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Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge

Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Theory and Practice

  • Book
  • © 2013


  • Cutting-edge, state-of-the-art inventory of research on VGI and crowdsourcing
  • Interdisciplinary appeal for both professional and lay audience
  • Balanced coverage of theories and applications

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About this book

The phenomenon of volunteered geographic information is part of a profound transformation in how geographic data, information, and knowledge are produced and circulated. By situating volunteered geographic information (VGI) in the context of big-data deluge and the data-intensive inquiry, the 20 chapters in this book explore both the theories and applications of crowdsourcing for geographic knowledge production with three sections focusing on 1).  VGI, Public Participation, and Citizen Science; 2). Geographic Knowledge Production and Place Inference; and 3). Emerging Applications and New Challenges.  This book argues that future progress in VGI research depends in large part on building strong linkages with diverse geographic scholarship. Contributors of this volume situate VGI research in geography’s core concerns with space and place, and offer several ways of addressing persistent challenges of quality assurance in VGI. This book positions VGI as part of a shift toward hybrid epistemologies, and potentially a fourth paradigm of data-intensive inquiry across the sciences. It also considers the implications of VGI and the exaflood for further time-space compression and new forms, degrees of digital inequality, the renewed importance of geography, and the role of crowdsourcing for geographic knowledge production.

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Table of contents (20 chapters)

  1. Public Participation and Citizen Science

  2. Geographic Knowledge Production and Place Inference

  3. Emerging Applications and New Challenges


From the reviews:

“Although there are many books on crowdsourcing in general, there is no other current work of this type that addresses geographic crowdsourcing, also referred to as volunteered geographic information—a central element of neogeography. … The chapters are well-written and edited and all present interesting and timely information. The book could be used as part of a seminar on geospatial science and provide fertile ground for discussion.” (Michael Peterson, The AAG Review of Books, Vol. 1 (3), 2013)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Dept. Geography, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

    Daniel Sui

  • Dept. Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

    Sarah Elwood

  • College of Letters & Science, Dept. Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, USA

    Michael Goodchild

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