Tom Kralidis and I sat down today to talk in depth about my research.  Tom is in the Information Management division at EC whereas I am in Application development so our paths haven’t crossed much until now.  Our discussion really helped me get on track though as not only does he understand the complex workings of the federal government (!) but he was also a part-time masters student, working on Geospatial Web Services, and his advisor happened to be Fraser Taylor’s.

The main thing we discussed was the metadata available for each map’s dataset.  When I first started out on this topic, I thought all of the answers would lie in the metadata.  My course veered away from this for various reasons, as the path to research is not a straight and steady one.  But Tom and I went back to it, as he is the IM guy.  He was able to show me what is out there, and who is storing geospatial metadata really well.  Accompanying the metadata that is attached to the dataset as a whole, there is also metadata available for each record specifically.  I do not know the state of NPRI’s metadata right now, but I’m guessing it is pretty high-level if at all.  Over the next few days I’ll be exploring GeoConnections and tracking down our metadata people to see what the situation is.  And if it IS in the state I think it is, I’m just going to have to pretend it is working as it should in a perfect world…and go from there.  That’s the beauty of academia isn’t it?

I’m also going to get my hands on ESRI’s spatial analysis tools, to see how i can possibly leverage it.  More to come on that…