Exploring Maintenance Practices in Crowd-Mapping

G Quattrone, Martin Dittus, L Capra
in 27th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, Conference proceeding

Abstract

Crowd-mapping is a form of collaborative work that empowers users to gather and share geographic knowledge. OpenStreetMap is one of the most successful examples of such paradigm, where the goal of building a global map of the world is collectively performed by over 2M contributors. Despite geographic information being intrinsically evolving, little research has so far gone into analysing maintenance practices in these domains. In this paper, we perform a preliminary exploration to quantitatively capture maintenance dynamics in geographic crowd-sourced datasets, in terms of: the extent to which different maintenance actions are taking place, the type of spatial information that is being maintained, and who engages in these practices. We apply this method to 117 countries in OSM, over one year of mapping activity. Our findings reveal that, although maintenance practices vary substantially from country to country in terms of how widespread they are, strong commonalities exist in terms of what metadata is being maintained and by whom.