The credibility of volunteered geographic information
- 3.7k Downloads
The proliferation of information sources as a result of networked computers and other interconnected devices has prompted significant changes in the amount, availability, and nature of geographic information. Among the more significant changes is the increasing amount of readily available volunteered geographic information. Although volunteered information has fundamentally enhanced geographic data, it has also prompted concerns with regard to its quality, reliability, and overall value. This essay situates these concerns as issues of information and source credibility by (a) examining the information environment fostering collective information contribution, (b) exploring the environment of information abundance, examining credibility and related notions within this environment, and leveraging extant research findings to understand user-generated geographic information, (c) articulating strategies to discern the credibility of volunteered geographic information (VGI), including relevant tools useful in this endeavor, and (d) outlining specific research questions germane to VGI and credibility.
KeywordsVolunteered geographic information VGI Credibility User-generated content Social computing Information trust
- Balram, S., & Dragicevic, S. (2006). Collaborative geographic information systems: Origins, boundaries, and structure. In S. Balram & S. Dragicevic (Eds.), Collaborative geographic information systems (pp. 1–23). Hershey, PA: IGI.Google Scholar
- Bishr, M., & Kuhn, W. (2007). Geospatial information bottom-up: A matter of trust and semantics. In S. Fabrikant & M. Wachowicz (Eds.), The European information society: Leading the way with geo-information (pp. 365–387). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
- Callister, T. A., Jr. (2000). Media literacy: On-ramp to the literacy of the 21st century or cul-de-sac on the information superhighway. Advances in Reading/Language Research, 7, 403–420.Google Scholar
- Elmes, G., Challig, H., Karigomba, W., McCusker, B., & Weiner, D. (2004). Local knowledge doesn’t grow on trees: Community-integrated geographic information systems and rural community self-definition. In P. F. Fisher (Ed.), Advances in spatial data handling (pp. 29–40). Berlin: Springer Science and Business Media.Google Scholar
- Eysenbach, G. (2008). Credibility of health information and digital media: New perspectives and implications for youth. In M. J. Metzger & A. J. Flanagin (Eds.), Digital media, youth, and credibility. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Eysenbach, G., & Kohler, C. (2002). How do consumers search for and appraise health information on the World Wide Web? Qualitative study using focus groups, usability tests, and in-depth interviews. British Medical Journal, 324, 573–577.Google Scholar
- Fischer, F. (2000). Citizens, experts, and the environment: The politics of local knowledge. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2000). Perceptions of Internet information credibility. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(3), 515–540.Google Scholar
- Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. (2008). Digital media and youth: Unparalleled opportunity and unprecedented responsibility. In M. J. Metzger & A. J. Flanagin (Eds.), Digital media, youth, and credibility (pp. 5–27). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Fogg, B. J., & Tseng, H. (1999). The elements of computer credibility. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 99 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Vol. 1, pp. 80–87). New York: ACMGoogle Scholar
- Frew, J. (2007). Provenance and volunteered geographic information. Retrieved March 10, 2008 from http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/projects/vgi/docs/position/Frew_paper.pdf.
- Google. (2007). Introducing Google Earth outreach. Retrieved March 11, 2008 from http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/outreach_20070625.html.
- Harris Interactive. (2007). Four in five of all U.S. adults—an estimated 178 million—go online. Retrieved January 24, 2008, from http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=827.
- Hilligoss, B., & Rieh, S. Y. (in press). Developing a unifying framework of credibility assessment: Construct, heuristics, and interaction in context. Information Processing and Management. doi:10.1016/j.ipm.2007.10.001.
- Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., & Kelley, J. J. (1953). Communication and persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Jackson, J. (2006). “Neogeography” blends blogs with online maps. National Geographic News. Retrieved March 6, 2008 from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0425_060425_map_blogs.html.
- Johnson, T. J., & Kaye, B. K. (2000). Using is believing: The influence of reliance on the credibility of online political information among politically interested Internet users. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(4), 865–879.Google Scholar
- Lanier, J. (2006). Digital Maoism: The hazards of the new online collectivism. Edge, No. 183. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier06/lanier06_index.html.
- Lenhart, A. (2006). User-generated content. Retrieved January 24, 2008, from Pew Internet Project: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/76/presentation_display.asp.
- Madden, M., & Fox, S. (2006). Riding the waves of “Web 2.0”: More than a buzzword, but still not easily defined. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Web_2.0.pdf.
- Marwell, G., & Oliver, P. (1993). The critical mass in collective action: A micro-social theory. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Eyal, K., Lemus, D. R., & McCann, R. (2003). Credibility in the 21st century: Integrating perspectives on source, message, and media credibility in the contemporary media environment. In P. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Communication yearbook 27 (pp. 293–335). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Medders, R. (2008). Social and heuristic approaches to credibility evaluation. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- Miller, C. C. (2006). A beast in the field: The Google maps mashup as GIS/2. Cartographica, 41(3), 187–199.Google Scholar
- O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved January 22, 2007 from: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web–20.html.
- Rieh, S. Y., & Danielson, D. R. (2007). Credibility: A multidisciplinary framework. In B. Cronin (Ed.), Annual review of information science and technology (Vol. 41, pp. 307–364). Medford, New Jersey: Information Today.Google Scholar
- Sundar, S. (2008). The MAIN model: A heuristic approach to understanding technology effects on credibility. In M. Metzger & A. Flanagin (Eds.), Digital media, youth, and credibility (pp. 73–100). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Tulloch, D. L. (2007a). Many, many maps: Empowerment and online participatory mapping. First Monday, 12(2). Retrieved March 7, 2008 from http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_2/tulloch/index.html.
- Tulloch, D. L. (2007b). Position paper. Retrieved March 7, 2008 from http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/projects/vgi/docs/position/Tulloch_Paper.pdf.
- Turner, A. (2006). Introduction to neogeography. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.Google Scholar
- Weiner, D., & Harris, T. M. (2003). Community-integrated GIS for land reform in South Africa. URISA Journal, 15, 61–73.Google Scholar