Helen Thompson, Peter Dahlhaus & Andrew MacLeod …
Helen Thompson, Peter Dahlhaus & Andrew MacLeod
Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria
In this age of ‘big data’ virtually every field of research and practice is being redefined. Governments are adopting open data policies with the aim of delivering efficiency benefits, increasing evidence based planning, enhancing productivity and innovation. Inescapable discussions around big data and analytics are partly in response to an increased availability of next generation broadband and mobile technologies which have created a society that is spatially enabled and aware. Big business and citizens increasingly expect to be able to access past and current information about any location to find answers to their spatial queries. Opportunities are emerging for regional communities to take initiative and eradicate information silos which may have hindered regional collaboration and innovation. In parallel with assisting regions to embrace big data and foster data sharing a range of research questions arise:
1. What are the best methods to provide access to big and complex data, to assist decision makers?
2. How can digital technologies be used to enhance, rather than repeat, past research?
3. Can qualitative data be used to improve the accuracy of quantitative data or metadata?
4. How can we harness Citizen Science and include crowd-sourced data, while minimising subjective bias and maintaining accuracy?
Interoperable spatial knowledge systems with dynamic modelling and visualisation capabilities have been developed in response to these research challenges. Examples are provided of systems developed in a variety of fields including groundwater research, catchment management, and strategic planning for bushfire.