VGI - the creation of geographic information by largely untrained volunteers
Past Research into VGI Usability Aims and objectives of studying VGI & PGI Methodology Results
“How volunteered geographic information may be combined with professional geographic information to make applications of higher consumer usability”
According to Wordle, these are the key words of my thesis so far
Previous work had looked into the relationship between the stakeholders in VGI
Wanted to move on from understanding stakeholders and start to understand information in use. Particularly what volunteered information users over and above professional information
Criteria created Applications from OS’s GeoVation scanned for potential communities
Kayakers were selected as a group which embodied the best of these properties
RESEARCH APPROACH Qualitative analysis– Focus Group Efficient technique Natural responses Focused on important topics Enjoyable Cost effective Wide range of views
32 participants Over 4 Clubs 9 Intermediate (1-4 years experience) 23 expert (5 years + experience)
So the study had two parts
degree of ethnographic research was undertaken, kayaking with the groups at least once before the focus groups. To fully understand and relate to the findings from the study
2) Ran focus groups in order to acquire a wide range of view points Main body of research for this study
Open Coding – What is coming out of the data Grouping into Concepts – Asking questions of data as previous slide Applying sub-categorisation of Relevance (Barry & Schamber 1998), not shaping open codes, seeing how they relate to Relevance theory
Provides a ‘coding tree’ looking roughly like this
Now to run over some of the key findings from this study – Focusing on Data Usability Paper in progress for GISRUK 2011 which will include a broader overview Outcomes Information in Use Information Sources Relation to planning process Relation to static and dynamic information
WHAT IS THIS GRAPH ABOUT!
Focusing today on the Results for Data Usability and touch on the Planning Process the following slides show some basic outcomes from work This graph shall be used to highlight phenomenon You may notice TANGABILITY (definite, proven information is provided; hard data or actual numbers are provided) is missing from the responses of participants
Talking about information to participants, not exclusively geographic information Yet information wasn’t about A weir, it was about THIS weir (VGLI – Volunteered Geo-Located Information) Shown in the data
Experience is the filter for all information taken in by this study] We see this in our data, how trust of personal experience, and the experience of other trusted kayakers is prevalent over authoritative information
This is mirrored by the Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) developed from the study to highlight the Planning Process These are the processes requiring volunteered or professional information for decisions to be made Leaving
As focusing on usability, only a snap shot of the overall picture Considering highly negative ‘Out of Date’ with highly positive ‘Up to Date’ Easy to see how amateur volunteered and professional information compares One participant commented.....
Chart shows the number of responses made by participants when asked to comment on professional and volunteered information The major columns are as expected The minor columns are ‘incorrect’ perceptions (thinking something professional is actually volunteered, e.g. Forums) Where people say ‘volunteered’ when asked about ‘professional’ – sources are ‘unauthoritive’ E.g. – Online kayaking forums/ Internet Where people say ‘professional’ when asked about volunteered – sources are ‘authoritative’ E.g. – BCU Local Access Officer (LAO)
Discussion points - What do you think of VGLI
An Exploration of VGI In Use
of VGI in Use
Christopher J. Parker
3rd Workshop on Data Usability
10th November 2010
Aims of Study
Highlight the different stages in the process life cycle of the
users’ activities where information is utilised with benefit to the
Understand what makes volunteered information different from
professional information when used in a real world situation.
Determine how using volunteered or professional information
affects on the outcomes of activities it when it is used.
Explore under what conditions volunteered information may
provide unique opportunities to the user over and above that of
Hill Walkers Surfers Kayakers
Utilises geographic information as central to the activity Yes Yes Yes
Use of ‘dynamic information’ - Yes Yes
Requires information not covered by ‘traditional’ cartography - Yes Yes
Use a wide variety of information sources Yes Yes Yes
Cover a wide variety of experience levels and abilities Yes Yes Yes
Good inter-community links and shares information with
community (e.g. web forums)
Yes Yes Yes
Has the potential for VGI to enrich their activity above and
beyond professional information
Unknown Unknown Unknown
Consists of a number of different activities rather than one
- - Yes
Work in social groups rather than solo pursuit of activity Yes - Yes
Easy access to groups, active activities within 50 miles of
- - Yes
How To Not Get Distracted By ‘Interface’
Asked about what sources and how they are used
Mainly focused on how information makes a
Delivery method of interest
How are Volunteered delivery methods different to
Trust is a relationship between provider and consumer
Did not focus Axial coding on interface
Usable data often has a temporal aspect, such that the usefulness of data
often ‘decayed’ within a time window of opportunity. A good example of
this is water levels affecting the ‘paddleability’ of the river.
What maps and guidebooks don’t
give you is up to date information.
Just because it was a good guide to the
river five years ago doesn’t mean it’s
a good guide to the river now.
When questioned about professional and volunteered sources,
participants tended to refer to sources they perceive as reliable and
respectable as professional, despite their volunteer contribution base.
Exploratory to support
discussion of Study 2
Discussion & Theory
Disabled Travellers (?)
Barry, C.L. & Schamber, L. 1998, "Users' criteria for
relevance evaluation: a cross-situational comparison",
Information processing & management, vol. 34, no. 2-
3, pp. 219-236.
Goodchild, M. F. (2007). Citizens as sensors: The world
of volunteered geography. GeoJournal, 69(4), 211-221.
Preece, J., Rogers, Y., & Sharpe, H. (2002). Interaction
design: Beyond human-computer interaction. United
States of America: John Wiley & Sons.