Monday, September 29, 2014

Volunteered Geographic Information: Pros and cons

                VGI data (Volunteered Geographic Information) is an up and coming form of Big Data.  What is “Big Data”, you ask? “In recent years databases in enterprises have grown bigger and bigger. Mobile phones tracking and logging their users’ behavior, social media applications and an increasing number of interconnected sensors, create more and more data in increasingly shorter periods of time. This valuable data is called big data.”  VGI’s can be incredibly useful in that it lets users create a great deal of sharable, valuable data.
Tourist density and flows calculated from Flickr database

                However, there are drawbacks to VGI data.  One such problem is that “VGI datasets rather reflect the characteristics of specific online communities of interest but do not necessarily fulfill the qualities of a random population sample.”  VGI is not distributed well over socioeconomic, physical location, or any sort of variable, really.  This is its biggest problem. The future of VGI data must reconcile this lack of distribution with its enormous potential.

Fischer, Florian.  “A New but Delicate Geographic Data-Source: VGI as Big Data”.  GEO Informatics.  2012.

1 comment:

  1. I read this article as well but from what I gathered, in my mind, a big problem is that some VGI is taken from users when that is not the users intent or focus. I think that a better relationship between the user and business should be formed because it could lead to better retrieval of data and a better idea of who the users are.