maps.
Those maps which primarily address needs would fall under the Needs aspect of NORA. For example, maps of food security issues, access to clean water, etc.
Maps that show where different kinds of commons have been established, where there are credit unions, cooperatives of various types, etc., would fall under the Organizational Forms aspect of NORA.
Maps showing the quantity and quality of resources, ranging from air quality to biodiversity, and including assets created by people (for example, transport and communications infrastructure) and intangibles (such as knowledge resources) would fall under the Resources aspect of NORA.
Finally, maps that attempt to integrate information from all three of the above areas would fall under the Abundance aspect of NORA (for example, maps attempting to show sustainable well-being defined in various ways).
The above classification system could work not just for entire maps, but also for each information category on a map – for example, if a map includes both needs and resources related information, each of these information items could be classified within the NORA system.
Since NORA is still in its early stages, it is also flexible – new categories can be added, or existing ones modified, in order to adapt to emerging requirements in the mapping work.
I would be very interested in participating in a conversation about how NORA might contribute to this project. This could take the form of a doc as suggested by Helene.January 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm #3447
Hi Wolfgang: Now I understand what NORA means, cool! This makes me think, maybe there should be a glossary of key terms on the front page of commonsabundance.net? There’s a link to the “NORA Knowledge Base” but I must admit, I never clicked on it, probably because I thought “NORA sounds like something technical.” A glossary would solve this problem right away, and since NORA is one of the key things on this site, it would be good to advertise in a way that makes it easy to understand and get involved.
Maybe the short section “Spreading the Word of the Commons” could be adapted into a brief lexicon 🙂
At another level of discussion, there are different theories of needs (e.g. Maslow, Max-Neef) and even some theorists who write polemics against the idea of needs (I think Ivan Illich is one). Is there a good place for further discussion of the theoretical stance of NORA (… I’m guessing you already have made some resources about this, but I’m not easily able to find them by clicking through the current NORA pages).January 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm #3449
Joe, we do have a glossary in the about section: http://commonsabundance.net/glossary/
We could add something on NORA there. And refer to the glossary on the NORA introduction pages and other important pages.
I also agree NORA could be advertised better. We have been talking about it with Wolfgang. We changed the About section, but not yet the home page… It’s on the list 🙂
January 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm #3465
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Helene Finidori.
It’s good to hear feedback about what people see or don’t see on the site, Joe!
As Helene said, making NORA more visible on the homepage is one of the things we’ve talked about but not done yet – we’re kind of working on a bunch of fronts at the same time, which makes it difficult to keep up. That’s one of the reasons we need more time dedicated to this project, for which funding would help…
Putting NORA, needs, organizational forms, and resources on the glossary page I think is indeed a good idea. My own thinking has in fact been informed by all three authors you mention, Joe, though I have not adopted Illich’s critique of the term “needs”. Anyway, I can write a page on “needs” similar to the pages on “abundance” and “commons”, provide a short definition in the glossary, and then link the longer page from there.
We could actually do something similar with the term “approaches toward abundance” that’s used within NORA, and explain how it relates to pattern language and the thoughts of Christopher Alexander. Or, we could also rename the “approaches toward abundance” into something that explicitly mentions patterns, and then include whatever term we come up with in the glossary.January 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm #3468
@wolfgang-hoeschele – I think it could be easiest to connect to Christopher Alexander’s more recent idea of “centres” and from there to the notion of “pattern”. The “centre” idea came up in today’s peeragogy meeting (although maybe it was in disguise). Here’s a lightly-edited quote from the meeting that I hope will illustrate:
If the individuals “bucket” well, i.e. if people define their footprint, their expertise, value-contribution, and we put that mosaic together, that defines the resource pool & service providers, and people can align and join these buckets. It’s not ego-centric around the individual person in a declarative way. Rather, it’s about creating centres or memes for various parts of the peeragogy contribution. Then we can figure out the connective tissues & the mappings to make each of these correlated to applications.
Centres are, for C.A., the essence of life, so it makes sense to connect them to a notion of need. We might also avoid getting to tangled with the Illich critique of “need culture” if we look at the idea in a very broad way. (C.A. is extremely broad!)
(I’m not sure how to connect back to “patterns” but I suspect there’s prior literature on that.)January 21, 2014 at 1:41 am #3472
I think the way one might put it is that “patterns” represent approaches to creating better “centers.” So, for example, in his four-volume work “The Nature of Order”, Alexander provides a set of instructions how to go about designing/constructing a Japanese tea house. Designing/constructing is a single process for Alexander, which is why I put them together like this. It’s an ordered process of first attending to one aspect of the layout that has to come first, then to another and so on, until you get a tea house with its garden that provides a sense of tranquility and peace even if that place is surrounded by a busy city. So, that set of instructions can be taken as a “pattern,” while the tea house that results is a center that itself consists of many smaller centers, and exists in close interaction with surrounding centers (as for example the garden, the vegetation in it, the garden wall, etc.).
So, in a knowledge base, we can work on providing (and subsequently improving on) patterns that can be used to create better centers. The experience of working with these patterns should of course feed back into our efforts, so that our knowledge base becomes increasingly useful.January 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm #3528
Here’s a titanpad on work that is going on in Germany regarding mapping:
At present, it’s mostly a list of links of mapping projects, but I expect there’s more to come!February 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm #3533
I completely jazzed about tapping NORA for map interoperability. I finally took the time to have a long look at the NORA content. There’s a lot here already but now I’m beginning to see its tremendous potential. I’m particularly impressed with the development of the types of organizational forms. Wolfgang, I’m on board with your idea to relate maps to each section of NORA. I’m definitely in favor of a conversation about how to use NORA in map interoperability.
I found navigating NORA particularly challenging. Since the tags aren’t working, is there another way to navigate that I’m missing? Maybe it’s just me. I always feel Wiki’s are confusing to navigate. I’d dearly love to see a sitemap.
It seems map interoperability involves several things:
* a common language/taxonomy to identify commons and other alternative projects and organizations on many of the maps (NORA’s resources & organizational forms, will help here)
* a common data format or a data format that allows for easy translation to a common format (especially for the atlas)
* possibly, but not necessarily, a common mapping format (OSM is being used by the German mapping initiative)
* the willingness of map creators to collaborate and share their data
I created a spreadsheet mashup between the one Pablo de Soto created for mapping the commons of Rio and my own spreadsheet that was a work in progress. I’m off to a meeting shortly, but when I get home I’ll upload it as a doc. There are several key elements in the spreadsheet that could be useful developing a common or pattern (?) language for map interoperability. More about the spreadsheet later.
I’m working my way through the content of the Communicating the Commons section and making notes as my thoughts get stirred up. I’ll have more to say soon. I haven’t read any Alexander so his concepts of pattern language and centers are new to me.
EllenFebruary 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm #3544
Hi Ellen, just to clarify questions on NORA tags: they do work now… But they are displayed after the recent activity and the whole list of tags… So if you scroll down and down and down… you may find them… Not in a very visual way I agree. We would need a few minutes of a developer to fix this or wait to see if it’s fixed in the package upgrade…
And yes, being able to navigate within wikis is something we have been pursuing for a while now! Don’t hesitate if you come across solutions…February 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm #3548
Regarding sitemap – there is no sitemap that gets automatically updated, but there are three pages with siteplans that give a sense of the direction we want to take (i.e., that include planned pages as well as existing ones). I haven’t updated them since the summer, but here they are:
Needs site plan: http://commonsabundance.net/wiki/needs-site-plan/
Organizational forms site plan: http://commonsabundance.net/wiki/organizational-forms-site-plan/
Resources site plan: http://commonsabundance.net/wiki/resources-site-plan/
All of the pages addressing a particular “need,” “organizational form” and “resource” can be accessed from the main NORA page (“introduction” from the main menu bar); the lists of “approaches toward greater abundance” as well as the “Context within NORA” section on each page link to other pages in the knowledge base.
The tags are really confusing, just as Helene indicated; we hope that will get fixed but in the meantime if you remember that you have to go all the way to the bottom of the page, they can be used.
Working on a common taxonomy for use on multiple platforms would be very interesting – and as I mentioned before, the NORA taxonomy can be modified as needed. I’m glad you’re finding the organizational forms system useful; if you see points for improvement, please let me know!February 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm #3559
Thanks for the links and the navigation tips, Helene and Wolfgang. I’ll ask Megan this week and see if she’s able to help fix the tags at the bottom of the page. If so, I’ll put her in touch with you.
The siteplans are fabulous. They are nicely developed and really help bring it all to life for me. Thank you!
I successfully loaded the spreadsheet that shows the full process for tracking and analyzing commons. Many of the categories will likely be helpful in building a pattern language and a taxonomy.
I’ve come across several articles about commons taxonomy or a commons language that could help lay the groundwork.
http://www.academia.edu/5834687/A_Common_s_Language_The_Growing_Challenge_of_Interdisciplinarity_in_Common_Property_Studies (I haven’t yet read this one, but it looks like it might be relevant)February 2, 2014 at 11:48 pm #3567
The Stefan Meretz classification is interesting – he lays out various issues very clearly.
On reading this piece, I’d say that his “Resource” and “Constitution” aspects relate to aspects of “Resources” in the NORA scheme. One could add to that further aspects of resources, for example distinguishing between biological resources (which reproduce themselves), non-renewable resources, and renewable resources like solar and wind energy (which we can’t deplete). Living things can further be divided among those which require human care in order to reproduce successfully (many domesticated species) and those which don’t. All of these aspects of resources have very important implications about how we use them.
By the way, the original German term he used for “Constitution” is “Beschaffenheit,” which is literally how something is made. I find this a better term than the English “constitution” because the latter makes me think of the constitution of a country, which of course is something very different. We might have to come up with a better term here.
The “usage,” “legal form” and “social form” aspects largely relate to “organizational forms” in NORA. The “rivalry” aspect is actually an interaction term between the nature of a resource and how we use it. An example Stefan mentioned is air, where our use for air to breathe is non-rivalrous, but our use of air as a sink for pollution is rivalrous. In my own book, I added a third term, “contributory” for resource uses which actually add to the resource (as often occurs with knowledge). To my knowledge, I am the first to coin a term for this type of resource use (correct me if I’m wrong though!).
None of Stefan’s classifications are about needs.
I hope this contributes toward developing a common language…February 7, 2014 at 6:32 am #3578
Please also take these Links into consideration:
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