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Testing the Potential of Volunteered Geoinformation in the Case of OpenStreetMap in Croatia

Baldo Stančić, Vlado Cetl, Mario Mađer


The development of technologies, especially the information and communications technology (ICT) and navigation technology, opened the possibility for collecting geospatial data to all interested parties. This trend has led to a new paradigm in the form of volunteered geoinformation (VGI). The speed of data collection as well as the amount of this data makes their use a great potential. On the other hand, there is a question of the quality of such data. They are by default collected by volunteers who have no formal training in the collection of spatial data. It is therefore important to examine the quality as well as to establish appropriate standards for data collection, but also for usage. This paper gives an overview of the phenomenon of VGI, its definition, the links with spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) and the possibilities of its use. Some examples of collecting through and using the various VGI-based applications in Croatia are shown. Furthermore, an analysis of data completeness in the case of OpenStreetMap has been performed. The results of this research indicate that the completeness of VGI depends primarily on the interests of those who collect and use them. In the case of the OpenStreetMap data for Croatia, it is evident that the content of information is more complete in urban as well as coastal areas, while this is not the case in suburban and rural areas. A general trend of collecting and increasing the amounts of VGI already provides an alternative to the official spatial databases to a certain extent. Through appropriate standardization, VGI data can serve as a good source for the database updating and maintenance.


volunteered geoinformation (VGI); potential; completeness; OpenStreetMap (OSM)

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Copyright (c) 2015 Baldo Stančić, Vlado Cetl, Mario Mađer

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