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Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project — The Case of OpenStreetMap
Geoinformatics Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Heidelberg, Berliner Street 48, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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Received: 13 June 2012; in revised form: 17 July 2012 / Accepted: 17 July 2012 / Published: 27 July 2012
Abstract: The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project, founded in 2004, has gathered an exceptional amount of interest in recent years and counts as one of the most impressive sources of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) on the Internet. In total, more than half a million members had registered for the project by the end of 2011. However, while this number of contributors seems impressive, questions remain about the individual contributions that have been made by the project members. This research article contains several studies regarding the contributions by the community of the project. The results show that only 38% (192,000) of the registered members carried out at least one edit in the OSM database and that only 5% (24,000) of all members actively contributed to the project in a more productive way. The majority of the members are located in Europe (72%) and each member has an activity area whose size may range from one soccer field up to more than 50 km2. In addition to several more analyses conducted for this article, predictions will be made about how this newly acquired knowledge can be used for future research.
Keywords: volunteered geographic information (VGI); OpenStreetMap; contributions; community; activity
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Neis, P.; Zipf, A. Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project — The Case of OpenStreetMap. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2012, 1, 146-165.
Neis P, Zipf A. Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project — The Case of OpenStreetMap. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2012; 1(2):146-165.
Neis, Pascal; Zipf, Alexander. 2012. "Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project — The Case of OpenStreetMap." ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 1, no. 2: 146-165.