volunteered geography


GIS Data

Map of tweets containing the word “terremoto” (Italian for “earthquake”) collected in the two minutes following a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Northern Italy on May 5, 2012. The red star shows the location of the earthquake. The tweets are concentrated in the epicentral area but discussion of the earthquake has already spread beyond the impacted region. This shows the speed that USGS Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (TED) collects tweets to provide insight into potential earthquake events. Image Credit: USGS

Crowdsourcing with the USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey is putting out a call for citizen scientists (that means you) to help them track and gather geographic information on what is happening all around the globe. Here are the some of the most well-known USGS crowdsourcing projects.

GIS Data

OpenStreetMap on MapBox Streets.OpenStreetMap on MapBox Streets.

OpenStreetMap: Grassroots Mapping

OpenStreetMap was founded with the goal of creating and providing free geographic data to whoever wants it. With an army of 5,000 volunteers who hit the streets around the world with GPS units to capture street segments or who participate in applying attribute information to collected data, the project has […]

GIS Learning

New Mappings Collaboratory

New Mappings Collaboratory

The Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky recently announced the formation of the New Mappings Collaboratory: “New Maps” draws upon both applied and conceptual traditions in mapping practices and mapping thought and represents a stream of scholarship focused on public engagement, “big data” and user-generated Internet content, as well […]

GIS Learning

Profile of Michael Goodchild

Profile of Michael Goodchild

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a profile on University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) professor Michael Goodchild called “Inventing the Science of Geographic Information Puts a Professor on the Map“. Mr. Goodchild cemented his place in geography in 1992, when he wrote a paper proposing the creation of geographic […]

GIS Data

Volunteered Geography

Volunteered Geography

Michael Goodchild, a professor of Geography at UC Santa Barbara, explores the historical and current trends of collaborative geographic data creation in what he terms “volunteered geography” in an article published in GeoJournal.  In dissecting this phenomenon, Goodchild seeks to answer the following questions: “what drives people to do this, how accurate […]