Thoughts on Digital Access Data.

Discussion about CSCC related issues.
David Cooke
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Location: Axbridge, Somerset, UK

Thoughts on Digital Access Data.

Post by David Cooke » Sat 02 Sep 2006 10:55

This is on the agenda for the next CSCC meeting, so here's the back ground for disscussion.

When Bill Chadwick did his excellent Google Map of Mendip Caves(http://www.bdcc.co.uk/mendip.html) it lead to some thinking on copyright and how much control CSCC wanted over its access information. There was a flurry of emails with Bill and the CSCC Officers. My conclusions, which meet with general approval, were:
The CSCC should make the data freely available for copying (csv, xml) subject to these conditions:
1) That a "Copyright (C) CSCC 2006. This data is available from www.cscc.org.uk" notice is displayed.
2) A date is displayed showing how current the data is.
3) Access information can be displayed without location information, but location information can not be displayed without access information.
If the meeting sees fit, it would be good if it could formally adopt this policy.


This is the email I circulated that gives my thinking.
CSCC Webmaster wrote:Hi Bill,

Thanks for getting back to me. Just so you don't think I'm a moaning kill-joy let me say I think what you've put together is really great. I also want to give you the current CSCC data so that your site is up to date. Before I can do that there are two issues.

Firstly, the data is not in my gift. It is the CSCC's and permission should be sought. However I doubt it'll be a problem.

Secondly, a technical issue. I don't have the data in a database ready to export, so there is some work for me to do extracting the information from the html into a database. I intended to do this anyway because I want the CSCC site to be database driven. I also have a million other projects which is why it hasn't happened yet, but your requirement pushes it up the priority list.

I am the BCA National Cave Registry Co-ordinator, and when I pull my finger out and get some coding done (one of those other projects), I'll deserve the title. Which is why this sort of question is a live issue for me. Rather than publish and be damned I think it is worth taking a little time to think the issues through. The web is a very different medium from a book. Your project is a useful example to focus the mind. After much pondering my thoughts are this:

o Information on the web is copyright. You have the right to read it, but not the right to copy it. Permission must be sought.

o In the real world this is generally ignored so don't publish anything on the web that you don't want copied in the first place.

o It is in the CSCC's interests to publish the access information as widely as possible.

o It is also important that the data is up to date and current. Copies published elsewhere are more likely to go out of date than the version on the CSCC website.

o Location information, without access information is likely to lead to upset landowners. Caves are more likely to be pirated because of ignorance of the access procedure.

o CSCC should make the data freely available for copying (csv, xml) subject to these conditions:
1) That a "Copyright (C) CSCC 2006. This data is available from www.cscc.org.uk" notice is displayed.
2) A date is displayed showing how current the data is.
3) Access information can be displayed without location information, but location information can not be displayed without access information.

o Location information should be made available unless it is likely to cause damage to the cave or landowner relations, in which case the information should be less accurate or withheld. I'm thinking of the recent Quarry Dean/Football Field examples here.

On the last point I'm also thinking ahead for the national registry. There are over 2000 entries in the Mendip Registry compared to the 180ish that are published in the Access Guide. The ones in the Access Guide have there own natural access protection, or gates, or were sacrificed years ago. That is not true of many in the Mendip Registry - although on the whole they are collectors items rather than proper trips.

I'd appreciate any comment you might have.
Dave Cooke
BCA IT Working Party, BCA Web Services, National Cave Registry Co-ordinator, CSCC Webmaster

Footleg
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu 16 Mar 2006 23:44
Location: Cambridgeshire

National Cave Registry

Post by Footleg » Mon 11 Sep 2006 12:45

Hi Cookie,

This is not really the right forum topic for this, so please let me know where the best place is to discuss the National Cave Registry. I am very interested in this project (and having been learning a bit of PHP and MySQL in order to deal with GPS data on the ULSA website I might be able to help out?). I've also been collecting data via GPS for Yorkshire caves, which I cannot find a public source of.

Footleg

David Cooke
Site Admin
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu 29 Dec 2005 23:22
Location: Axbridge, Somerset, UK

Post by David Cooke » Fri 15 Sep 2006 00:14

Dave Cooke
BCA IT Working Party, BCA Web Services, National Cave Registry Co-ordinator, CSCC Webmaster

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