Sunday, February 14, 2016

VGI as Big Data
This article discusses the use of VGI, or voluntary geographic information, as big data. Big data is the use of mobile phone tracking users’ behavior based off of social media applications and an increase in the number of interconnected sensors. Big data is beneficial to companies because they can use it to see the trends in consumers based off of their phones and what the user looks up. Big data is beneficial to GIS because the GIS operator is able to use this type of data to create maps for companies to show how to target certain locations based purely off of their mobile phone usage.
Voluntary geographic information, or VGI, is beneficial to the companies because it allows the company to still receive all of the information they are looking for at a reduced cost. It is cheaper because they use websites like Yelp, Google Places, Facebook Places, and other various websites of the sort to help contribute to the data mining. Even though this is considered voluntary, most of the time the user is unaware that they are helping contribute to this data collection. VGI as the new form of big data allows the GIS operator to create a map to show how consumers consume and it also shows whether they are consuming in terms of demographics or socio-economic characteristics.

Fischer, F. (2012). VGI as Big Data: A new but delicate geographic data-source. GeoInformatics,
15(3), 46-47.


  1. I would like to know how exactly this process works, and why it's called a "voluntary" information since it's really not voluntary.

  2. Was it mentioned in the article what was the biggest thing users look up? That would be interesting to know. Based on what the most popular item is, how do they go about suing GIS to correlate with that?