Preparatory phase

We conducted an initial investigation into how users and producers of geospatial data evaluate quality and trustworthiness of datasets. Using a series of face-to-face and telephone interviews our intention was not to elicit specific requirements for the GEO label, but rather to uncover initial information about dataset selection, use and production within representative application areas in order to inform design and development of the GEO label. A total of 18 participants – including geospatial data users, researchers, data archivists, academics and data producers – were recruited for telephone or face-to-face interviews; each interview took approximately 30-60 minutes. Discussion during this preparatory phase suggested that a GEO label would best serve a drill-down function whereby, at the top level, it visually represented the availability of specific informational elements for its associated dataset and, thereafter, permitted users to click the label to drill down into and interrogate the detail for each informational element. We were able, based on our interviewees’ responses, identify 8 facets as potential candidates for inclusion in the GEO label, namely:

dataset compliance with international standards;
side-by-side metadata records comparison;
community advice;
dataset ratings;
expert value judgments;
the reputation of the data producer;
producer comments on dataset quality; and
links to dataset citations.