Crowdsourcing Geodata

A session at 45th Annual Society of Cartographers Summer School

  • Frederik Ramm

Tuesday 8th September, 2009

9:00am to 9:00am (GMT)

For five years, OpenStreetMap has been collecting geodata contributed by hobbyists. Everyone can be a part of it, and participants not only get to contribute data, they also build the processes and structures used in the project. There are very few, if any, rules.

This principle of 'Crowdsourcing' has enormous potential not only for OpenStreetMap but also for other areas of data acquisition. It allows the creation of huge data sets which either cannot be created through other means, or would be prohibitively expensive if created commercially. But Crowdsourcing also has issues; you have to motivate people to participate, and you have to deal with the varying quality of results. Without a fixed structure, data processing might become more difficult. 'Edit wars' and vandalism can hurt the project and must be fought with adequate means. Last not least any crowdsourcing project will have to accomodate a potentially very large number of people who have to be treated differently than paid contractors.

The talk describes the Crowdsourcing aspects in OpenStreetMap and tries to identify what other kinds of data acquisition might benefit from such an approach. Positive as well as negative experience from OpenStreetMap is distilled into recommendations for successful crowdsourcing projects

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Frederik Ramm

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Time 9:00am9:00am GMT

Date Tue 8th September 2009

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