Explaining Web 2.0 to an academic audience

Recently I attended the Canadian Associaton of Geographers conference. We were tabling and exploring linkages between academia and government (Natural Resources Canada) using web 2.0 implementations. While there is good will to collaborate, after all we share common academic credentials, widespread knowledge about web 2.0 needs to be addressed.

Shift Happens” is a must see video on changing demographics, digital generation and expecations for teaching, government and society.

Collaboration strategy in a web 2.0 enabled classroom by Michael Wesch.

A vision of students today by Michael Wesch.

An anthropological introduction to YouTube by Michael Wesch. The video is 1 hour long and highly recommended.


GeoRSS and supporting software

The syndication of news feeds is very popular (i.e. RSS & Atom formats) to receive ongoing updates from information providers. An extensive suite of software applications support monitoring or aggregation of these feeds via a news reader. Geographically enabled news feeds (GeoRSS) will help facilitate bring down the walls around complex geographic information science data formats and specifications or standards.

“Our imperative, as a (geospatial) community is to embrace this new form of information publishing (Web 2.0) as and move the state of geospatial publishing forward in step with the mainstream IT industry. We often pay lip service to the idea that non-geospatial industries could benefit greatly from our technologies and standards, but we fail to meet them half way—instead trying to force-feed them our traditional GIS tools. GeoRSS, created outside the OGC but supported and sponsored by the OGC and potentially an OGC standard, is intended to bridge these two worlds, using technology that is robust enough to meet the needs of both the geospatial and non-geospatial communities, yet familiar enough to avoid alienating either.” Source: OGC White Paper An Introduction to GeoRSS:
A Standards Based Approach for Geo-enabling RSS feeds
. Ed. Dr. Carl Reed, Open Geospatial Consortium 2006

A barrier to this is a critical mass of GeoRSS supporting software.

If you click on “Links to Other Websites” below you will find references to a variety of resources tagged “GeoRSS” that may link to current software or initiatives. For an interesting discussion on the software gap, suggested reading is a February 2009 discussion in the eogeo.org mail list.  This is related to a January 2007 discussion about Open Layers and GeoRSS.