Platform progress report v0.2

Shortly before the launch of version 0.2 of The OER World Map, this report gives a brief overview of the development that has happened since the release of version 0.1 as well as an outlook on the next steps.

Gathering and ingesting data

Following an unconference session at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s OER Grantees Meeting 2015, the use case of collecting and presenting stories about how OER are created and used was put at the center of our attention. In order to not divert too far from our core project goal (gathering and exposing structured data on the global OER movement), the stories that were sent in after our initial Call for OER Stories were postprocessed by an editorial team. This means that those entities that are mentioned in a story have been extracted and added as self-contained entries. An example for the result of the postprocessing is the story “Darakht-e Danesh Library Brings Knowledge to Afghan Women”, from which the description of The Darakht-e Danesh Library is derived. The collection and processing of OER stories is an ongoing effort, the list of stories will grow over time.

A consequence of this approach was to implement basic support for all main types of our data model (organizations, people, services, projects and events) in the back end. It should be noted that this enables us to also ingest data independently of stories, the OEC membership list for example is ready to be put on the map. We believe that the approach of contextualizing data through editorial stories leads to higher quality, though.

User interface

In order to present stories and related entities on the geographical world map, the rough multi-column sketch has been further developed into a wireframe. While not all details have been implemented yet, the list of stories is available on the entry page and there are views not only for individual stories but also for single entities such as Livro Didático Público. Additionally, a view of a country with its country champions, basic statistics and associated entities is available.

Single country view in the multi-column wireframe
Single country view in the multi-column website wireframe

In order to find relevant content on The OER World Map, a basic search is available. This allows for simple full text search as well as field-based filtering, e.g. by type. The latter will be exposed separately in the user infterface in the next release.

Technology

For the tech-savvy, data can not only be ingested but is now also available as JSON using Content negotiation by providing the correct HTTP Accept Header:

$ curl -H "Accept: application/json" https://beta.oerworldmap.org/country/gb

Speaking of Content negotiation and given the international character of the platform, multilinguality is also prepared for on the data level. While all currently available stories are provided in English only, our JSON schema allows to store multilingual values where it makes sense.

Finally, we have switched our map library to OpenLayers 3 and now use Natural Earth data converted to TopoJSON.

Outlook

Besides gathering, processing and adding more stories, we plan to ingest an initial dataset of OER services (in this case repositories) next. Once this is done, we would like to qualify that dataset, most importantly by adding the targeted levels and fields of education as well as languages and licences of the supplied OERs. In order to do so, the necessary front end components to edit such a dataset will be developed. Since we believe that it is more sensible to locate a repository by its content rather than its physical location, filters to browse repositories by grade level, field of education and language will be added to the UI. Exposing those traits as reports in form of charts rounds of the planning.

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3 thoughts on “Platform progress report v0.2

  1. Pingback: Announcing v0.2 of OER World Map | OER World Map

  2. Pingback: OER World Map Project Interims Report | OER World Map

  3. Pingback: Platform progress report v0.3 | OER World Map

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