A European perspective on VGI research:
The example of OpenStreetMap
Thursday October 9, 2014 – 3:30-4:45pm – Buchanan Hall, UCSB
Abstract. For several years now Volunteered Geographic Information—as termed by Goodchild in 2007—has fundamentally changed the way geographic information is being collected. This offers a potentially rich new data source for research and real world applications. But from the very beginning there were concerns about the reliability and quality of this data in contrast to authoritative data. This led to a number of investigations on the usability and quality of VGI for different purposes and in different regions. This also triggered the development of new methods for measuring the relevant properties of the data and their spatial heterogeneity as well as the implementation of web-based and mobile applications. This talk will present an overview of some of the investigations on the quality and applicability of VGI and how these can be improved at the GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University. The focus will be on OpenStreetMap (OSM) as one oft he most successful examples of VGI in Europe. Further some cultural differences to the situation in the US will be questioned which shall stimulate a discussion about the role of VGI and in how the respective communities evolve in different parts of the world.
Bio. Alexander Zipf is chair of GISscience (Geoinformatics) at Heidelberg University, Germany since late 2009. Earlier he led the chair of Cartography at Bonn University and was Professor for Applied Computer Science and Geoinformatics at the University of Applied Sciences FH Mainz. He has a background in Mathematics and Geography from Heidelberg University. He finished his Ph.D. and completed a PostDoc at the European Media Laboratory EML (now H-ITS). He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at Heidelberg University (iwr.uni-heidelberg.de). In 2012 he became founding member of Heidelberg Center for the Environment (hce.uni-heidelberg.de). He was Managing Director of the Department of Geography and acted as Vice Dean of the Faculty for Chemistry and Geosciences. Since 2012 he is Speaker of the Graduate School “CrowdAnalyser—Spatio-temporal Analysis of User-generated Content” (crowdanalyser.uni-hd.de). He is regional editor oft he journal “Transaction in GIS” (Wiley) and member of the editorial boards of CEUS—Computer, Environment and Urban Systems, the Journal of Location Based Services and Future Internet.
Zipf’s main research interests include Crowdsourced and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), GeoWeb 2.0, Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI), 3D-GIS, Location Based Services (LBS) etc. in different domains.