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IT Roadmap to a Geospatial Future Committee on Intersections Between Geospatial Information and Information Technology Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Research and Development). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08738-4 Cover designed by Jennifer Bishop. Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055, (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 in the Washington metropolitan area. Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RICHARD R. MUNTZ, University of California at Los Angeles, Chair TOM BARCLAY, Microsoft Research JEFF DOZIER, University of California at Santa Barbara CHRISTOS FALOUTSOS, Carnegie Mellon University ALAN M. MACEACHREN, Pennsylvania State University JOANNE L. MARTIN, IBM.com e-business Solutions, IGS Global Web Solutions CHERRI M. PANCAKE, Oregon State University MAHADEV SATYANARAYANAN (SATYA), Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Research Pittsburgh TERENCE SMITH,1 University of California at Santa Barbara Staff CYNTHIA A. PATTERSON, Study Director and Program Officer MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director MARGARET HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant 1 Resigned from the committee on January 25, 2002.
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COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD 2002-2003 DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair ERIC BENHAMOU, 3Com Corporation DAVID BORTH, Motorola Labs JOHN M. CIOFFI, Stanford University ELAINE COHEN, University of Utah W. BRUCE CROFT, University of Massachusetts at Amherst THOMAS E. DARCIE, AT&T Labs Research JOSEPH FARRELL, University of California at Berkeley JOAN FEIGENBAUM, Yale University HECTOR GARCIA MOLINA, Stanford University WENDY KELLOGG, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation DAVID LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners TOM M. MITCHELL, Carnegie Mellon University DAVID A. PATTERSON, University of California at Berkeley HENRY (HANK) PERRITT, Chicago-Kent College of Law (on leave) DANIEL PIKE, Classic Communications ERIC SCHMIDT, Google, Inc. FRED SCHNEIDER, Cornell University BURTON SMITH, Cray, Inc. LEE SPROULL, New York University WILLIAM STEAD, Vanderbilt University JEANNETTE M. WING, Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University (on leave) Staff MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist ALAN S. INOUYE, Senior Program Officer JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Program Officer CYNTHIA A. PATTERSON, Program Officer STEVEN WOO, Dissemination Officer JANET BRISCOE, Administrative Officer RENEE HAWKINS, Financial Associate DAVID PADGHAM, Research Associate KRISTEN BATCH, Research Associate PHIL HILLIARD, Research Associate
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MARGARET MARSH HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant DAVID DRAKE, Senior Project Assistant JANICE SABUDA, Senior Project Assistant JENNIFER BISHOP, Senior Project Assistant BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Staff Assistant For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at <http://www.cstb.org>, write to CSTB, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call at (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at email@example.com.
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Preface Interest in geospatial data is on the rise. This interest is both stimulated and realized by the increasing use of geographic information systems, online map systems and other geographically referenced information on the Internet, the Global Positioning System, location-based services, and navigation systems. The increasing complexity and diversity of georeferenced data, combined with continued progress in information technology, generally make geospatial data an important information source for many scientific, commercial, and decision-making activities. Increased commercial opportunities for using geospatial information, an increased rate of technological advances, a reduction in costs, and an expanding demand for novel applications are all on the horizon. Now is the time to engage computer scientists more broadly in addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by geospatial data. In response to a request from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council convened the Committee on Intersections Between Geospatial Information and Information Technology (see Appendix A) to explore opportunities and directions for increased interaction between the geospatial and computer science research communities. The Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Research and Development) became an additional sponsor after the project began. The committee met in July 2001 to plan a 2-day workshop that was held in October 2001 (Appendix B gives the agenda and lists the participants). It met again in January 2002 to plan the structure and content of this summary report.
