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User generated spatial content: an analysis of the phenomenon and its challenges for mapping agencies

Antoniou, V.; (2011) User generated spatial content: an analysis of the phenomenon and its challenges for mapping agencies. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Since the World Wide Web (Web) became a medium to serve information, its impact on geographic information has been constantly growing. Today the evolution of the bi-directional Web 2.0 has created the phenomenon of User Generated Spatial Content. In this Thesis the focus is into analysing different aspects of this phenomenon from the perspective of a mapping agency and also developing methodologies for meeting the challenges revealed. In this context two empirical studies are conducted. The first examines the spatial dimension of the popular Web 2.0 photo-sharing websites like Flickr, Panoramio, Picasa Web and Geograph, mainly investigating whether such Web applications can serve as sources of spatial content. The findings show that only Web applications that urge users to interact directly with spatial entities can serve as universal sources of spatial content. The second study looks into data quality issues of the OpenStreetMap, a popular wiki-based Web mapping application. Here the focus is on the positional accuracy and attribution quality of the user generated spatial entities. The research reveals that positional accuracy is fit for a number of purposes. On the other hand, the user contributed attributes suffer from inconsistencies. This is mainly due to the lack of a methodology that could help to the formalisation of the contribution process, and thus enhance the overall quality of the dataset. The Thesis explores a formalisation process through an XML Schema for remedying this problem. Finally, the advantages of using vector data in order to enhance interactivity and thus create more efficient and bi-directional Web 2.0 mapping applications is analysed and a new method for vector data transmission over the Web is presented.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:User generated spatial content: an analysis of the phenomenon and its challenges for mapping agencies
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:All maps are produced according to the following copyright: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2010
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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