The two lists of benefits below is neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive.
Any collaborative project can be a tricky balancing act and competing agendas is a well known rock upon which many a ship has foundered. Significant effort was expended when putting the IGIBS proposal together and at project initiation to make it clear we are concentrating on deriving mutual benefit.
Benefits to the wider university sector:
- The demonstration of Shibboleth being used to protect public authorities data and services could lead to greater interoperability between the academic and public sectors
- The “Best Practice model for using UK academic SDI at the departmental level” should provide guidance for other universities and assist EDINA and the JISC in developing the academic SDI.
- Increased use and enhancements of key elements of the UK academic SDI, ie, Go-Geo! GeoDoc, ShareGeo.
- If it works, the “WMS Factory” tool could become a service that EDINA offers. A means of publishing data that will interoperate with the network services being established by the public sector
- Equally, it is intended that the tool can downloaded and installed locally by any organisations (not necessarily just in the academic sector) who wishes to make it easier for their users to publish data
- The mapping application could emerge in the longer term as a key (geospatial) component of a future Dyfi Biosphere web presence, and not just in respect of research and education.
- The mapping application could be an example of an application integrating public and academic sector data that can be repeated elsewhere
Benefits to the host institution (in this instance, the Institute of Geography and Earth Science at the Aberystwyth University):
- Improved provision of educational resources (inventory of data, collection of data and knowledge of data access services) related to the local area, ie, the Dyfi Biosphere Reserve area
- Greater understanding of open geospatial interoperability standards feeding into course development
- Greater understanding of research data management issues potentially leading to improved departmental practices
What is not listed above are the benefits that might reasonably be expected to accrue outside the academic sector. For example, to the public sector and to citizens, eg, people living within the Dyfi Biosphere area. While the latter is not the primary focus of this short project, we are mindful of the role of academia and the need to make broader community contributions where possible.
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