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  • Semantic Challenges for Volunteered Geographic Information

    Andrea Ballatore

    Chapter from the book: Capineri, C et al. 2016. European Handbook of Crowdsourced Geographic Information.

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    Vast swaths of geographic information are produced by non-professional contributors using online collaborative tools. To extract value from the data, creators and consumers alike need some degree of consensus about what the entities of their domain of interest are and how they are related. Traditional information communities, such as government agencies, universities, and corporations, have devised informal and formal mechanisms to reduce the misinterpretation of the data they rely on, curating vocabularies, standards, and, more recently, formal ontologies. Because of the decentralized, fragmented nature of peer production, semantic agreements are more difficult to establish and to document in volunteered geographic information (VGI), severely limiting the re-usability and, ultimately, the value of the data. This paper provides an overview of the semantic issues experienced in VGI, and what potential solutions are emerging from research in geo-semantics and in the Semantic Web. The paradigm of Linked Data is discussed as a promising route to handle the semantic fragmentation of VGI, reducing the friction between data producers and consumers.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Ballatore, A. 2016. Semantic Challenges for Volunteered Geographic Information. In: Capineri, C et al (eds.), European Handbook of Crowdsourced Geographic Information. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bax.g

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Aug. 25, 2016


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