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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(1), 24; doi:10.3390/ijgi6010024

Authoritative and Volunteered Geographical Information in a Developing Country: A Comparative Case Study of Road Datasets in Nairobi, Kenya

1
Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 6C3, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
2
Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 6B2, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexander Zipf, David Jonietz, Vyron Antoniou, Linda See and Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volunteered Geographic Information)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [16350 KB, uploaded 20 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

With volunteered geographic information (VGI) platforms such as OpenStreetMap (OSM) becoming increasingly popular, we are faced with the challenge of assessing the quality of their content, in order to better understand its place relative to the authoritative content of more traditional sources. Until now, studies have focused primarily on developed countries, showing that VGI content can match or even surpass the quality of authoritative sources, with very few studies in developing countries. In this paper, we compare the quality of authoritative (data from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)) and non-authoritative (data from OSM and Google’s Map Maker) road data in conjunction with population data in and around Nairobi, Kenya. Results show variability in coverage between all of these datasets. RCMRD provided the most complete, albeit less current, coverage when taking into account the entire study area, while OSM and Map Maker showed a degradation of coverage as one moves from central Nairobi towards rural areas. Furthermore, OSM had higher content density in large slums, surpassing the authoritative datasets at these locations, while Map Maker showed better coverage in rural housing areas. These results suggest a greater need for a more inclusive approach using VGI to supplement gaps in authoritative data in developing nations. View Full-Text
Keywords: volunteered geographic information; crowdsourcing; road networks; population data; Kenya volunteered geographic information; crowdsourcing; road networks; population data; Kenya
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mahabir, R.; Stefanidis, A.; Croitoru, A.; Crooks, A.T.; Agouris, P. Authoritative and Volunteered Geographical Information in a Developing Country: A Comparative Case Study of Road Datasets in Nairobi, Kenya. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 24.

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