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Open AccessArticle

A Citizen Science Approach for Collecting Toponyms

Faculty of Geo-Information Science, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), Jl. Raya Jakarta-Bogor Km. 46, Cibinong, Bogor 16911, Indonesia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(6), 222;
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoinformatics in Citizen Science)
PDF [3191 KB, uploaded 16 June 2018]


The emerging trends and technologies of surveying and mapping potentially enable local experts to contribute and share their local geographical knowledge of place names (toponyms). We can see the increasing numbers of toponyms in digital platforms, such as OpenStreetMap, Facebook Place Editor, Swarm Foursquare, and Google Local Guide. On the other hand, government agencies keep working to produce concise and complete gazetteers. Crowdsourced geographic information and citizen science approaches offer a new paradigm of toponym collection. This paper addresses issues in the advancing toponym practice. First, we systematically examined the current state of toponym collection and handling practice by multiple stakeholders, and we identified a recurring set of problems. Secondly, we developed a citizen science approach, based on a crowdsourcing level of participation, to collect toponyms. Thirdly, we examined the implementation in the context of an Indonesian case study. The results show that public participation in toponym collection is an approach with the potential to solve problems in toponym handling, such as limited human resources, accessibility, and completeness of toponym information. The lessons learnt include the knowledge that the success of this approach depends on the willingness of the government to advance their workflow, the degree of collaboration between stakeholders, and the presence of a communicative approach in introducing and sharing toponym guidelines with the community. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; volunteered geographic information (VGI); toponym; crowdsourced data collection; data quality citizen science; volunteered geographic information (VGI); toponym; crowdsourced data collection; data quality

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Perdana, A.P.; Ostermann, F.O. A Citizen Science Approach for Collecting Toponyms. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 222.

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