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Mapping the Mappers: Exploring the Communities of VGI Users Through OpenStreetMap Data

Mapping the Mappers: Exploring the Communities of VGI Users Through OpenStreetMap Data
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Author(s): Francesca De Chiara (Bruno Kessler Foundation, Italy) and Maurizio Napolitano (Bruno Kessler Foundation, Italy)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 22
Source title: Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Gabriella Punziano (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) and Angela Delli Paoli (University of Salerno, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8473-6.ch031

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Abstract

Volunteered geographic information (VGI) platforms generate crowdsourced layers where a vast amount of shared and shareable geo-information is available. Monitoring the informative reliability of these sources is an important task, and the main VGI project, OpenStreetMap is a good testing ground to investigate how the collective intelligence made of users' networks creates public knowledge. OpenStreetMap (OSM) can be defined as a language of representation of real geographical entities shared as web maps. Mappers often work in solitude, but they stick to and strictly respect the rules given by their community. The aim is to create a geographical database used by anyone for any purpose. The chapter explores the following questions: How many contributors are there? Where are they and what do they collect? What are the interactions between them? The chapter illustrates what can be read from the OSM data, the available tools, and what could help researchers to understand this community.

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