We are very grateful to those delegates who volunteered to act as rapporteurs and take notes during the Group Discussions. The summary of discussions are written and compiled purely out of community goodwill and are intended to represent the views and opinions discussed within the discussion groups. They are of high value for research discussions. The difficult task of rapporteuring in fast paced discussions is acknowledged. Where possible we have left out specific names of people and companies/organisations.
We chose to expand the initial question that only focuses on NMCA to also focus on industry and academia because the needs might be different according to the perspective. The different needs can be found in bold in this report.
Data Quality is a key need. However, the conception/demand of quality are maybe different. There are clusters of quality (for some cases, it is more relevant than other). NMCA clearly needs the data that is modelled. That is why they offer “fields” (non-mandatory but as checks) to build formal maps.
INSPIRE that focuses more on compliancy than on use. The NMCAs must also focus on potential use instead of compliancy. That is an area of collaboration with users (through Open Data so that the interaction is not only C2G). There is a double-feeding need in organizations. Thus, VIG is an opportunity to re-connect with the end-users (to determines their needs). They can also identify the users by e-mail and can thus blacklist the persons that are not constructive.
An additional need would be to have a completion of the data (ex: tracks, speed limit, …). A consideration for non-terrestrial VGI should also be considered for the future. They try to engage the fishermen to report they data.
The NMCA needs other sources of data collection because they won’t be able to offer it in another manner. They were able to provide data but not really at good quality level (ex: forest data).
When you talk about collaboration, you can also talk about collaboration among levels and among organization. We are one step further from the users (sometime take our data and we lose the connection). The question of the optimal level (federal ? Regional ? Local ?) to enable VGI is also key.
A additional need would be to signal so that the organizations knows when to make an update in the map. There must be a reflection about the taxonomy of crowdsourcers. Sometimes, it is more helpful to y use “specialists” (forest keepers to map forests instead of random citizens). A repository of citizen profiles with their interest in VGI would be helpful for the future. Furthermore, it is also necessary to identify good practices to collect data. The advantage of VGI as data collector is that it is done at a cheap cost. Furthermore, there must be a reflection about a sustainable business model take integrates open data and VGI. When there is less political and financial support, the current business model is not sustainable if we open the data.
A Legal view on VGI regarding intellectual property rights (who is the owner?) is missing from research. Furthermore, a clear role structure (to find out who is responsible for what is also necessary.
They want reports to state when a map is wrong on all features in order to have the best quality of data (sometimes they have a timestamp that have). Furthermore, there is also the question about how to stimulate citizen participation ? (for TomTom, they do reports manually but there is a lead to do it by voice). They don’t know why people contribute because they don’t stimulate them.
They also need to have them as complete (in content) as possible (ex: if they want to block a street, they can fill the attributes). In that sense, volume of that from all over the word is essential. Furthermore, the velocity of data Regarding their dependence with NMCA data, they have many sources of data and need to fuse it. These sources are : super-users, normal users. They are tracking the people (anonymously). The provision of data as a product is not part of the business model of TomTom. API offering from NMCA to industry.
Regarding the motivation of users,: they have a map quality phone where they can reach to super-users. People are motivated by having good information, good representation. They don’t reward the users but users can see the status of every report but not reward. Every year, they invite super-users from all over the world at the TomTom week-end. Are the motivations similar in NMCA’s and in private sector ?
There is a need for more advanced crowdsourcing (for ex: mapping of polygon than a pointer)
In northern countries, people are free to go in more areas (ex: forest). In the opinion of the present NMCAs, the situation is similar for southern countries. For eastern countries, the situation is various.
In Finland, when they introduced the platform, they build it so user-friendly that it was easy for the users for engage. Sometimes, the application are difficult to use and less user-friendly and intuitive.
In our discussion VGI is in a great part equal to OSM.
VGI needs are :
Why are NMCAs interested in VGI?
Not because it is about spending less money, but to get the data more accurate, get more engagement of users and also get more exposure.
