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Publication Detail
The impact of society on volunteered geographic information: The case of OpenStreetMap
Abstract
© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) has been extensively studied in terms of its quality and completeness in the past. However, little attention is given to understanding what factors, beyond individuals’ expertise, contribute to the success of VGI. In this chapter we ask whether society and its characteristics such as socio-economic factors have an impact on what part of the physical world is being digitally mapped. This question is necessary, so to understand where crowd-sourced map information can be relied upon (and crucially where not), with direct implications on the design of applications that rely on having complete and unbiased map knowledge. To answer the above questions, we study over 6 years of crowd-sourced contributions to OpenStreetMap (OSM) a successful example of the VGI paradigm. We measure the positional and thematic accuracy as well as completeness of this information and quantify the role of society on the state of this digital production. Finally we quantify the effect of social engagement as a method of intervention for improving users’ participation.
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Dept of Computer Science
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