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The objective of the workshop was to illuminate directions for future research that would enhance the performance, accessibility, and usability of geospatial information. The workshop also was designed to explore how geospatial applications might influence computer science research and to identify new geospatial applications made possible by recent advances in computer science. An overarching goal was to foster greater computer science research interest in the challenges presented by proliferating geospatial information. The workshop was organized around four broad themes: location-aware computing and sensing; spatial databases; content and knowledge distillation; and visualization, human-computer interaction, and collaborative work. Two of the themes—spatial databases and content and knowledge distillation—were combined into one chapter in this report because the committee believes that there is a close dependency between the accessing and processing of data and data analysis activities. The workshop participants, like the committee members, included experts from multiple disciplines and experts knowledgeable about applications in specific domains. The selection of workshop participants was weighted slightly more toward computer science in an effort to engage that community more broadly in the problems raised by geospatial data. Workshop participants were divided into breakout groups to outline the current technology trends with respect to geospatial applications, identify and explore the current shortfalls, and propose promising research directions within each of the workshop’s themes. The workshop demonstrated the value of assembling a diverse group of experts embodying many complementary perspectives. It also demonstrated how differently people in diverse disciplines—or people with different subspecialties within a given discipline—perceive, analyze, and discuss the needs of the research and development communities. That recognition implies that the workshop should be seen as part of a process of interdisciplinary convening and exchange that should continue. That process may require special effort and encouragement through activities such as the one responsible for this report. The role of the committee was not only to organize the workshop but also to sift through the many inputs to the workshop to distill key themes, ideas, and recommendations. The content of this report reflects the issues identified at the workshop—in plenary presentations, white papers submitted by several of the participants, and group discussions—and during subsequent deliberations by the committee. The committee synthesized input from more than 50 experts covering a wide range of application domains and technologies. The report’s contribution lies in its integration
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of a very diverse set of perspectives to illuminate promising directions for research, with an emphasis on directions that cross disciplinary boundaries. The committee is grateful to the many people who contributed to its deliberations and to this report. Alan Gaines (formerly with the National Science Foundation) and Terence Smith (when he was a member of CSTB) were instrumental in shaping and launching this project, which would not have been possible without the interest and support of its sponsors: the National Science Foundation (Bhavani Thuraisingham and Maria Zemankova of the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Directorate; Thomas Baerwald and Nina Lam of the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Myra Bambacus and George Percivall), and the Office of Research and Development at the Environmental Protection Agency (Sidney Draggan). The committee thanks the workshop participants for the insights they contributed through their white papers (see Appendix C for a list of papers), discussions, breakout sessions, and subsequent interactions. The committee is particularly grateful to Marc P. Armstrong (University of Iowa), Max Egenhofer (University of Maine), Jiawei Han (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Tim Kindberg (Hewlett-Packard Labs) for their thoughtful plenary presentations. Several people contributed to the development of examples or sections throughout the report, including (in alphabetical order) Lars Arge (Duke University), Mark Gahegan (Pennsylvania State University), Dimitrios Gunopulos (University of California, Riverside), John Heidemann (University of Southern California), Sarah M. Nusser (Iowa State University), Alex Pang (University of California, Santa Cruz), William Ribarsky (Georgia Institute of Technology), Lawrence Rosenblum (Naval Research Laboratory), Colin Ware (University of New Hampshire), Gio Wiederhold (Stanford University), Ouri Wolfson (University of Illinois, Chicago), and May Yuan (University of Oklahoma). Judy Brown (University of Iowa) and Rudy Darken (Naval Postgraduate School) provided additional information. The committee appreciates the thoughtful comments received from the reviewers of this report. These comments were instrumental in helping the committee to sharpen and improve its report. Finally, the committee would like to acknowledge the staff of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board for their hard work. As the primary staff member responsible for the study, Cynthia Patterson made an outstanding contribution and played a key role throughout the entire project, coordinating all of the various elements of the report. The
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committee also would like to thank Margaret Huynh for her excellent assistance in organizing committee meetings and preparing the report. Marjory Blumenthal provided input and guidance that were valuable in improving the final drafts of this report. The contributions of Liz Fikre as editor are gratefully acknowledged. Janet Briscoe and Brandye Williams also provided assistance with committee meetings. Richard R. Muntz, Chair Committee on Intersections Between Geospatial Information and Information Technology
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report was reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Marc P. Armstrong, University of Iowa, B.R. Badrinath, Rutgers University, Gaetano Borriello, University of Washington, Tony Fountain, San Diego Supercomputer Center, James Gray, Microsoft Corporation, Donna J. Peuquet, Pennsylvania State University, Catherine Plaisant, University of Maryland, and Michel Scholl, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Deborah A.
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Joseph, University of Wisconsin. Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT 10 Voyages of the 21st Century, 10 Scenarios, 14 Just-in-Time Mapping, 15 Controlling Wildfires, 16 Digital Earth, 18 Why Now?, 20 Organization of This Report, 23 What This Report Does Not Do, 23 References, 24 2 LOCATION-AWARE COMPUTING 25 Technology and Trends, 26 Location and Orientation Sensing, 26 Wireless Communication, 27 Mobile Computing Systems, 31 Research Challenges, 32 Effective Infrastructure Deployment, 32 Adaptive Resource Management, 35 Security and Privacy, 39 Applications, 42 References, 45
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3 GEOSPATIAL DATABASES AND DATA MINING 47 Technologies and Trends, 48 Database Management Systems, 48 Geospatial Data Mining Tasks, 49 Research Challenges, 52 Geospatial Databases, 53 Issues in Geospatial Algorithms, 61 Geospatial Data Mining, 65 References, 71 4 HUMAN INTERACTION WITH GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION 73 Technologies and Trends, 74 Visualization and Virtual Environments, 75 Human-Computer Interaction, 77 Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 77 Research Challenges, 78 Harnessing Information Volume and Complexity, 78 Geospatial for Everyone—Universal Access and Usability, 89 Geospatial Everywhere—Mobile Information Acquisition, Access, and Use, 93 Collaborative Work with Geospatial Information, 98 References, 102 APPENDIXES A MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE 107 B WORKSHOP AGENDA AND PARTICIPANTS 113 C LIST OF WHITE PAPERS PREPARED FOR THE WORKSHOP 117 WHAT IS CSTB? 119
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IT Roadmap to a Geospatial Future
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