Sarah Elwood’s discussion, of the emerging questions in geovisualization and the linkages to GIScience research, does highlight the issues of qualitative and quantitative data overload and the dissemination of the data. However, I believe that the dynamic change and addition to data, be it quantitative or qualitative, is needed in both a standard and non-standard form. Thought my own research I have found that dynamic data in a non standard form often tells more about a situation then the standardized data. That said, standardized data is still needed in order to “create order” in our understanding and transmission of data to other people.
The article makes me think how as humans, we want everything in order so to make sense of what we see and how GIScience strives to create order in data for it to be useful. Nevertheless, is the universe not chaotic and basis of all data fundamentally chaotic? Maybe chaos and the none standard data tells us something more important about how we are as a people and how the tools and the ways we look at the world change from person to person and culture to culture. The heterogeneity of the data and the types of software and hardware we use maybe is the norm, and GIScience is trying to place artificial boundaries on how we see data and use tools.
Besides trying to fit data to standardized forms, the idea of “public” and “expert” technologies just does not make sense. Today technologies are so integrated in how youth (0-30 years old) see the world that technologies should not be classified as “expert” or “public” but the person who manipulates the technology. Growing up during the advent of mass produced home computers and driving the development for better processing power and performance, past what our parents had ever imagined, through the purchased of video games and internet use, has shown me it is the person not the machine. I have learned that often one must use a plentitude of platform resources to achieve a result, as each type of platform like google earth or ARCgis has its strengths (one cannot create a single platform to satisfy all needs or wants).