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VGTrust: measuring trust for volunteered geographic information

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Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) has emerged as a large, up-to-date, and easily accessible data source. VGI can allow authoritative mapping agencies to undertake continuous improvement of their own data, adding a currency dimension previously unattainable due to high associated costs. VGI also benefits scientific and social research by facilitating quick and low-cost research data capture by the public. VGI, however, through its diversity of authorship, presents a quality assurance risk to the use of this data. This research presents a formulaic model that addresses VGI quality issues, by quantifying trust in VGI. Our ‘VGTrust’ model assesses information about a data author, and the spatial and temporal trust associated with the data they create, to produce an overall VGTrust rating metric. This metric is both easy to understand and interpret. A facilitated case study, ‘Building Our Footprints’ is presented which tests the feasibility of VGTrust model in a real-world data capture exercise run by Land Information New Zealand, New Zealand’s mapping organisation. By overcoming the trust issues in VGI, this research will allow the integration of VGI and authoritative data and potentially expand the application of VGI, thereby leveraging the power of the crowd for productive and innovative re-use.
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Keywords: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI); big data; crowdsourcing; data quality assessment; trust

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand 2: School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Publication date: August 3, 2019

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