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Defacing the Map: Cartographic Vandalism in Vounteered Geographic Information

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The Geo Web and crowdsourcing have unleashed new possibilities for the production of geographic information, enabling millions of amateur contributors to engage in the creation of free and open maps. As these datasets are open to editing in loosely regulated spaces, cartographic vandalism has emerged as a constant threat to the integrity and the quality of the data. This intentional defacement of collaborative cartographic artefacts is analyzed through a qualitative analysis of reported incidents in WikiMapia and OpenStreetMap, identifying its similarities and differences to other forms of online and offline vandalism. Contributors employ counter-strategies to online cartographic vandalism, harnessing social and technical resources to foster cooperation and reduce deviance.

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Defacing the Map: Cartographic Vandalism in Vounteered Geographic Information

  1. 1. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 1 Defacing the Map: Cartographic Vandalism in Volunteered Geographic Information Andrea Ballatore aballatore@spatial.ucsb.edu @a_ballatore
  2. 2. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 2 depositphotos.com blog.jonwagner.com cooltownstudios.com openstreetmap.org
  3. 3. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 3 1.  Crowdsourcing 2.  Vandalism 3.  A study 4.  Typology 5.  Counter-vandalism Talk outline
  4. 4. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 4 • Neogeography (Turner, 2006) • Volunteered Geographic Information (Goodchild, 2007) • GeoWeb (Haklay 2008) • Crowdsourced cartography (Kitchin and Dodge, 2013) Crowdsourcing in geography
  5. 5. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 5 “Land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community” (OED) “… the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth” (Wikipedia) The Commons
  6. 6. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 6 “collaboration among large groups of individuals . . . who cooperate effectively to provide information, knowledge, or cultural goods without relying on either market pricing or managerial hierarchies to coordinate their common enterprise” (Benkler and Nissenbaum, 2006) Commons-based peer production
  7. 7. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 7 Geographic digital commons
  8. 8. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 8 OpenStreetMap.org •  Started in 2004 by Steve Coast •  Map covering the entire planet •  ~creative commons license •  1.6M contributors •  2.6B points •  260M lines/polygons
  9. 9. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 9 OpenStreetMap growth Beyonav: http://www.beyonav.com/openstreetmap MapBox Report: http://www.mapbox.com/osm-data-report/2013
  10. 10. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 10 OpenStreetMap.org
  11. 11. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 11 Editing OpenStreetMap
  12. 12. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 12 Editing OpenStreetMap
  13. 13. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 13
  14. 14. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 14 Centralized Professional Top-down Closed Quality New forms of mapmaking Decentralized Amateur Bottom-up Open Quality?
  15. 15. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 15 Imperial Maps, Rome (Minor, 1999)
  16. 16. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 16 The first vandalized map? (Minor, 1999)
  17. 17. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 17 • Symbols of power • “Map or be mapped” British Empire, 1886 (wikipedia.org)
  18. 18. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 18 What is vandalism? wikimedia.org a form of social communication between the offender and an imagined or real audience
  19. 19. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 19 “Vandals Spray Paint Santa Barbara News Press Office” dailynexus.org Jan 7, 2015
  20. 20. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 20 • Destruction of physical artifacts • Criminology, social psychology, sociology • Wave of studies in 1970s/80s Physical vandalism wikimedia.org
  21. 21. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 21 • Cohen’s categories (1973) • Aesthetic theory (Allen and Greenberger 1978) • Social inequality (Fisher and Baron 1982) Vandalism theories
  22. 22. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 22 Mapping gang turf in Philly (Ley & Cybriwsky 1974)
  23. 23. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 23 • Network sociality • Online disinhibition effect (Suler 2004) • Cyberbullying, trolling Digital vandalism www.marksanborn.com
  24. 24. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 24 www.labour.org.uk 2003 Anonymous, 2015 #OpCharlieHebdo
  25. 25. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 25 Vandalism in Wikipedia • High rewards, low risk • Controversial topics • Varying revert time
  26. 26. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 26 Vandalism in open maps “Malicious edits are probably the least significant and will always exist” (Coast 2010) Crowsourced maps are “wide open to attack” (TomTom newsletter, 2012)
