[Talk-africa] Open survey on participation biases in OSM

Zoe Gardner zoegardner3 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 4 10:45:27 UTC 2017

Dear OSM talk subscriber


I am a Research Fellow in the Nottingham Geospatial Institute at the University of Nottingham in the UK, interested in participation biases in geospatial crowdsourced projects such as OSM and other Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) projects. My current research project is concerned with the way in which participation biases in OSM may potentially affect the usability of the data that is collected and subsequently what is available to location based service providers which use OSM as their primary geospatial database.


The project is motivated by recent research that has found a strong male bias in OSM participation. This has led to assertions that various geospatial knowledge could be under represented or poorly recorded on the map. However, the actual consequences of this bias remain little explored or reported. By collecting information about contributors to OSM, which can then be analyzed along with their editing patterns, the impacts of this bias might begin to be measured and therefore better understood. I have therefore published an online survey designed to collect information directly from OSM editors and I would like to invite as many of you as possible to participate. The survey is anonymous and takes a couple of minutes to complete.


If you are an OSM contributor and are interested in or would like to participate in the study, please click on the link below, which will take you to the Bristol Online Survey website where you will find more information and an opportunity to participate in the survey. As a small incentive, at the close of the survey in a few weeks’ time, 60 respondents will be drawn at random to receive a £15 Amazon voucher.


To participate in the survey, click on the link below:


https://nottingham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/osm-user-profiles <https://nottingham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/osm-user-profiles>

Please do think about participating. It is hoped that knowledge about the way participation biases impact on crowdsourced maps will enable new strategies to be developed to address any resulting voids in the geospatial information provided by amateur mappers. In turn this could strengthen the role played by platforms such as OSM in urban planning and sustainability and raise the profile of the important mapping work that you all do.


In the meantime, if you would like to know more about me, my research activities or the project, please visit my University webpage (link below) and do not hesitate to get in touch directly or via the OSM messaging service.


https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/engineering/people/zoe.gardner <https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/engineering/people/zoe.gardner>

Thank you



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