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VGI and INSPIRE - Introduction

Karel Charvat

(Submission #263)


There are different voluntary or bottom-up initiatives supporting SDI building. More and more localized information is collected by citizens. “Human observations” can become a part of the future real-time SDIs and serve as an input for spatial decision-making processes. Currently, data collection by citizens is higher than collection of data by public bodies. Local and community activities capture local knowledge in multimedia forms including videos, photos or oral histories. The collected information can contribute to up-to-date data. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) is the harnessing of tools to create, assemble, and disseminate geographic data provided voluntarily by individuals . Some examples of this phenomenon are WikiMapia, OpenStreetMap, and Google Map Maker. VGI can also be seen as an extension of critical and participatory approaches to geographic information systems [5] and as a specific concern within online or web credibility. These sites provide general base map information and allow users to create their own content by marking locations where various events occurred or certain features exist. In the context of voluntary data collection, an important part is the way how data are processed. An example can be Neogeography (New Age Geography) focused on combining geotagged data (e.g. KML) with a map interface for contextualized exploration. In Neogeography data can be from volunteers (VGI) or from professionals and can be open or with restricted access. Neogeography is closely related to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Web 2.0 and mapping capabilities of the geospatial web. These methodologies bring serious challenges to SDIs and traditional forms of data acquisition, analysis, and publication [8]. Neogeography cannot thrive without VGI. But to be of use, VGI must be utilized by Neogeographic mash-ups. Currently, there are two divided worlds, 1) top-down managed world of INSPIRE, GMES, GEOSS and similar initiatives represented by SDI experts, and 2) bottom-up mobile world of smartphones, tablets, world of citizens and also world of thousands micro SMEs developing applications. The question is, if we are able to find a bridge between these two worlds? When decomposing this question further subtopics for investigation can be identified: • IS it possible to standardised VGI • Can ordinary people profit from INSPIRE? • Can INSPIRE profit from different voluntary initiatives? • Is it possible on the basis of INSPIRE to build a successful business for thousands of European SMEs? • Are we able to find a WIN–WIN strategy for public sector, private sector and citizens?


Topic Area:  [2.7] Citizen science/crowd sourcing
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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