[OSGeo-Standards] glossary discussion on osgeo-standards ....

Ronald Tse tse at ribose.com
Wed Oct 9 20:40:22 PDT 2019

Hi Cameron,

OGC and ISO have established structures and their processes may not perfectly fit the overtly-open model used by OSGeo.

As an open-source developer, my ideal workflow with OSGeo terminology management would follow an open proposal and feedback model, suited for an issue tracker like GitHub offers.

The vision is to allow crowd-sourcing of terms while tracking those from ISO, OGC or whatever authoritative source to prevent duplication.

This is what I’d propose:

1. Establish a terminology management group in OSGeo.

Other than ISO, OGC, the Electropedia also has one, and it is especially important since quality checks will be crucial to the success of the OSGeo terminology database. It could be as simple as having two members “approve” new terms or updates; similar to how OpenSSL accepts contributions.

For the terminology management group, a terms of reference should be produced so that the steps for approval and data quality requirements are clear. This can also be openly shared with contributors so they know what to do.

In the terminology management group, it would be very helpful to involve representation from ISO/TC 211 and OGC members so they can tell you whether any newly proposed terms are problematic (e.g. duplication).

2. Use an issue tracker like GitHub (or similar) as an open communication platform.

This is used to perform two-way communication between OSGeo members and the contributors. This requires every contributor to at least have an account, this helps minimize spam. There will be two types of contributors, those that purely suggest changes, and those who suggest changes but can also format the desired content in the data format used by the terminology database. People can easily help out with the former. This allows whoever of the management group that approves the term to directly “merge” in the changes to the database with a click.

3. Offer buttons to kickstart the feedback process.

To minimize friction in the feedback process, for every term offered in the OSGeo terminology pages we can offer a “propose new term” and “propose changes to this term" buttons. This allows user to directly go to the issue platform (e.g. GitHub) to make the suggested changes. A “contributors guide” document will greatly help these people make the proper suggestions and have them formatted correctly.

4. The linkage between the OSGeo terminology database back to ISO and OGC can be established for any terms that originated from those parties.

Does this help?

Kind regards,


Ronald Tse
Ribose Inc.

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On Oct 2, 2019, at 7:24 PM, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com<mailto:cameron.shorter at gmail.com>> wrote:

Hi Gobe,
I can see that you have documented the OGC process, and HOW external people can engage with this process.
However, I'm really looking for a Vision and Technical Roadmap which OSGeo can follow (re Terminology definitions). I feel you haven't addressed our OSGeo use case. And in particular, I'm not seeing an integration strategy between OGC and OSGeo.

On behalf of the OSGeo community, I'm offering to help source extra terminology, but I don't want to start a new incompatible system. I'm hoping we can set up something which seamlessly integrates with ISO 211 and OGC. And for that I'm asking for help. Think about the reality of sourcing terms from thousands of individuals. These people are not interested in managing a glossary, but would be fine with suggesting a missing term, or refining a definition - if we make the process easy.

So if you were to advise on setting up an OSGeo Terminology system from scratch what would you suggest? I'm thinking advice should cover crowdsourcing information, include a review process, and particularly pertinent to the OGC, should describe seamlessly integrate into OGC and ISO 211 systems (because we have agreed on the same field names and complementary processes).

Note: In my first 30 sec look I can see there are gaps in OGC definitions. I can't find an edge case word "GeoJSON", but can find a similar transport format "XML".
I can't find package names such as "QGIS". I'm sure there are more. I feel the OSGeo community could complement OGC hugely in supporting the spatial community around terminology - and we would be so much better with OGC's help.

After collating your thoughts, I suggest we should follow up with a video conference call.

Sound good?

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