Mapping Parties at FOSS4G Europe: Fun, Outcomes and Lessons Learned
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Since OpenStreetMap (OSM) appeared more than ten years ago, new collaborative mapping approaches have emerged in different areas and have become important components of localised information and services based on localisation. There is now increased awareness of the importance of the space-time attributes of almost every event and phenomenon. Citizens now have endless possibilities to quickly geographically locate themselves with an accuracy previously thought impossible. Based on these societal drivers, we proposed a number of collaborative mapping experiments (“mapping parties”) to delegates of a large open-source geospatial conference and to citizens of the conference’s host city during July 2015. These mapping parties had a wide conceptual range from VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information) to geo-crowdsourcing (involuntary crowd-contributed geographic content). Specifically, the mapping parties were: (1) “traditional” OSM mapping, (2) indoor mapping and localisation, (3) emotional mapping of cities, (4) game-based validation of land cover data sets and (5) sensing the city and conference implicitly from Twitter. In this chapter, we outline the aims, structure and implementation of these experiments. We discuss the key outcomes and lessons learned from each of the mapping experiments in order to demonstrate the commonalities and also the differences between experiments. We consider future research directions for collaborative mapping approaches.
We want to warmly thank all participants to FOSS4G Europe 2015 who were so enthusiastically involved in all the mapping parties, giving us also the possibility of testing these new collaborative ways of collecting geospatial data. The support of EU COST Action IC1203 “European Network Exploring Research into Geospatial Information Crowdsourcing: software and methodologies for harnessing geographic information from the crowd (ENERGIC)” is also gratefully acknowledged.
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