European Handbook of Crowdsourced Geographic Information

Cristina Capineri, Cristina Capineri, Muki Haklay, Haosheng Huang, Vyron Antoniou, Juhani Kettunen, Frank Ostermann, Ross Purves (eds.)

book

(the whole book, as well as individual chapters, can be downloaded here)

This book focuses on the study of the remarkable new source of geographic information that has become available in the form of user-generated content accessible over the Internet through mobile and Web applications. The exploitation, integration and application of these sources, termed volunteered geographic information (VGI) or crowdsourced geographic information (CGI), offer scientists an unprecedented opportunity to conduct research on a variety of topics at multiple scales and for diversified objectives.

The Handbook is organized in five parts, addressing the fundamental questions: What motivates citizens to provide such information in the public domain, and what factors govern/predict its validity?What methods might be used to validate such information? Can VGI be framed within the larger domain of sensor networks, in which inert and static sensors are replaced or combined by intelligent and mobile humans equipped with sensing devices? What limitations are imposed on VGI by differential access to broadband Internet, mobile phones, and other communication technologies, and by concerns over privacy? How do VGI and crowdsourcing enable innovation applications to benefit human society?

Chapters examine how crowdsourcing techniques and methods, and the VGI phenomenon, have motivated a multidisciplinary research community to identify both fields of applications and quality criteria depending on the use of VGI. Besides harvesting tools and storage of these data, research has paid remarkable attention to these information resources, in an age when information and participation is one of the most important drivers of development.
The collection opens questions and points to new research directions in addition to the findings that each of the authors demonstrates. Despite rapid progress in VGI research, this Handbook also shows that there are technical, social, political and methodological challenges that require further studies and research.