Diversity in volunteered geographic information: comparing OpenStreetMap and Wikimapia in Jerusalem
- 472 Downloads
While the term “volunteered geographic information” (VGI) has become a buzzword in debates on the geoweb, online cartography and digital geoinformation, the scope and reach of VGI remains underexplored. Drawing on literature on social implications of VGI, this article, firstly, explores differences between VGI initiatives at the example of a comparative case study on social biases within data of OSM and Wikimapia in the fragmented social setting of Jerusalem, Israel. The results of this analysis turn out to be highly contradictive between both projects, which challenges widely accepted assumptions on the imprint of social inequalities and digital divides on VGI. This observation guides, secondly, a discussion of diversity within the category of VGI. Arguing that mapping communities, data formats and knowledge types behind VGI are extremely dissimilar, the paper proceeds by questioning the consistency and utility of VGI as a category. Seeking for a more comprehensive typology of VGI, Edney’s notion of cartographic modes will be presented as an approach towards a more contextualized understanding of VGI projects by embracing their underlying cultural, social and technical relations. Consequently, the paper suggests empirical research on the cartographic modes of a broad series of VGI projects through qualitative and quantitative methods alike.
KeywordsVolunteered geographic information (VGI) Wikimapia OpenStreetMap Geoweb Cartographic modes
This research was funded by the German Research Foundation. The author would like to acknowledge and thank Tim Elrick, the two anonymous reviewers as well as the editor for their detailed and helpful comments.
Compliance with ethical standards
The research for this article followed the accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct and is not raising any potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial). The research did not involve human participants directly and all information about usernames from the data analyses in the paper has been anonymised.
- Bittner, C. (2014). Reproduktion sozialräumlicher Differenzierungen in OpenStreetMap: das Beispiel Jerusalems. Kartographische Nachrichten, 64(3), 136–144.Google Scholar
- Bittner, C., Michel, B., & Turk, C. (2016). Turning the spotlight on the crowd: Examining the participatory ethics and practices of crisis mapping. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 15(1), 207–229.Google Scholar
- Bittner, C., & Schäfer, S. (2011). Qualitative mapping in Wikimapia. https://amapisamapisamap.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/qualitative-mapping-in-wikimapia/. Accessed July 14, 2015.
- Bollens, S. A. (2012). City and soul in divided societies. London: Taylor & Francis Routledge.Google Scholar
- Cardoso, S. D., Serique, K. J., Amanqui, F. K., Santos, J. C. D., & Moreira, D. A. (2014). A gazetteer for biodiversity data as a linked open data solution. In 2014 IEEE 23rd international workshops on enabling technologies: Infrastructures for collaborative enterprise, Parma, Italy (pp. 435–440).Google Scholar
- Chiodelli, F. (2012). The Jerusalem master plan: Planning into the conflict. Jerusalem Quarterly, 51, 5–20.Google Scholar
- Coleman, D. J., Georgiadou, Y., & Labonte, J. (2009). Volunteered geographic information: The nature and motivation of produsers. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, 4, 332–358.Google Scholar
- Crampton, J. W. (2010). Mapping. A critical introduction to cartography and GIS. Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Elwood, S., Goodchild, M. F., & Sui, D. Z. (2012). Researching volunteered geographic information: Spatial data, geographic research, and new social practice. Accessed June 5, 2013.Google Scholar
- Elwood, S., Goodchild, M. F., & Sui, D. Z. (2013). Prospects for VGI research and the emerging fourth paradigm. In D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. F. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 361–375). Dordrecht, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Goetz, M., & Zipf, A. (2013). The evolution of geo-crowdsourcing: bringing volunteered geographic information to the third dimension. In D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. F. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 139–159). Dordrecht, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Goodchild, M. F. (2008). Commentary: Whither VGI? GeoJournal, 72(3–4), 3–4.Google Scholar
- Graham, M., de Sabbata, S., & Zook, M. A. (2015). Towards a study of information geographies: (Im)mutable augmentations and a mapping of the geographies of information. Geo: Geography and Environment, 2(1), 88–105.Google Scholar
- Haklay, M. (2013). Citizen science and volunteered geographic information: Overview and typology of participation. In D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. F. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 105–122). Dordrecht, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Haklay, M. (2015). OpenStreetMap studies and volunteered geographical information. In J. J. Arsanjani, A. Zipf, P. Mooney, & M. Helbich (Eds.), OpenStreetMap in GIScience experiences, research, and applications (pp. 5–7). Cham, Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
- Haklay, M., & Ellul, C. (2010). Completeness in volunteered geographical information: the evolution of OpenStreetMap coverage in England (2008–2009). Journal of Spatial Information Science (Discussion Forum).Google Scholar
- Harvey, F. (2013). To volunteer or to contribute locational information? Towards truth in labeling for crowdsourced geographic information. In D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. F. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 31–42). Dordrecht, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics. (2013). Selected data on the occasion of Jerusalem Day: 2013, Jerusalem.Google Scholar
- Jiang, B. (2013). Volunteered geographic information and computational geography: New perspectives. In D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. F. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 125–138). Dordrecht, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Johnson, P. A., & Sieber, R. (2013). Situating the Adoption of VGI by Government. In D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. F. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 65–81). Dordrecht, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Leszczynski, A., & Elwood, S. (2014). Feminist geographies of new spatial media. The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien, 59(1), 12–28.Google Scholar
- Lingel, J., & Bishop, B. W. (2014). The GeoWeb and everyday life: An analysis of spatial tactics and volunteered geographic information. First Monday, 19(7). http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5316.
