This review grew out of a workshop held in 2014, but it directly addresses issues of validation which are alive in the community today, and which are of interest not only to geographic information projects but to many data analysis tasks. — CJL —


With the ubiquity of advanced web technologies and location-sensing hand held devices, citizens regardless of their knowledge or expertise, are able to produce spatial information. This phenomenon is known as volunteered geographic information (VGI). During the past decade VGI has been used as a data source supporting a wide range of services, such as environmental monitoring, events reporting, human movement analysis, disaster management, etc. However, these volunteer-contributed data also come with varying quality. Reasons for this are: data is produced by heterogeneous contributors, using various technologies and tools, having different level of details and precision, serving heterogeneous purposes, and a lack of gatekeepers. Crowd-sourcing, social, and geographic approaches have been proposed and later followed to develop appropriate methods to assess the quality measures and indicators of VGI. In this article, we review various quality measures and indicators for selected types of VGI and existing quality assessment methods. As an outcome, the article presents a classification of VGI with current methods utilized to assess the quality of selected types of VGI. Through these findings, we introduce data mining as an additional approach for quality handling in VGI.

Photo Credit: Figure 1 (from article) – A photo of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is incorrectly geotagged in Jakarta, Indonesia on the popular photo sharing platform Flickr.

Source: A review of volunteered geographic information quality assessment methods

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