Tag Archive | Volunteered Geographic Information

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 As a result, in many cases the datasets are out of date because of the high cost of maintenance.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)

Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation

by Muki Haklay, Po Ve Sham Blog,  22 June, 2012

“At the end of 2010, Matt Wilson (University of Kentucky) and Mark Graham(Oxford Internet Institute), started coordinating a special issue of Environment and Planning Adedicated to ‘Situating Neogeography’, asking ‘How might we situate neogeography? What are the various assemblages, networks, ecologies, configurations, discourses, cyborgs, alliances that enable/enact these technologies?’ My [Muki Hakly’s] response to this call is a paper titled ‘Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation’ and it is finally been accepted for publication. I am providing below an excerpt from the introduction, to provide a flavour of the discussion:

“Since the emergence of the World Wide Web (Web) in the early 1990s, claims about its democratic potential and practice are a persistent feature in the discourse about it. While awareness of the potential of ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere’ to access and use information was extolled for a long while (for an early example see Batty 1997), the emergence of Web 2.0 in the mid-2000s (O’Reilly 2005) increased this notion. In the popular writing of authors such as Friedman (2006), these sentiments are amplified by highlighting the ability of anyone to ‘plug into the flat earth platform’ from anywhere and anytime. …”

For full text of this thought provoking article, visit Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation « Po Ve Sham – Muki Haklay’s personal blog.

International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

 International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

Post GSDI Conference Workshop, May 18 2012

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Marc Gervais (Marc.Gervais@scg.ulaval.ca) or Rodolphe Devillers (rdeville@mun.ca)

3. Workshop Description and Goals
This Friday workshop will summarize the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The agenda is below. More details will be found on the GSDI-13 Conference web site shortly, including registration instructions. A small fee will be charged to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The workshop is open to the public.

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Towards the Global Harmonization of Licenses for Geographic Data

Workshop #2: “Towards the Global Harmonization of Licenses for Geographic Data”

Monday, May 14, 2012 at the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure 13 Conference, Quebec, Canada

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Dr. Bastiaan van Loenen, Chair, GSDI Association Legal and Socioeconomic Committee, b.vanloenen@tudelft.nl, +31(0)152782554

3. Workshop Description and Goals
On the basis of the work of the GSDI Legal and Socioeconomic Committee on the comparison and categorization of key licence components, this workshop will explore the possibilities for developing a set of model licences that can be applied globally to the dissemination of geographic data. Participants will explore the needs and interests of data providers and the users in the licensing process and try to develop a common understanding of the priorities for a global licensing framework. From this, the group will try to reach preliminary agreement on a limited number of license terms and conditions that might be applied on a global level.

4. Workshop Topics
What is the problem? What are potential solutions?
Open access license provisions
Commercial license provisions
Potential unified frameworks
Committee approach and progress to date
Towards a minimal set of workable terms and conditions for most providers and users

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Projects Use Phone Data to Track Public Services – NYTimes.com

By Joshua Brunstein, NYT, June 5, 2011

…The city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been trying to provide a better sense of predictability in recent years by adding displays in stations that state when the next train is expected. Now, a Web development firm called Densebrain says that it can do the same thing at practically no cost, by analyzing how people lose phone service when they head underground. Urban planners, technology companies and officials from local governments see potential in projects like these that mine data collected from phones to provide better public services. …

Full text of the article via Projects Use Phone Data to Track Public Services – NYTimes.com.

Video: Michael Goodchild discusses using social networks to define landscapes. – US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Director of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Center for Spatial Studies Michael Goodchild discusses “From Community Mapping to Critical Spatial Thinking: The Changing Face of GIS (geographic information systems)” in this National Science Foundation Distinguished Lecture. He discusses how individuals are using distributed, real-time data enabled by social networks to define landscapes that have been suddenly altered by floods, hurricanes and other acts of nature.

To watch video, visit: nsf.gov – News – Video – Michael Goodchild discusses using social networks to define landscapes. – US National Science Foundation (NSF).

