- The first stage is to do a regional
map of one resource, say, surface water, and two input variables, say
temperature and rainfall. Crank out 20 time steps in ten values of
two variables and you have 2000 maps. Arrange them on a web site so
they can be "played" by the user, who can set the two
variables to any of the ten values. This should be enough to get the
- Step two is to drive potential
contributors to the site. Develop a list of people/resources that
include some very deep pockets, some institutions, some charismatic
public figures, some ecosystem academics, some GIS pros, and some
software pros, mathematicians,... Send them all an invitation to
participate with with a link to the site.
- Build a team. Develop the protocols
for data integrity and data dependencies. Spin up a small example
system. Learn from it.
- Develop a project support system
with an appropriate mix of funding, paid staff, volunteers, and in-kind donations of computer time.
- Call for data teams to present
models. Start to tie them together. Build the synergy from the
excitement of the results.
- Refine the interface protocols.
- Abandon the first design. Start over, using what we have learned from the first design, and build it right, and and build it to scale. Port the data to the new system.
- Develop the critical mass of information to achieve the "net effect"
(the attractiveness and usefulness of a substantial aggregation of data
- When the tool has become useful, develop the organization as a "social enterprise" (a business with a mix of profit and and social and environmental benefits as a "triple bottom line"). The business model would look something like MySQL AB, which maintains open source freely downloadable software, and makes money on consulting and application development using the MySQL database tools. Earthship Dashboard as a ".net" community would spawn a ".com" sibling that offers custom reports prepared by experienced (and probably certified) FGIS users from the ".net" community.
Like sequencing the human genome, this is a very big project, and like that project it's doable.