Volunteered Geographic Information User Participation Pattern and Quality Assessment (case study: Open Street Map)

Authors: Amir Masoud Forati*, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Rina Ghose, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Quantitative Methods, Development
Keywords: VGI, OpenStreetMap, Data Quality, PPGIS, GIS, participation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Governors Square 16, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Recent advancements in web-based geospatial software and smartphone technology have popularized the process of voluntary production and sharing of geospatial data by individual citizens. Through such Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) activities, people across the world participate in online mapping projects (such as OpenStreetMap) to insert their individual spatial information. The quality of data generated by such VGI activities has profound impacts on online mapping projects and their spatial database.
The main issue, which makes authoritative maps different from maps generated through VGI, is the local information. That is, the user who updates the event with his local information or updates the status of a service center is the main advantage of VGI map over authoritative maps. Factually 90% of the information in these two types of maps is common, and it can be said that the primary and most important VGI are parts of these maps that are produced by ordinary users and with local information.
In this study, we first introduce VGI, then analyze the criteria for assessing the participation pattern of VGI. We examine the VGI participation level in OpenStreetMap through three case study neighborhoods located in three major cities: Tehran, London, and Los Angeles and based on that we argue that there is a considerable weakness if a quality assessment method of VGI does not have the ability to assess all data, especially data with a limited number of versions, data generated by new users and VGI systems with low level of participation’s data.

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