NEH logo
[Return to Query]

Products for Grant HK-50091-13

HK-50091-13
Extending WorldMap to Make It Easier for Humanists and Others to Find, Use, and Publish Geospatial Information
Peter Bol, Harvard University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HK-50091-13

Understanding today's online GIS user through the lens of a WorldMap survey (Article)
Title: Understanding today's online GIS user through the lens of a WorldMap survey
Author: Weihe (Wendy) Guan
Author: Alenka Poplin
Author: Benjamin G. Lewis
Abstract: WorldMap is an open source online mapping application which aims to lower barriers for scholars who wish to visualize, analyze, organize, present, and publish mapped information. In late 2013, two hundred and ninety respondents among the eight thousand registered users participated in an online survey in which they described their activities, purposes, experiences, and preferences regarding the system. Participants also described their professional background, GIS skill level, age, gender, and country of work. This study analyzes the results of the survey, by summarizing the responses to each question independently and by examining the relationships and dependencies of these answers across the different questions to try to better understand why users responded the way they did. The study is based on the user-centered design (UCD) approach. We aim to use the survey results to improve our understanding of user demographics and needs. Findings from this study will be used to guide WorldMap improvements, and we hope the findings will also shed light on the broader requirements of online GIS users.
Year: 2015
Periodical Title: Transactions in GIS
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Making Online Mapping Systems Easier to Use: An Analysis of WorldMap (Article)
Title: Making Online Mapping Systems Easier to Use: An Analysis of WorldMap
Author: Alenka Poplin
Author: Weihe (Wendy)Guan
Author: Benjamin G. Lewis
Abstract: Geographic information systems (GIS) and online interactive maps based on GIS are often difficult to use for people without GIS training. WorldMap was created by a team at Harvard to lower barriers for users with a variety of backgrounds to use online maps and create their own online. The main goal of this paper is to study if and how barriers can be lowered in order to make the online mapping systems easy to use, and which functionalities are still considered difficult and need further development. In an evaluation of the empirical results we attempt to identify the main issues related to the use of WorldMap. This study aims to contribute to the literature of online GIS-based maps and the interaction of users with these maps. In a broader sense we aim to contribute to a user friendly design of online GIS-based maps. We conclude the paper with a reflection about the results of our study and our further research directions.
Year: 2015
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Cartography and Geographic Information Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis LLC

"WorldMap" Digital Mapping Technology as a Tool for the Public Humanities (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: "WorldMap" Digital Mapping Technology as a Tool for the Public Humanities
Abstract: Ben Lewis spoke at the University of Iowa to scholars of Native American history interested in building an infrastructure to support organizing the documentation of pre-removal Native American place name information.
Author: Ben Lewis
Date: 03/27/2015
Location: University of Iowa
Primary URL: http://www.uiowa.edu/~ainsp/news_and_events.shtml

"The Lab" and Its Legacy (Exhibition)
Title: "The Lab" and Its Legacy
Curator: Frances Loeb Library Special Collections, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Abstract: The Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis & Its Legacy.
Year: 2015

Searching all the Web's Spatial Data (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Searching all the Web's Spatial Data
Abstract: Steve McDonald spoke at a cross Harvard technical gathering on “Searching all the Web’s Spatial Data” which covered a major section of the NEH work.
Author: Steve McDonald
Date: 01/21/2015
Location: Harvard University
Primary URL: http://www.gis.harvard.edu/events/seminar-series/searching-all-webs-spatial-data

WorldMap: an Open Source Infrastructure for Geospatial Collaboration (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: WorldMap: an Open Source Infrastructure for Geospatial Collaboration
Abstract: Ben Lewis gave an online talk to the Mid-Atlantic Geospatial Transportation Users Group. Ben presented on open source technologies for using map services to share transportation information in useful ways.
Author: Ben Lewis
Date: 10/07/2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic Geospatial Transportation Users Group
Primary URL: https://magtug.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/magtug-webinar-10714/

WorldMap: A Spatial Infrastructure to Support Teaching and Research (Brown Bag Talk) (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: WorldMap: A Spatial Infrastructure to Support Teaching and Research (Brown Bag Talk)
Abstract: The WorldMap platform http://worldmap.harvard.edu is the largest open source collaborative mapping system in the world, with over 13,000 map layers contributed by thousands of users from Harvard and around the world. Researchers may upload large spatial datasets to the system, create data-driven visualizations, edit data, and control access. Users may keep their data private, share it in groups, or publish to the world. The user base is interdisciplinary, including scholars from the humanities, social sciences, sciences, public health, design, planning, etc. All are able to access, view, and use one another’s data, either online, via map services, or by downloading. Current work is underway to create and maintain a global registry of map services and take us a step closer to one-stop-access for public geospatial data. Another project is working on tools to support the visualization of spatial datasets with over a billion features. Current collaborations are underway with groups inside Harvard, such as Dataverse, HarvardX, and various departments, and with groups outside Harvard, such as Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. Major additional contributors to the underlying source code include the WorldBank, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations.
Author: Ben Lewis
Date: 09/18/2014
Location: MIT
Primary URL: http://informatics.mit.edu/event/worldmap-spatial-infrastructure-support-teaching-and-research-brown-bag-talk

