HOWMUCH DO WE KNOWABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS TO VOLUNTEERED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION AND CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS?
Keywords: VGI, Citizen Science, Contributors
Abstract. In the last number of years there has been increased interest from researchers in investigating and understanding the characteristics and backgrounds of citizens who contribute to Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) and Citizen Science (CS) projects. Much of the reluctance from stakeholders such as National Mapping Agencies, Environmental Ministries, etc. to use data and information generated and collected by VGI and CS projects grows from the lack of knowledge and understanding about who these contributors are. As they are drawn from the crowd there is a sense of the unknown about these citizens. Subsequently there are justifiable concerns about these citizens’ ability to collect, generate and manage high quality and accurate spatial, scientific and environmental data and information. This paper provides a meta review of some of the key literature in the domain of VGI and CS to assess if these concerns are well founded and what efforts are ongoing to improve our understanding of the crowd.