[OSM-Science] Special Issue on "Advances in Applications of Volunteered Geographic Information" in the journal Remote Sensing

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Wed Aug 14 17:01:23 UTC 2019

On Tuesday 13 August 2019, Andrew Davidson wrote:
> The term VGI seems to come from a paper written in 2007 by Michael
> Goodchild (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-007-9111-y). According to
> Google Scholar it now has over 4000 citations.

And the number of citations shows you what exactly?

> Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall but it might be worth
> quoting the section in which VGI is defined:
> [...]

What you cited illustrates precisely what i mean with "putting 
OpenStreetMap in a box with other very different projects of crowd 
sourced data and probably neglecting to properly analyze the 

And i think it also illustrates that it is indeed inconsiderate use of 
the term 'information' (with a failure to reflect on the difference 
between 'information', 'data' and 'knowledge'/'insight').

I think it also illustrate the term 'volunteer' is meant to be a chiffre 
for 'unprofessional', 'unofficial' and 'untrained' - which seems to 
indicate a condescending attitude towards the subject of their analysis 
and seems to transport an underlying idea that the reliability of data 
stems from the formal qualification of those who maintain it and the 
officiality of the agencies in whose name they do this rather than from 
independent factual verifiability.

Note of course the inventor of a non-suitable term is not to blame for 
it beeing widely and thoughtlessly picked up by people when engaging 
in "science conducted by press release" 

I am sorry for the rant - my main motivation to raise this subject here 
again is to encourage everyone to critically evaluate their use of 
terms like this and what it might communicate about their view of their 
subject matter.

Christoph Hormann

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