The GeoWeb That Might Have Been

Searching for "geoweb architecture" turns up some interesting stuff, like this "GeoWeb" "based on a hierarchy of servers whose domain names represent geographic areas":

What is needed instead is a coordinated global infrastructure with participating organizations from around the world. We call this open standards-based infrastructure the GeoWeb, which could be realized as a new top-level domain (e.g., .geo) that would enable anybody to publish and search for all metadata referring to a given area (Leclerc et al., 2001a; Leclerc et al., 2001b; Leclerc et al., 2000). The infrastructure is based on a hierarchy of servers whose domain names represent geographic areas. An example hierarchy, described below, is nominally of the form minutes.degrees.tendegrees.geo. (For convenience, we use ".geo" as the top-level domain name in all of our examples of the GeoWeb hierarchy, although existing top-level domains could be used such as "".)

Hierarchy. Metadata. Order. What might have been. Instead, we've been colonized by Google, and are made to publish geographic resources directly on the lame old WWW using HTTP, KML, GeoRSS feeds, and a bewildering range of software, with hypertext links to other such resources whereby they are found and indexed.

(Note: this post is rated I for ironic language.)


What about REST?

Author: Kirk

Hey Sean - Just glancing through the paper, I wonder if REST could be used to do some of this. I've been reading RESTful Web Services ... and really like how the authors have chosen to use Geography as a hypothetical case. Based on their examples, it seems like REST could move us in the direction discussed in the paper. I guess we would need some sort of standards for geographic URLs? Is anyone working on this? Kirk

Re: The GeoWeb That Might Have Been

Author: Sean

Kirk, I apologize for not clearly tagging my post as ironic. I actually think we're on the right track now.

Re: The GeoWeb That Might Have Been

Author: Kirk

Ahh, I should've realized the irony. Still, I wonder if there are any efforts underway to standardize URLs to make geographic resources more discoverable. Congrats on the grant!