Social Contribution Settings and Newcomer Retention in Humanitarian Crowd Mapping

  • Martin DittusEmail author
  • Giovanni Quattrone
  • Licia Capra
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10047)


Organisers of crowd mapping initiatives seek to identify practices that foster an active contributor community. Theory suggests that social contribution settings can provide important support functions for newcomers, yet to date there are no empirical studies of such an effect. We present the first study that evaluates the relationship between colocated practice and newcomer retention in a crowd mapping community, involving hundreds of first-time participants. We find that certain settings are associated with a significant increase in newcomer retention, as are regular meetings, and a greater mix of experiences among attendees. Factors relating to the setting such as food breaks and technical disruptions have comparatively little impact. We posit that successful social contribution settings serve as an attractor: they provide opportunities to meet enthusiastic contributors, and can capture prospective contributors who have a latent interest in the practice.


Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Crowdsourcing Crowd mapping Volunteering Mapathon Mapping party 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Dittus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giovanni Quattrone
    • 2
  • Licia Capra
    • 2
  1. 1.ICRI CitiesUCLLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUCLLondonUK

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