WorldMap: General Purpose Open Source Platform to Support Geospatial Collaboration (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: WorldMap: General Purpose Open Source Platform to Support Geospatial Collaboration
Abstract: Ben Lewis gave a presentation at the offices of the United States Geological Survey in Portland OR about on the NEH project to build a global registry of web map services.
Author: Ben Lewis
Date: 09/10/2014
Location: Portland, OR
Primary URL: http://or.water.usgs.gov/brownbag/seminar_history/spring_summer2014seminars.html

Extending WorldMap to Make It Easier for Humanists and Others to Find, Use, and Publish Geospatial Information (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Extending WorldMap to Make It Easier for Humanists and Others to Find, Use, and Publish Geospatial Information
Author: Benjamin G. Lewis
Author: Peter K. Bol
Author: Weihe Wendy Guan
Abstract: WorldMap is an open source and open access online platform for visualizing and sharing spatial data. It has attracted considerable use since released in July of 2011. The Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University is currently working on enhancing the WorldMap platform to make it easier for the world to find and use a key class of interactive maps called “map services” which are hosted by servers around the world, including WorldMap itself. Currently estimated in the millions, there is no complete index for such services. This work allows users from any online mapping application to be able to search for and use these map services as interactive map layers. The objective is to make it possible for everyone to see the development of human civilization in all its diversity and complexity in spatial contexts, to take advantage of the knowledge of others to enhance our own interests, and to create a sustainable and scalable platform in which students and scholars can participate in creating and sharing any work that can be represented spatially.
Date: 08/19/2014
Conference Name: CyberGIS2014

Expanding WorldMap (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Expanding WorldMap
Author: Ben Lewis
Author: Stephen McDonald
Abstract: The Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) is engaged in an NEH-funded effort to address the problem of map service discovery by extending the information gathering and search capabilities of an existing map publishing platform, WorldMap. The goal is to build a registry of all known map services and make it available it available via a public query API. WorldMap users will use this API to find layers in WorldMap and to find layers outside WorldMap. External layers that are used within WorldMap will accrue usage statistics which will be used to improve search. Uptime statistics will be gathered on all remote services to attempt to address the problem of the ephemerality of map services. Within WorldMap, feature level information will be used to improve search. A faceted interface will be provided which will include a layer footprint heat map of all search results even when results are in the millions. Any map client outside WorldMap will have access to the API to use to find and bind to all available map services.
Date: 12/1/2014
Conference Name: Specialist Meeting on Spatial Search

Investigating Hadoop for Large Spatio-temporal Processing Tasks (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Investigating Hadoop for Large Spatio-temporal Processing Tasks
Author: Weihe Wendy Guan
Author: David Strohschein
Author: Stephen McDonald
Author: Benjamin Lewis
Abstract: MapReduce-type approaches using Hadoop have been explored for solving sets of computational problems that were previously too large for traditional GIS systems to handle. Three cases are introduced in this study to demonstrate the implementation of this approach. Case one (funded by NEH): Hadoop is used for crawling the web for map services. It enables us to farm out work to many processors in parallel, making search against 5 billion web pages relatively manageable. Case two: Hadoop is used to enable researchers to query, analyze, and subset large spatio-temporal datasets containing billions of records. This is demonstrated on global geo-tweets collected over one year. Case three: Hadoop is used to divide up and process calculations of network and straight line distances between thousands of points in New York City over a seven year period. The total number of distance calculations required for this project is 3.5 billion. What these projects have in common is all can be broken down into many separate, discreet processing tasks where the output of one task does not influence the output of another. This kind of problem, amenable to a “divide and conquer” approach, is the kind of challenge Hadoop excels at.
Date: 04/01/2015
Conference Name: American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting

Building a Public Infrastructure to Improve Geospatial Knowledge Sharing (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Building a Public Infrastructure to Improve Geospatial Knowledge Sharing
Author: Benjamin Lewis
Abstract: What is the best way to quickly find the best spatial information to solve a problem? It is 10 years after Google Earth, we have millions of data layers online, and the problem is only getting worse. Ben will outline the issue of spatial data discoverability and describe a number of initiatives underway at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard to develop workable solutions.
Date: 06/1/2015
Conference Name: Pennsylvania GIS Conference


Permalink: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/products.aspx?gn=HK-50091-13