Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Long Island Metadata Project: Part Two

Some preliminary questions we should ask are:

How do we begin to organize this type of large scale project?

Perhaps the best way is by gathering and defining the subgroups of data available, the format the data is currently in, the organization(s) holding the data and any legal impediments to obtaining the data. Is this a government function? Probably not. It would best be started by a consortium of foundations/community organizations/educational institutions working in cooperation with one or more governments participating as an initial test case for gaging any difficulties. It must be a non-partisan, non- "agenda driven" project or it will never get off the ground.

For example, each municipality has its own zoning code (all are subject, with some variances, to the uniform NYS Building and Fire Codes however) and own method of categorizing land use and tax information. How do we maintain the autonomy of each municipality, yet have a method of "converting" or "translating" this information into one "comprehensive" Long Island land use map (GIS) which we can use to analyze regional issues? How can we integrate County, State and Federal information into this project and "translate" all the different codes and designations so that we are all "speaking the same land use language?"

Where will the funding come from?

I believe there is more than enough money "in the system" from private and public sources to fund this project with some minor reallocation. We're not talking about creating another bureaucracy or agency to do this. If organized and designed correctly, efficiencies should build on efficiencies with open lines of communication and common methods of accomplishing the same task becoming the norm rather than the exception. The main cost will be in the conversion of data or creation of common API and other communication devices and software, most of which are already being funded in one way or another ( Oyster Bay 2000 Data Highway/Central data access-multi platform) .

As we all know, the communication revolution is well underway and seemingly progresses exponentially every day. Long Island can not afford to lag behind the "revolution" if it hopes to remain relevent to the world economy and in maintaining and improving an advanced standard of living for all its residents.

No comments: