Volunteered geographic information (VGI) is geographic information collected by way of crowdsourcing. However, the distinction between VGI as an information product and the processes that create VGI is blurred. Clearly, the environment that influences the creation of VGI is different than the information product itself, yet most literature treats them as one and the same. Thus, this research is motivated by the need to formalize and standardize the systems that support the creation of VGI. To this end, we propose a conceptual framework for VGI systems, the main components of which—project, participants, and technical infrastructure—form an environment conducive to the creation of VGI. Drawing on examples from OpenStreetMap, Ushahidi, and RinkWatch, we illustrate the pragmatic relevance of these components. Applying a system perspective to VGI allows us to better understand the components and functionality needed to effectively create VGI.
Coetzee, S., Eksteen, S., & Roos, A. (2014). Results from a survey of the South African GISc community show who they are and what they do. South African Journal of Geomatics, 3(2), 224. https://doi.org/10.4314/sajg.v3i2.8