Special Issue "Geoinformatics in Citizen Science"

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Gloria Bordogna

CNR IREA, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: fuzzy logic and soft computing for the representation and management of imprecision and uncertainty of textual and geographic information; Volunteered Geographic Information user-driven quality assessment in citizen science; Crowdsourced information spatio-temporal analytics; Information retrieval on the Web; Flexible Query Languages for Information Retrieval; ill-defined environmental knowledge representation and management; multisource geographic information fusion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce a call for papers for a Special Issue on “Geoinformatics in Citizen Science”.

"Citizen Science" indicates an increasing collaborative practice to carry out scientific projects by the involvement of a large number of volunteer citizens who are called to perform some specific tasks. The diffusion of citizen science is testified by the growth of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) and the USA (Citizen Science Association), which enhances the participation by the general public in scientific processes, mainly by initiating and supporting citizen science projects.

This old practice, primarily born within the naturalistic field to enrich museum collections, with the advent of the Web and smart mobile devices connected to the Internet, has changed by sharply increasing both the quantity, the timeliness, and the worldwide provenance of volunteers, as well as the quantity, types and quality of their contributions.

These large changes make it possible to adopt this practice to a variety of new purposes, such as for monitoring processes varying in both space and time, thus constituting a new challenge for science, which calls for powerful means to process very large amounts of geoinformation.

In fact, geoinformation is a major dimension of the contributions provided by volunteers: Most citizen science projects in the naturalistic and environmental fields exploit Volunteer Geographic Information (VGI), that is, volunteers are asked to provide information of various types and nature, such as textual notes, pictures, measurements of properties relative to target objects or events, by associating a geographic reference with their observations which allow scientists studying the geographic distribution and changes of the habitats and environment. Other projects need to collect and analyze the geographic distributions of volunteers who declared diseases in order to study pandemics.

Thus, citizen science needs geoinformatics in order to easily collect information from the field, to filter such information with respect to its reliability and quality, and to cross-analyze it with respect to geoinformation from other sources (remote sensing, in situ sensors data, etc.) for the purpose of the projects.

On the other hand, geoinformatic research can fruitfully exploit citizen science projects to tackle novel issues, such as reliability assessment methods of volunteers, quality assessment of their contributions, spatial cross-analysis copying the uncertainty and imprecision of geoinformation, interoperable sharing of VGI, and to test newly defined methods with real data.

This Special Issue is dedicated to exploring current experiences and trends with regards to the conceptual, methodological, and technological approaches defined and used in citizen science projects for processing and analyzing geoinformation and of the social aspects related with their application. We call for original papers from researchers worldwide, both in geoinformatic communities and citizen science associations and projects.

Gloria Bordogna
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Geoinformation in Citizen Science
  • VGI in Citizen Science
  • Crowdsourced Geoinformation Collection and Analysis

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle An Automatic User Grouping Model for a Group Recommender System in Location-Based Social Networks
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(2), 67; doi:10.3390/ijgi7020067
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
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Abstract
Spatial group recommendation refers to suggesting places to a given set of users. In a group recommender system, members of a group should have similar preferences in order to increase the level of satisfaction. Location-based social networks (LBSNs) provide rich content, such as
[...] Read more.
Spatial group recommendation refers to suggesting places to a given set of users. In a group recommender system, members of a group should have similar preferences in order to increase the level of satisfaction. Location-based social networks (LBSNs) provide rich content, such as user interactions and location/event descriptions, which can be leveraged for group recommendations. In this paper, an automatic user grouping model is introduced that obtains information about users and their preferences through an LBSN. The preferences of the users, proximity of the places the users have visited in terms of spatial range, users’ free days, and the social relationships among users are extracted automatically from location histories and users’ profiles in the LBSN. These factors are combined to determine the similarities among users. The users are partitioned into groups based on these similarities. Group size is the key to coordinating group members and enhancing their satisfaction. Therefore, a modified k-medoids method is developed to cluster users into groups with specific sizes. To evaluate the efficiency of the proposed method, its mean intra-cluster distance and its distribution of cluster sizes are compared to those of general clustering algorithms. The results reveal that the proposed method compares favourably with general clustering approaches, such as k-medoids and spectral clustering, in separating users into groups of a specific size with a lower mean intra-cluster distance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoinformatics in Citizen Science)
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Open AccessArticle Experiences with Citizen-Sourced VGI in Challenging Circumstances
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(12), 385; doi:10.3390/ijgi6120385
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
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Abstract
The article explores the process of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) collection by assessing the relative usability and accuracy of a range of different methods (smartphone GPS, tablet, and analogue maps) for data collection among different demographic and educational groups, and in different geographical
[...] Read more.
The article explores the process of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) collection by assessing the relative usability and accuracy of a range of different methods (smartphone GPS, tablet, and analogue maps) for data collection among different demographic and educational groups, and in different geographical contexts within a study area. Assessments are made of positional accuracy, completeness, and the experiences of citizen data collectors with reference to the official cadastral data and the land administration system. Ownership data were validated by crowd agreement. The outcomes of this research show the varying effects of volunteers, data collection method, geographical area, and application field, on geospatial data handling in the VGI arena. An overview of the many issues affecting the development and implementation of VGI projects is included. These are focused on the specific example of VGI data handling presented here: a case study area where instability and lack of resources are found alongside strong communities and a pressing need for more robust and effective official structures. The chosen example relates to the administration of land in an area of Iraq. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoinformatics in Citizen Science)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Citizen Science and Spatial Analysis: New Attention for Geography?

Author: Joseph Kerski

Abstract: Citizen science, along with four other converging societal and technological trends – geo-awareness, geo-enablement, geotechnologies, and storytelling– are poised to offer geography a world audience. They offer geography new attention that may be unprecedented in the history of the discipline. Issues central to geography are now part of the global consciousness. Everyday objects are rapidly becoming locatable, part of the growing Internet of Things, and thus able to be monitored and mapped. Many tools and data sets that were formerly used and examined only by geographers and other earth and environmental scientists are now in the hands of the general public. Citizens outside academia are becoming involved in community issues by contributing data that scientists and planners can use. Multimedia and cloud-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have greatly multiplied the attraction that maps have had for centuries to tell compelling stories. But despite these key trends bringing opportunity to geography, is geoliteracy becoming increasingly valued? How can educators, researchers, and practitioners seize the opportunity that these trends seem to present to actively promote geographic content knowledge, skills, and perspectives throughout education and society?

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