Using Volunteered Geographic Information to measure name changes of artificial geographical features as a result of political changes: a Libya case study
- 281 Downloads
Over the past few years, political systems have changed in several countries of the Middle East as a result of citizen revolutions on the ruling regimes. These geopolitical changes have had effects on the names of artificial geographical features, such as roads and schools. Many of the names, especially those that were associated with previous regimes, were changed to become associated with the revolutions, their dates, their leaders, or their martyrs. The recent change in the paradigm of Web use towards data sharing and crowd-sourcing in the Web 2.0 provides new opportunities to get insight into a local community’s perception of political events. Crowd-sourced spatial data, often referred to as Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), can be contributed and accessed through various websites and data repositories. These data can supplement traditional data sources, such as road maps hosted by governmental offices. Libya’s governmental maps of urban infrastructure are scarce and incomplete. This provides an incentive for citizens and grassroots groups to collect and generate spatial data on their own and to express changed realities of feature names by the means of crowd-sourced mapping. Using two districts in Libya this study evaluates for five Web 2.0 platforms (OpenStreetMap, Wikimapia, Google Map Maker, Panoramio, and Flickr) to which extent VGI reflects name changes of geographical features as a result of the revolution in 2011. Other data sources, such as school directories posted by teachers on Facebook, serve as additional information for feature name change detection. Results show that the extent to which VGI reflects name changes based on the 2011 revolution in Libya varies strongly between VGI data sources. VGI provides a useful supplement to limited governmental resources to better understand how names of artificial geographical features are affected by changes in political systems.
KeywordsVolunteered Geographic Information Web 2.0 Name change Crowd-sourcing Political change Libya
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights
This chapter does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- Alderman, D. H. (2008). Place, naming, and the interpretation of cultural landscapes. In B. J. Graham & P. Howard (Eds.), The Ashgate research companion to heritage and identity (pp. 195–213). Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
- Chow, T. E. (2012). “We know who you are and we know where you live”: A research agenda for web demographics. In D. Sui, S. Elwood, & M. Goodchild (Eds.), Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in theory and practice (pp. 265–285). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
- Coleman, D. J., Georgiadou, Y., & Labonte, J. (2009). Volunteered Geographic Information: The nature and motivation of produsers. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, 4(1), 332–358.Google Scholar
- Glasze, G., & Perkins, C. (2015). Social and political dimensions of the OpenStreetMap Project: Towards a critical geographical research agenda. In J. Jokar Arsanjani, A. Zipf, P. Mooney, & M. Helbich (Eds.), OpenStreetMap in GIScience (pp. 143–166). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
- Goodchild, M. F. (2007b). Citizens as voluntary sensors: Spatial data infrastructure in the world of Web 2.0 (editorial). International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research (IJSDIR), 2, 24–32.Google Scholar
- Hauthal, E., & Burghardt, D. (2016). Using VGI for analyzing activities and emotions of locals and tourists. Paper presented at the Link-VGI workshop in connection with the AGILE 2016, Helsinki.Google Scholar
- Hecht, B. J., & Gergle, D. (2010). On the “Localness” of user-generated content. Proceedings of the 2010 ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work (pp. 229–232). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
- Hollenstein, L., & Purves, R. (2010). Exploring place through user-generated content: Using Flickr tags to describe city cores. Journal of Spatial Information Science, 1(1), 21–48.Google Scholar
- Longueville, B., Luraschi, G., Smits, P., Peedell, S., & Groeve, T. (2010). Citizens as sensors for natural hazards: A VGI integration workflow. Geomatica, 64(1), 41–59.Google Scholar
- Map Maker. (2015). Countries being mapped. Retrieved from https://support.google.com/mapmaker/answer/155415?topic=1094318&hl=en. Accessed 21 Nov 2016.
- Map Maker. (2016). Google Map Maker graduates to Google Maps. Retrieved from https://support.google.com/mapmaker/answer/7195127. Accessed 21 Nov 2016.
- Poore, B. S., Wolf, E. B., Korris, E. M., Walter, J. L., & Matthews, G. D. (2012). Structures data collection for The National Map using Volunteered Geographic Information. Reston, Virginia, US Geological Survey. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1209/pdf/ofr2012-1209.pdf.
- Turner, A. (2006). Introduction to neogeography. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.Google Scholar