Citizens as Sensors: Goodchild, 2007

In his 2007 article, Goodchild reviews the history and important technologies that led to volunteered geographic information (VGI) as we know it today. While I myself was quite familiar with the advantages  of VGI (and some of the main data quality concerns), I was unfamiliar with the effect that Google has had on how users of this (mainly) VGI platform. The discussion with regards to Santa Barbara and the errors in georeferencing were honestly quite shocking, as I had a hard time believing that Google would allow for such a error to happen. What other errors are they not telling us about?

Moreover, I wonder how popular VGI platforms will change as more and more communities become connected – especially with due to recent efforts by Google and Mark Zuckerberg to bring Internet to ‘everyone’. Will this change how we understand underdeveloped countries? How will we integrate their language into current VGI platforms? Will we have to create a new one altogether?


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