Tag Archive | Citizen Science

New Research on Legal Issues and Validation of Crowdmapping

Rak, Andriy (2013). Legal Issues and Validation of Volunteered Geographic Information.

Abstract: The Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) provides access to authoritative geographic datasets of Canada, which are the source of accurate and reliable data. The process of acquiring, updating and maintaining such datasets using traditional approaches, requires both time and costly resources. As a result, in many cases the datasets are out of date because of the high cost of maintenance. An alternative approach to reliably create and update authoritative datasets is linked to its integration with Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). VGI provides a vast source of spatial information to government, industry and citizens. However, the integration of VGI with CGDI generates several questions, with VGI quality and legal issues at the forefront.

This research has investigated methods for assessing the quality of VGI, and describes the importance of a link between VGI and legal liability in the need for integration of VGI with CGDI. This research developed a prototype to validate data quality and examined legal liability issues around VGI to discover a strategy for possible integration of VGI with CGDI datasets. The research also provides four primary risk management techniques for CGDI to manage risks resulted from incorporating VGI into their datasets.

M.Sc.E. thesis, Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering Technical Report No. 283, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, 128 pp. (April 2013)

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Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap

by Emily Badger, The Atlantic, March 14, 2013

OpenStreetMap is a marvel of modern crowdsourcing. Since its creation in 2004, DIY cartographers – typically armed with GPS devices or satellite photography – have been slowly mapping the world’s road networks and landmarks to create a free alternative to proprietary geographic data that can then support tools like trip planners. The process, which began in the U.K., is painstaking and piecemeal, and nearly a decade into it, more than a million people have contributed a sliver of road here or a surveyed cul-de-sac there. …

For full text of this article, visit Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap – Emily Badger – The Atlantic Cities.

Also check out the great work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas

by Rebecca Boyle, POPSCI, February 12, 2013

On a hazy day last January, an unmanned aircraft enthusiast piloted his camera-equipped drone in the vicinity of a Dallas meatpacking plant, cruising around 400 feet in the air. To test his equipment, he took some photos of the Trinity River with a point-and-shoot camera mounted to his $75 foam airframe. When he retrieved the remote-controlled aircraft, he noticed something odd in the photos: A crimson stream, which appeared to be blood, leaking into a river tributary. …On Dec. 26, a grand jury handed down several indictments against the owners of the Columbia Packing Company for dumping pig blood into a creek. … Under a new law proposed in the Texas legislature, sponsored by a lawmaker from the Dallas suburbs, this type of activity could soon be criminal. …

Texas House Bill 912–and similar laws under debate right now in Oregon and elsewhere–are driving a burgeoning debate about how to use and control unmanned air systems, from an AR.Drone to a quadcopter. The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of drafting new rules governing unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, including military-style aircraft. But in the meantime, plenty of cheap, easy-to-use aircraft are already popular among hobbyists and, increasingly, activists and law enforcement.

For full text of the article Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas | Popular Science.

Pakistan Ministry of Defense to Outlaw Civil Mapping

Pakistanis lost without maps

by Murtaza Haider, Dawn.com/DesPardes, November 21, 2012

The Ministry of Defence is about to declare mapping illegal in Pakistan. The federal cabinet, Pakistan’s foremost civilian authority, is willingly giving up a civic task to agencies that report to Pakistan’s Armed Forces.The proposed Land Surveying and Mapping Bill 2012 will entrust all mapping responsibilities in Pakistan to the Survey of Pakistan SoP, which supposedly reports to the Ministry of Defence MoD, but effectively takes its orders and cues from the General Head Quarters. Consider that the Surveyor General of Pakistan is often a serving or retired General, who leads the organisation that is not open to scrutiny by the civilian authorities.

For full text of this article, please visit Pakistanis lost without maps | DAWN.COM.

To Catch a Quake

by Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director, Ethical Guidance for Pervasive and Autonomous IT Blog, August 26, 2011

In this week’s issue [of Science] (v. 333, n. 6046, Aug. 26, 2011), one of the seven featured publications is described in a paragraph entitled “To Catch a Quake” by Nicholas S. Wigginton (p. 1072). … Wigginton’s synopsis of the article describes the Quake-Catcher Network, “a volunteer-based seismic network that employs personal computers as low-cost seismic stations by sending seismic data collected with a small USB accelerometer through the user’s Internet connection.” After Chile’s huge earthquake in 2010, “volunteers rapidly installed nearly 100 accelerometers within weeks in and around the mainshock [sic] area.” …

For summary of and links to Wigginton’s article, visit Ethical Guidance for Pervasive and Autonomous IT.

Parsing the Twitterverse: New Algorithms Analyze Tweets: Scientific American

By Francie Diep, Scientific American, July 22, 2011

Researchers have been trolling Twitter for insights into the human condition since shortly after the site launched in 2006. In aggregate, the service provides a vast database of what people are doing, thinking and feeling. But the research tools at scientists’ disposal are highly imperfect. Keyword searches, for example, return many hits but offer a poor sense of overall trends.When computer scientist James H. Martin of the University of Colorado at Boulder searched for tweets about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he found 14 million. “You can’t hire grad students to read them all,” he says. Researchers need a more automated approach. …

For full text of the article, visit Parsing the Twitterverse: New Algorithms Analyze Tweets: Scientific American.

Mashups, crowdsourcing and their impact on the mapping industry

by Prof. William Cartwright, International Cartographic Association, EE Publishers, July 2011. This article is based on the keynote address given by Prof. William Cartwright at AfricaGEO 2011.

… Maps produced through the process of mash-ups include the amateur map producer. This map producer has access to powerful Web 2.0 delivered software and resources, empowering them with the ability to produce and deliver maps that are both professional and current. Geographical information and base maps can be sourced from conventional providers – for example the Ordnance Survey (OS) of the United Kingdom has developed an API called Openspace which provides free data for non-commercial experimentation (http://openspace.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/openspace) – and from non-conventional sources – for example Nokia Map (http://europe.nokia.com/maps) or from OpenStreetmap (www.openstreetmap.org), the organisation providing free data and maps that are produced by individuals who collaborate to provide a free geospatial resource. However, with Web 2.0 for the provision of maps and geographical information is not without a number of issues. The following section addresses some of these. …

For full text of the article, visit EE Publishers – Mashups, crowdsourcing and their impact on the mapping industry.

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