Talks and Poster Presentations (without Proceedings-Entry):

M. Schmidt, S. Klettner, R. Steinmann, E. Häusler:
"The Impact of the Contributor in VGI Projects";
Talk: Workshop on Map Creation From User Generated Data, Hannover; 2012-10-08.

English abstract:
All maps show a distorted picture of the world to some extent. The decisions for a projection, orientation, and the selection of information inevitably lead to a biased depiction of reality. Choices are made as to what to include and what to exclude. Whoever creates maps determines the content. In traditional cartography this used to be restricted to a group of experts. Nowadays user generated content (UGC) platforms open the access to create geo data to anyone - a process also proclaimed as "democratization of geo data". While this democratization could lead to a diversified group of people creating geo data, current numbers of UGC studies suggest a rather narrow and homogenous group of contributors. However, heterogeneous participants may be important since different groups of people may have different needs and requirements regarding geographic data.
Among open spatial platforms, OpenStreetMap (OSM) is probably the most extensive and effective volunteered geographic information (VGI) project (Haklay & Weber 2008), with a continuously growing number of contributors over recent years (currently about 570.000 registered users). However, studies show that the user structure of VGI projects is rather unbalanced concerning the distribution between male and female participants. Studies on OSM reveal a percentage of only about three actively contributing female users, with a majority of contributing young, well-educated males (Haklay & Budhathoki, 2010). Recently, an increasing body of work analysing the motivations of VGI contributors has been published (e.g. Coleman 2009, Haklay & Budhatoki 2010, Budhatoki et al. 2010, Lin 2011), but the consequences of participation inequality on data quality has not yet been explored.
In our current research we address the topic of unbalance of contributors in OSM and its influence on spatial data quality. Our overall aim is to get a deeper insight into how far characteristics of groups of contributors shape and influence the quality of VGI data. Aside from analyzing motivations for participation and potential barriers in OSM, our research focuses on the diversity and completeness of geo data created by a rather homogenous group of contributors. We will analyze whether diverse groups of people map their world differently, according to their needs and requirements for geographic data.

OpenStreetMap, Volunteered Geographic Information

Electronic version of the publication:

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.