- McConchie, A. (2015). Hacker cartography: Crowdsourced geography, OpenStreetMap, and the hacker political imaginary. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 14(3), 874–898.Google Scholar
- Mummidi, L., & Krumm, J. (2008). Discovering points of interest from users’ map annotations. GeoJournal, 72(3–4), 3–4.Google Scholar
- Nielsen, J. (2006). Participation inequality: The 90-9-1 rule for social features. http://www.nngroup.com/articles/participation-inequality/. Accessed July 6, 2015.
- Obermeyer, N. J. (2007). Thoughts on volunteered (Geo)slavery. http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/projects/vgi/docs/position/Obermeyer_Paper.pdf. Accessed July 14, 2015.
- Poore, B. S. (2010). Mapping the unmappable: Is it possible, ethical, or even desirable to incorporate volunteered geographic information into scientific projects? In Position paper for GIScience workshop on the role of VGI in advancing science.Google Scholar
- Quattrone, G., Mashhadi, A., & Capra, L. (2014). Mind the map. In Proc. of the ACM international conference on computer supported cooperative work and social computing (pp. 934–944).Google Scholar
- Ramm, F., Topf, J., & Chilton, S. (2011). OpenstreetMap: Using and enhancing the free map of the world. Cambridge: UIT Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Sieber, R. (2007). Geoweb for social change. http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/projects/vgi/docs/supp_docs/Sieber_paper.pdf. Accessed July 14, 2015.
- Sparke, M. (2011). The look of surveillance returns reflection essay: Between demythologizing and deconstructing the map. In M. Dodge (Ed.), Classics in cartography: Reflections on influential articles from Cartographica. J (pp. 380–392). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Steinmann, R., Häusler, E., Klettner, S., Schmidt, M., & Lin, Y.-W. (2013). Gender dimensions in UGC and VGI: A desk-based study. In T. Jekel, A. Car, J. Strobl, & G. Griesebner (Eds.), Creating the GISociety. Conference proceedings (pp. 355–364). Berlin: Wichmann, Verl. der ÖAW.Google Scholar
- Tulloch, D. (2008). Is VGI participation? From vernal pools to video games. GeoJournal, 72(3–4), 3–4.Google Scholar
- Turnbull, D. (1989). Maps are territories: Science is an atlas. Geeolong, Victoria: Deakin Univ.Google Scholar
- Wikimapia. (2014). About Wikimapia. http://wikimapia.org/docs/About_Wikimapia#What_is_Wikimapia. Accessed July 9, 2015.
- Yiftachel, O. (2006). Ethnocracy: Land and identity politics in Israel/Palestine. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Zipf, A. (2009). Nutzungspotenziale und Herausforderungen von “Volunteered Geography”—Zur Kombination von GOI-Technologie und nutzergenerierten Geomassendaten. In K. Kriz, W. Kainz, & A. Riedl (Eds.), Geokommunikation im Umfeld der Geographie: Tagungsband zum Deutschen Geographentag 2009 in Wien (pp. 121–128). Wien: Institut für Geographie und Regionalforschung der Universität Wien, Kartographie und Geoinformation.Google Scholar