Crowd-sourced data hold potential for positive change and human rights abuses

Crowd-sourced data hold potential for positive change and human rights abuses

By Robin Lloyd, Scientific American | Feb 18, 2011 01:35 PM |

Social media has scored big successes in helping crowds to gather and communicate online to challenge oppressive regimes in recent weeks, but digital gathering places that are basically public—and the crowd-sourced data they generate—also carry risks. Crowds are forming so rapidly online—the photo-sharing app Instagram reported enrolling one million users in the past six weeks—that many platform managers fail to take full responsibility for protecting the users who post reports online, or for anticipating how the data might be abused by authorities.

For full text, visit Observations: Crowd-sourced data hold potential for positive change and human rights abuses.

NRC Disasters Roundtable: Using Lessons from Haiti and Chile to Reduce Global Risk

National Research Council Disasters Roundtable Workshop 32
Using Lessons from Haiti and Chile to Reduce Global Risk

March 1, 2011
The Venable Conference Center
575 – 7th Street, NW – The Capitol Room
Washington, DC, 20004

In 2010, Haiti and Chile experienced devastating earthquakes. The Haitian earthquake measured about 7.0 on the Richter Scale and led to more than 200,000 deaths, 1.5 million displaced Haitians, and more than $3 billion committed to Haiti’s recovery. The Chilean earthquake measured 8.8 on the Richter Scale, and led to about 500 deaths, 1.8 million affected Chileans, and about $13 million committed to Chile’s recovery. The differences and the similarities between the two earthquakes present researchers, practitioners, the US Government, and the international community with tremendous learning opportunities to reduce global and US domestic risk to natural hazards. The Disasters Roundtable is hosting a workshop, Using Lessons from Haiti and Chile to Reduce Global Risk, to identify, clarify, and find applications for the lessons from the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. With contributions from Haitians, Chileans, and those from the US Government and international community, the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academies’ workshop aims to illustrate how both the expected and the unexpected outcomes and occurrences in these earthquakes can better prepare the USG and the international community for the next disaster. The workshop will focus on:

  1. the role of pre-existing conditions in the impact, response, and recovery of these earthquake events;
  2. what was learned from the expected and the unexpected outcomes of these earthquakes; and
  3. how to use lessons from Haiti and Chile to reduce disaster risk in the future.

Download the full Meeting Agenda (PDF)

Click here to register to attend the workshop at the Venable Conference Center in Washington, DC

Click here to register to participate in the video webcast of this workshop


ArcGIS Server Blog : Lessons learned developing a Web map for volunteered geographic information (VGI) and social media

Oil spreading north-east from the leaking Deep...

Image via Wikipedia

ArcGIS Server Blog, November 10, 2010

On April 20, 2010 an explosion disabled the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon and touched off a prolonged regional disaster. Several crew members were killed, and a series of equipment failures left a well on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico freely releasing oil into the ocean for several months. The oil posed a very serious threat to the economy and wildlife in the region. The response to this event was massive, and Esri contributed to the containment and recovery with both manpower and software.

One of the ways Esri was able to contribute was with a Web application that brought together some of the new features in ArcGIS 10 with data services for the affected area. The application was unique in that it built on some recent trends in the geospatial community. Specifically, it was focused around authoritative content for projected spill locations (from NOAA), sensitive natural resource areas (from the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama departments of wildlife), a disaster response feed from Ushahidi, and live data feeds from social media outlets such as YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr. Additionally, users of the application could post their own content. This has been commonly referred to as volunteered geographic information, or VGI. The end result was the Esri Social Media/VGI application. …

For full text of the article via ArcGIS Server Blog : Lessons learned developing a Web map for volunteered geographic information (VGI) and social media.

Articles on Spatial Data Infrastructures

A. J. Wortley of the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office passed along the following through the Weary Mappers listsev (February 19, 2008):


For a very interesting critical analysis of the the SDI movement, visit the following posting by Paul Ramsey on his “Clever Elephant Blog”:

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