Place-based Data Management Practices

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26 Jan 2021

Place-based Data Management Practices

Submitted by Erin Robinson

Meeting objectives: 

The relationship between people, place, and data underpins some of the greatest challenges, and opportunities, of the 21st century. Relationships between human communities and their natural and built environments are increasingly mediated through digital data. These data feed models and algorithms, including applications of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, that impact decision-making in a range of contexts and at nested scales of governance from the stewardship of smart cities and Indigenous lands to international agreements over global commons such as the High Seas, Antarctica, or the Earth’s atmosphere. Digital representations of complex systems (digital twins or avatars) are emerging as technology platforms that harness the predictive power of scientific understanding (e.g., the consequences of climate change), while raising vital ethical, legal and social issues, including who should control these capabilities and how.   


Place-based data have a unique quality in that they span the sciences and humanities with time and space (geolocation) acting as foundational metadata used to assign data to “place” (or nested “places”). Furthermore, all place-based data are tightly bound up with personal and social identity, as place is an inherently human construct - even wilderness being designated to some degree by policy-makers. While the issues for Research Data Management are thus as diverse as the diversity of people and places, they share common underlying themes and issues (scientific, ethical, legal, and social) and much can be learned from shared experience informing common standards, useful tools and best practices, which in turn enable comparisons among and between places enabling mutual learning networks to emerge to achieve common goals, such as those laid out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and associated “Decades”. 


The meeting objectives will be to: 

  • Identify place-based data managers

  • Share current practices for managing place-based research data 

  • Bring together the RDA PID IG, Actionable DMP IG, Data Policy IG, International Indigenous Data and Physical Samples IGs to discuss the specific applications unique to place-based data management practices

  • Identify opportunities for conventions and shared practices 

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative meeting notes (main session):

Collaborative meeting notes (repeat session)


Session 1 (Europe) 

Date/Time: April 21, 15-16:30 UTC

Focus: Identify place-based data managers and highlight place based projects 

Chair: Erin Robinson


15:00 Introduction & round room intro on what brings you here.

15:15-15:50 Presentations (10mins each):

  • Case-studies highlighting practices and issues in place-based research data: 

    • Material Samples in Natural Science - (Kerstin Lehnert, Columbia Univ.)

      • Places = Volcano responses (Converse) and Gulf Research Program

      • Societal Uses: SENDAI UN (disaster response/resilience)

    • Application of CARE Principles and Biocultural Labels (Jane Anderson NYU) 

      • Places = ________?

      • Societal Uses: 

    • Tetiaroa | FAIR Island Project (Neil Davies, UC Berkeley)

      • Places = Field Stations/Reserves in Polynesia and California 

      • Societal Use: UN SDGs 

15:50-16:05 Moderated Discussion

  • Breakouts to discuss topics:

    • Sampling Nature (data/samples in place-based natural science) 

    • CARE principles & Biocultural Labels, 

    • Digital representations of Cities and Communities 

Each breakout will consider how data link into societal challenges and support decision-making, which in turn drive the need for more data (from society to science) 

16:05-16:15 - Breakout debrief 

16:15-16:30 Preparation for session 2

  • IG formation - interest 

Session 2 (Pacific) 

Date/Time: Thursday/Friday 23/4, 23:00 - 00:30 UTC

Focus: Identify place-based data managers and highlight RDA connections and RDA IG next steps 

Chair: Neil Davies 


23:00 Introduction & round room intro on what brings you here.

23:15 - 23:20 Recap of Session 1 - Erin 

23:20-00:00 Presentations:

  • RDA Group perspectives to discuss the specific applications unique to place-based data management practices (5 mins per talk)

    • Actionable DMP IG - (to be confirmed) 

    • Data Policy IG - Natasha Simons, ARDC   (to be confirmed)

    • International Indigenous Data Sovereignty IG - Maui Hudson (Univ. Waikato)

    • Physical Samples IGs - Jens/Lesley (to be confirmed)

  • Geospatial IG (ER - Peter Baumann) /OGC


    • Center of Excellence in Data for Society at UA - Merc Fox TBC

00:00-00:10 Moderated Discussion - Q&A

00:10-00:30 Next steps - IG formation

  • Future calls ideas UK - Gemini principles for building digital twins and format (working session vs 

  • Timing - Two time zones switching  

  • Chairs of group - Europe/US/Pacific/Asia 

  • Developing a short charter following the Interest Group Charter template, describing their activities and listing two to four co-chairs.

Type of Meeting: 
Informative meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

The FAIR Island Project provides a controlled environment on Tetiaroa, an atoll in the French Polynesia, governed by the Tetiaroa Society for place-based data management. During RDA VP16, Maria Praetzellis, CDL, presented on the DMPTool which is using the RDA DMP common standard output in two sessions described on our blog here.  

BoF chair serving as contact person: 
Meeting presenters: 
Neil Davies, Bill Manley, Kerstin Lehnert, Maria Praetzellis, Erin Robinson, Maui Hudson or Jane Anderson, others TBD
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Contact for group (email):