Situating the Adoption of VGI by Government

  • Peter A. JohnsonEmail author
  • Renee E. Sieber


Governments have long been active online, providing services and information to citizens. With the development of Web 2.0 technology, many governments are considering how they can better engage with and accept citizen input online, particularly through the gathering and use of volunteered geographic information (VGI). Though there are several benefits to governments accepting VGI, the process of adopting VGI as a support to decision-making is not without challenge. We identify three areas of challenge to the adoption of VGI by government; these are the costs of VGI, the challenges for governments to accept non-expert data of questionable accuracy and formality, and the jurisdictional issues in VGI. We then identify three ways that governments can situate themselves to accept VGI—by formalizing the VGI collection process, through encouraging collaboration between levels of government, and by investigating the participatory potential of VGI.


Geographic Information System Vernal Pool Citizen Participation Volunteer Geographic Information Spatial Decision Support System 
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.



This research has been funded by the Quebec Ministère des services gouvernementaux program “Appui au passage à la société de l’information” and the Canadian GEOIDE Network of Centres of Excellence in Geomatics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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