Over the last decade, volunteered geographic information (VGI) has become established as one of the most relevant geographic data sources in terms of worldwide coverage, representation of local knowledge and open data policies. Beside the data itself, data about community activity provides valuable insights into the mapping progress which can be useful for estimating data quality, understanding the activity of VGI communities or predicting future developments. This work proposes a conceptual as well as technical framework for structuring and analyzing mapping activity building on the concepts of activity theory. Taking OpenStreetMap as an example, the work outlines the necessary steps for converting database changes into user- and feature-centered operations and higher-level actions acting as a universal scheme for arbitrary spatio-temporal analyses of mapping activities. Different examples from continent to region and city-scale analyses demonstrate the practicability of the approach. Instead of focusing on the interpretation of specific analysis results, the work contributes on a meta-level by addressing several conceptual and technical questions with respect to the overall process of analyzing VGI community activity.
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