Open data is an important precondition for VGI in NMCA’s. Only other companies like Google and navigation companies with high usage, can afford to make it proprietary, but this does not seem viable for NMCA’s. There are companies who are reselling open data, this is in most cases allowed, but does not seem a sustainable business model.
Should contributors approve the modification of their own contributed data by changes? Putting your data in OSM can be done instantly, because you can overwrite other things. You have to be careful with this, the community could be sensitive.
In Brittain mid-scale data is used by OSM, large scale is still licensed. There is no agreement between OSM and Ordnance Survey, but OSM is using the data of OS. For Ordnance Survey the platform of data is next to the data itself also very interesting. But it is important to realise that using VGI does not equal using OSM, but there are a lot of other sources such as mining Twitter, but also by putting own staff to work with VGI.
PhD’s looking at Twitter etc, geo-tagged tweets, but also implicit tweets with natural language tools. The Brittish Geological Survey also examined twitter about landslides, but they only found one tweet which was about a landslide.
Using your own staff
OS did an internal pilot in which their own staff compared stereo pairs of road side imagery and put then traffic signs on the map by tagging them. Also they identified shop signs by using their own staff.
Interested in national coverage, not in boundaries. Now all changes are captured in 98% of the time within 6 months, sounds fast, but is nowadays slow. Thinking about an extra layer with unchecked changes. Probably this will be put in the attributes, but it is not advanced yet.
By using of telecommunication data, you can get interesting patterns. For example when its raining, there are more phone calls. But this data is not distributed accurate enough for mapping purposes, , due to privacy legislation.
Using names of places
Interesting to use the crowd for names for places. In UK the coast guard is used by get the names. You will not get the data about informal places directly from the public, but via the coast guard you can get the informal names and make them formal. It is not yet merged to the core systems.
Using crowd photographs
Spain is interested in combining land cover, land use and landscape comparison. Possible contribution to this is to get photographs of the environment which are accessible for everyone (such as Flickr, Panoramio etc.). Using crowd photographs to assess land cover mapping, is not yet used in a mature way. You also will get a bias, because people take photos of things that interest them.
Landslides are not exciting in the UK, but the geological survey has to know where it is, because bigger danger can happen. They have a app: iVolcano they get information via that app about eruptions, which excite more people. People will get feedback with that, but it is not instant. MySoil app: everyone can send in their ph-values and stuff, but they can send strange things such as their pets. But it is till not an instant pin on the map: this is what people want to see.
(Blocked) walking paths
OS maps is used by walkers and can upload their own walks. This gives info about rural roads. It is also potentially interesting to land registries, to get information about roads which are blocked. For example they can be privately owned but they are not allowed to close it, so called ‘common lands’. When they are blocked people with mountain bikes, runners etc. cannot use them anymore. This information is interesting for land registries. In Italy the same problem happens with the coast, which is not allowed to be closed off. Overgrown paths are also interesting. The users can be easily engaged, because they have a direct win (unblocking of their land).
Also interesting to let the crowd creating preferred walking paths by letting the crowds say where the paths should be. Nice way to engage them into the system. Could be a useful tool. There are also a lot of forums to communicate such platform. There are also people who try to fight it locally, but by a broader public system more power and information can be involved and information is less dispersed. There is only a problem when you cannot provide a solution, but you are aware of the solution. Ignorance is bliss. It also depends how you interact with your people. Can be useful to work with other applications which already track runners and cyclists such as Strava.
Crofting in Scotland: land administration due to history not very good, because of farmers are renting land. Perhaps tracking sheeps would be interesting. The common lands could be an interesting case study, which will interested the mapping agency and the cadastre. It could be sensitive due to local disputes, but practical. Nice use case in which VGI can contribute. Interesting idea for the hackaton for getting to know these permissive footpaths.
NOTE: this Q assumes that the VGI quality is NOT good (enough)...?
First opinions round summarised as follows:
Problem is that we do not really know:
ANSWER (sort of):
=> first identify what quality is needed, then measure, then decide what has to be improved => this based on “use by use“ case, depending on the goal you use the data for (different quality for different uses, for different parts of the data)
This leaves unanswered the question HOW to improve...