11 thoughts on “Ryan Bowe: “I love metadata so much I write it in my spare time”

  1. We all know the hipsters are moving on from craft beer to craft spirits, and Kentucky is the place to be! The ky bourbon trail website has a list of craft distilleries (there’s even one in Danville!) but there’s no map to go with it. How do you feel about that?

  2. The #sharethelex Brewgrass Trail is epic, but is lacking a map as far as I can tell. The Bourbon Trail map is pretty good, at least. Louisville has the Urban Bourbon Trail spotlighting bars and restaurants which also seems to be lacking a map. I’ve completed the Urban Bourbon Trail thanks to ASPRS’s Spring Conference and URISA’s Leadership Academy in 2014. I have started part of the Bourbon Trail and also have a Brewgrass passport with one stamp.

    And, yes, I really need to finish my map I started in your class, JimmyRock! It details all the places I went in Louisville. Maybe @maptimelex can make a Brewfest map 🙂 I’ll bring that up to them.

    1. Ah, looks like they do have an “aight” Google map, but it’s accessed through a sort of discrete link at the top of the list. It’s almost as if the map is an afterthought. The nerve of some people! It’s almost as if not everyone is as obsessed with maps as we are 😀

      But anyway, the data are there so the Brewgrass Trail would be a good theme for a future @maptimelex for sure! Also, beer.

  3. I love that label-less can analogy, but probably not in the way you were thinking.

    * I don’t care, my cat will eat either cat food or tuna
    * I don’t need a label, just open up the can and look at what is inside and smell it
    * Even if there was a label I wouldn’t trust it and would find some other way to verify what is in there
    * I’m not even thinking of eating something that has been on my shelf for who knows how long when I can go to a reputable restaurant (portal) and get what I know is a real meal (dataset)

    1. Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed the analogy but you SHOULD care about what you are getting. Enough tuna could kill your cat…

      Just because a portal is reputable doesn’t mean that the data you download won’t kill your analysis. Data producers could want to explain something about the data you are consuming and metadata provides a communication channel for data producers and data consumers. I’m sure you are the perfect data user who screens the data extensively before using it, but there are definitely things you cannot see.

      Plus, if you researched the data before you downloaded it, well, you are using metadata of some sort. You cannot open up an ortho or LiDAR dataset and know it’s RMSE. Yes, you might want to independently verify the RMSE, but that introduces more possibility for problems. I can think of tons of what if scenarios, specifically recalls, where contents are important.

      I have to share one of the what if scenarios that came to my mind. What if that reputable restaurant decided the meat of the day was horse? I don’t know as I have never consumed horse, maybe it would be tough as nails and the substitution would be immediately obvious. Being in Kentucky, I find the concept of eating horse particularly unappetizing!

      1. Sure, in some domains metadata matters a lot. Most of the time it is like code documentation – time consuming, error-prone, and often doesn’t answer the right questions anyway. I look forward to a future where metadata as we know it is marginalized to the point that it becomes an anachronism.

  4. My favorite swag on my desk is a yellow rubber duck that says “Don’t duck metadata” I got at a conference ~ 10 years ago. I don’t have much time these days but when I can steal some I like to get my ISO 19115 on…

    1. I love the “Don’t Duck Metadata” duck!!! I heard there were duck whistles? Awesomeness.

      At one point I had a collection of ducks. Oriental Trading is dangerous if you like rubber ducks.

      I was also giving a presentation recently and used a duck in the slides. During the practice round, the duck was totally dissed. Then the critics saw it in another meeting. They got it. They remembered. That has to be one of the best metadata campaigns ever. I aspire to think of something that memorable!

  5. Catchy title. I create metadata in my spare time too. Too bad I have none of that. I do create metadata for anything that i think anyone else might end up using that I had a hand in creating. I do wish it were easier to get around much of the inane fields that are required. There are some decent tools but they don’t offer much help documentation. I mean “I don’t understand what it is that you want me to write here, and I’m not allowed to leave it blank.”. Perhaps the tool could just fill it in for me? or at least give me a good example.

    1. There are some good tools out there with some help at least (Mermaid and EPA’s EME). I feel the pain with ISO 19115 metadata because I haven’t gotten to the point that I can write it in my sleep yet. FGDC CSDGM, though, is something I can do in my sleep due to trial and error and practically memorizing the actual CSDGM.

      The other thing you can do is try just meeting the minimum which basically documents any dataset in the world.

      My best piece of advice is to try to find a few examples that are similar to what you are trying to document. It helps to see what other people are doing for those tricky required fields. Who knows, maybe they are already doing as little as possible and that is acceptable for that type of data. I definitely preach that all the time (and totally practice what I preach). Never stare at a blank slate! Try to find a starting point. And, use the metadata contacts…I know I’m not the only one who loves metadata and we’re here to help!

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