Volunteered Geographic Information, Actor-Network Theory, and Severe-Storm Reports

  • Mark H. PalmerEmail author
  • Scott Kraushaar


In this chapter, we will use actor-network theory to describe a decentralized, heterogeneous storm-spotting and storm-chasing network in the United States, which connects human-sensor observations in the field with operational meteorologists in the center of calculation and with television media as the recipients and public distributors of official severe-weather watches and warnings. In the first section, we present actor-network theory as a conceptual framework for describing the co-construction of society and technology and the centering processes associated with scientific laboratories and government agencies. In the second section, we demonstrate the use of actor-network theory (ANT) through a descriptive case study of the storm-spotter and storm-chaser network, which encompasses both decentralized and centralized processes. Finally, we analyze the centering processes that the National Weather Service (NWS) uses to mobilize, stabilize, and combine VGI storm reports with their existing technologies.


Geographic Information System Severe Weather Volunteer Geographic Information Human Sensor Doppler Weather Radar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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