IG Mapping the Landscape RDA 9th Plenary meeting

Meeting title

Formalising the Mapping of the Landscape Interest Group and Scoping Activities

Short introduction describing the activities and the scope of the group: 

At Plenary 8 in Denver, a BoF was held to discuss a proposal for Mapping Of the Landscape (MoL) of organisations and activities that are focussed on developing data infrastructures building activities, both within and beyond RDA. Initially the goal of the BoF was to identify key communities and partnerships within the major research domains that are developing infrastructures that enable sharing and processing of scientific data, and then ‘mapping the landscape’ of these activities to further improve collaborations and partnerships, particularly those ‘umbrella’ alliances that are enabling interdisciplinary data sharing. However, once the BoF was advertised, eight groups doing “MoL’’ activities across a variety of data infrastructures and organisations offered to make presentations on their activities, effectively turning the BoF into an ‘MoL of MoL activities’. This not only reinforced that it was logical to attempt to coordinate all of these MoL activities, at the same time the BoF highlighted there was no agreed process on how to undertake a MoL activity so that outputs could be synthesised and leveraged
(https://www.rd-alliance.org/mapping-landscape-global-collaborations-buil... ).

In summary key conclusion from Plenary 8 was that there was sufficient interest to pursue the formation of an RDA IG and this was further strengthened by an informal gathering at the AGU fall meeting in San Francisco in December (link to AGU notes). Key topics identified were:
1) That there is no agreed process on how an effective MoL activity could be undertaken and that there was a need for determination of and convergence on best practice methodologies;
2) The existing efforts on organisational ontology (including the W3C organization ontology [https://www.w3.org/TR/vocab-org/]), do not meet the needs to represent the various entities, activities and relationships among organisations, disciplines, facilities, activities, people and more so far identified by the MoL activities by of this work;
3) The need to identify how MoL information will be used and what problems it will address;
4) There was a high risk of Scope creep and a need to START SMALL and think about expanding outward; and
5) That initially the focus should be on mapping the landscape at the organisational level, not at the level of individual projects.

Additional links to informative material related to the group i.e. group page, Case statement, working documents etc

Group Page: https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/mapping-landscape 
This is a link to an existing MoL tool: http://dusk.geo.orst.edu/ec-story/ 

Meeting objectives

This new Interest Group meeting is about:
1) Presenting an overview of existing MoL activities for the major data infrastructure building activities within and beyond RDA and potentially identifying any additional ones; 
2) Understanding the goals and use cases driving each MoL so as to help in the harmonization strategies of methodologies and/or workflows;
3) Discussing opportunities for collaborations on existing MoL exercises; 
4) Investigating mapping practices including methodologies, tools, workflows, etc. and identifying whether any key pieces are missing; and
5) Seeking whether some components of MoL could be undertaken as a formal RDA working group.

Meeting agenda

1. Introduction and tour de la table (10 minutes);

2. Presentation on Activities to date and IG Charter (10 minutes);

3. Opportunity to present add any additional mapping the landscape exercises to the 8 groups that were presented in Denver (i. Belmont Forum, ii. CODATA Task Group on Coordinating Data Standards amongst Scientific Unions, iii. RISCAPE (European Research infrastructures in the international landscape), iv. ESIP (Earth Science Information Partners), v. EarthCube: Map of the Landscape: Portraying Connections, vi. Mapping the Arctic Data Ecosytem vii. AuScope, and viii. RDA TAB: Landscape Overview Group (10 minutes);

4. Discussion led around the following topics (55 minutes);
(i) Survey of the drivers and methodologies being used by the known 8 MoL groups: do they align, can any connect or integrate;
(ii) The minimum requirements for the organisational ontology; and 
(iii) The best way to capture the mapping information. 

5. Wrap up including decision to be made on whether any activities could be focused as an RDA Working Group (5 minutes)

Audience: 

Anyone who is working on a collaboration group that is trying to Map the Landscape of organisations building data sharing infrastructures. There should be no requirements for preparation to attend.

Group chairs serving as contacts: Lesley Wyborn

Type of meeting:Working meeting

Group maturity: 0-6 months

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