Title: What Volunteered Geographic Information Is (good for) - Designing a Methodology for Comparative Analysis of Existing Applications to Classify VGI and Its Uses
Citation: 2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) proceedings - ISBN: 978-1-4244-9566-5 p. 1422-1425
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC56259
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC56259
DOI: 10.1109/IGARSS.2010.5648819
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Geographical Information Science (GI-Sc) has a new rising star and buzz-word: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). VGI describes a phenomenon that transfers the principles found in the Internet-based user-driven content of Web 2.0 to the particular case of geospatial data and information. As a research topic, this highly diverse data-source sees the convergence of a number of themes in GI-Sc. These include the adoption of new technological paradigms; utilising non-technical popular knowledge as a source of data creation and validation; and the democratisation of geospatial technology. Amongst all these competing perspectives, VGI can exist in many guises that make it difficult to understand its characteristics, properties and potential roles. Thus, what is currently lacking is a systematic framework that classifies VGI products and sources, and the problem domains they are used to address. Drawing together the various perspectives on VGI in the GI-Sc field, the framework should provide guidance on data and workflow characteristics to help produce new applications. If carefully defined, such a framework would support informed decisions on how to use VGI in GI applications and, thereby, facilitate the transition of VGI from a mere ¿hot topic¿ to a pillar of tomorrow¿s GI application design. In order to create such a framework, we suggest a bottom-up approach: a comparative analysis of the large pool of existing applications to harness the merits (and identify the limitations) of existing efforts. As an initial step, which we present in this paper, we developed a methodology based on business process modeling that allows the description of these applications and prepares the results for the subsequent comparative analysis. This paper is structured in three sections: an initial related-work section describes VGI for the support of earth observation, and other fields of GI-Sc and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), alongside related challenges and opportunities. The next section describes the methodology for the comparative analysis, followed by conclusions and an outlook on future work.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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