Prospects for VGI Research and the Emerging Fourth Paradigm

  • Sarah ElwoodEmail author
  • Michael F. Goodchild
  • Daniel Sui


This concluding chapter reflects on some of the core themes that crosscut the contributed chapters, and further outlines some of the stimulating and significant relationships between volunteered geographic information (VGI) and the discipline of geography. We argue that future progress in VGI research depends in large part on building strong linkages with a diversity of geographic scholarship. We 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. We develop an argument for further research on the heterogeneous social relations through which VGI is produced and their implications for participation, power, and collective or civic action. The final two sections, closely related, position VGI as part of a shift toward hybrid epistemologies and potentially a fourth paradigm of data-intensive inquiry across the sciences.


Geographic Information System Civic Engagement Volunteer Geographic Information Geographic Knowledge Geographic World 
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

  • Sarah Elwood
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael F. Goodchild
    • 2
  • Daniel Sui
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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