  27. 27. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 27 Poisonous people ‘disinfection’ of the project from ‘poisonous people’ who “drain, paralyse, slow, cause needless infighting and destroy the attention and focus of a community . . . [they] are wrecking the time, focus and goodwill of the majority of contributors, creating dissent out of nothing and even purposefully breaking our data” (Coast, 2010)
  28. 28. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 28 Intentional reduction of the utility of a geospatial artifact for the majority of its users Cartographic vandalism
  29. 29. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 29 • ~900 threads in forums/mailing lists • 2004–2013 • Reported incidents A qualitative study
  30. 30. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 30 Play Ideological Fantasy Artistic Industrial Carto-spam A typology of carto-vandalism
  31. 31. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 31 •  Removals, distortions, renaming •  Unclear motivation and intentionality •  ~School vandalism Play carto-vandalism Damage to OpenStreetMap
  32. 32. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 32 • Political, religious, or ethnic conflicts • Cyberwarfare • Conflict zones and contested borders • Symbolic places • ~Political graffiti Ideological carto-vandalism
  33. 33. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 33 Syrian Civil War on WikiMapia •  Removed military targets •  Messages against Alawites (“animals”) •  Qardaha renamed as “home to monkeys” Ideological carto-vandalism (Aleppo 2012, cnn.com)
  34. 34. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 34 •  Toponym disputes in Jerusalem (Arabic/Hebrew) and Crimea (Russian/ Ukrainian) •  Pro-government propaganda during Arab Spring in Bahrein in historical descriptions •  Real wars become “tag wars“ Ideological carto-vandalism
  35. 35. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 35 •  Pleasure of creating imaginary places (Joliveau 2009) •  “Trap streets” (Monmonier, 1996) •  Fake names in OSM ended up in Apple Maps (Moore, 2013) •  Fictional towns in OSM (“Lummerland”, “Parfaiteville”) Fantasy carto-vandalism
  36. 36. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 36 Fantasy Town in OSM
  37. 37. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 37 •  Vandalism as art •  Drawing on the planet (Nazca lines) •  GPS art (1990s) Artistic carto-vandalism Banksy’s graffiti
  38. 38. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 38 "It is not down in any map; true places never are” (Melville, 1851) “Meridians” http://www.gpsdrawing.com/gallery/land/meridians/meridians2.html
  39. 39. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 39 •  “Polygon art” in WikiMapia •  Drawing with mapping tools •  Hacking Artistic carto-vandalism
  40. 40. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 40 •  Polygon art in WikiMapia •  Drawing with mapping tools Artistic carto-vandalismWikiMapia Polygon Art Exhibition Area
  41. 41. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 41 Mocality Affair (2012) Industrial carto-vandalism
  42. 42. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 42 •  Opinion spam •  OSM: misuse of tourist=attraction •  WikiMapia: “Joe’s shoe repair shop - www.joeshoefix.com” Carto-spam www.dreamstime.com fourdots.co
  43. 43. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 43 • Prevention (ex- ante) • Punishment and repairs (ex-post) • Environmental design and architecture Countering vandalism trueform.co.uk
  44. 44. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 44 •  Community involvement (informal) •  Volunteered community policing (formal) •  Clearly defined groups and policies (Kittur et al. 2009) Countering wiki-vandalism wikipedia.org
  45. 45. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 45 •  OSM: Data Working Group, local solutions •  WikiMapia: gamification, experience points •  Policing •  Banning •  Sockpuppets Countering carto-vandalism www.utecwv.net
  46. 46. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 46 •  Urban/rural divides •  “Tyranny of place” •  False positives in WikiMapia, e.g.: “HELP! I have been falsely banned as a clone.” The moderator replied: “apparently you edited a few tags that were touched by a known vandal” Countering carto-vandalism
  47. 47. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 47 •  Research mainly on Wikipedia •  Rule-based vs machine learning •  OSMPatrol (Neis et al. 2012) •  User reputation •  Ever-evolving spam techniques •  No silver bullet! Automated solutions
  48. 48. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 48 •  Prevention •  Design of editing tools •  Sandboxing! •  Multiple viewpoints •  Ethnographic studies •  Dataset of incidents Designing out vandalism lowes.com
  49. 49. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 49 • Tragedy of the Digital Commons? (Adar and Huberman 2000) • Governance, self-regulation, policy • Risk of under-use • Long-term sustainability Image: nivekronnoco.blogspot.com
  50. 50. A. Ballatore - Jan 2015 - 50 Thanks! Andrea Ballatore @a_ballatore Ballatore, A. (2014). Defacing the map: Cartographic vandalism in the digital commons. The Cartographic Journal

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