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AAG 2015 - COST Energic, VGI, Citizen Science and OpenStreetMap

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The talk will cover the concepts behing COST Action IC1203 - a European Network Exploring Research into Geospatial Information Crowdsourcing: software and methodologies for harnessing geographic information from the crowd (ENERGIC). The network emerged from the realisation that new and unprecedented sources of geographic information have recently become available in the form of user-generated Web content. The integration and application of these sources, often termed volunteered geographic information (VGI), offers multidisciplinary scientists an unprecedented opportunity to conduct research on a variety of topics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. The Action targets fundamental scientific and technological advances by establishing a European network of excellence on Geoweb technologies. The Action focus on VGI and gather efforts carried out in an innovative and under-exploited field of Web research and knowledge production.
In the talk special attention will be paid to the differences between OSM, VGI and Citizen Science, and suggesting 'code of engagement' with OpenStreetMap that are relevant to many other volunteering projects

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AAG 2015 - COST Energic, VGI, Citizen Science and OpenStreetMap

  1. 1. ESF provides the COST Office through a European Commission contract COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme ENERGIC (European Network Exploring research into geospatial information crowdsourcing) IC1203 Start date: 05/12/2012 End date: 04/12/2016 Chair Cristina Capineri, University of Siena (Italy) Vice Chair Muki Haklay, UCL London, UK
  2. 2. Objectives 1. Identify VGI taxonomy of sources 2.Identify credibility and relevance measures (topicality, coverage, temporal and patial proximity..) 5.Transfer knowledge to the scientific community and to practitioners,firms, ONG. “Imagine a world with a ubiquitous flow of real time information. A world where every point in space is a sensor and also a potential display” 6. Build research agendas 3.Interoperability and semantics 4. Gather European short cases
  3. 3. 3 ENERGIC TOOLS •WORKING GROUPS WG1 Societal and human aspects of VGI. WG2 Spatial data Quality and infrastructures. WG3 Data mining, semantics and VGI use. • SHORT TERM MISSIONS • TRAINING SCHOOLS www.vgibox.eu
  4. 4. VGI Biological Recording Community/Civi c science Volunteer computing DIY science Volunteer Thinking VGI/Citizen Science
  5. 5. OSM Studies • OSM != VGI – they are not the same things. Without comparing OSM to the wider ‘universe’ of VGI and citizen science projects, it is wrong to generalise • OSM deserve special attention, because of scale, importance to humanitarian activities and because it’s the biggest open mapping project. • But OSM can also benefit from other cases.
  6. 6. OSM, VGI, Citizen Science The role of academics within the OSM community: be a critical friend. No point in just telling ‘you’re the best kid in the class!’. Understandable that commercial/voluntary actors do that – they have to.
  7. 7. Example: how many contributors? 2,000,000 ? 10,000?
  8. 8. Biggest VGI project? Growth in eBird contributions since its introduction in 2002 (Lagoze 2014)
  9. 9. Oh, but it’s different, OSM is geo
  10. 10. Citizen Science, VGI, OSM studies OSM Studies • Quality • Participants motivations • Inclusion / exclusion VGI • Participation inequality • Quality assurance • Coverage Citizen Science • Quality assurance • Biases
  11. 11. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Rule 1 – even if you are just going to use the data, do some mapping, and understand the process. Join a mapping party. This will help you avoiding misinterpretations such as ‘the data is collected by users from the GPS trails’
  12. 12. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Rule 2 – Read. OSM Books, Wiki, Blog and mailing lists.
  13. 13. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Rule 3 – Explore the data. There’s plenty of it – quantitative and qualitative. Then talk with someone in the community to check that you’ve got it right.
  14. 14. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Rule 4 – Open Access. Put outputs in Open Access repository, publish in Open Access journals & blogs.
  15. 15. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Rule 5 - Open Knowledge. Publish and share the data that you’ve processed, and ideally the code so other people can use it for their purposes. Rule 6 - You have a responsibility to your academic field, and the OpenStreetMap community can deal with criticism – be a critical friend.
  16. 16. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Rule 7 - Teach. Students are some of the most likely participants. It’s also fun for them. Source: Harry Wood 2010
  17. 17. ‘Code of engagement’ for OpenStreetMap research Maintain links with the OSM community – it will pay off and will help you to identify new research directions Also maintain links within the VGI research community – even if the term is awkward, the research is valuable Explore comparisons and parallels – it’s important to learn what is going on in other projects

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