Trust as a Proxy Measure for the Quality of Volunteered Geographic Information in the Case of OpenStreetMap

  • Carsten KeßlerEmail author
  • René Theodore Anton de Groot
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


High availability and diversity make Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) an interesting source of information for an increasing number of use cases. Varying quality, however, is a concern often raised when it comes to using VGI in professional applications. Recent research directs towards the estimation of VGI quality through the notion of trust as a proxy measure. In this chapter, we investigate which indicators influence trust, focusing on inherent properties that do not require any comparison with a ground truth dataset. The indicators are tested on a sample dataset extracted from OpenStreetMap. High numbers of contributors, versions and confirmations are considered as positive indicators, while corrections and revisions are treated as indicators that have a negative influence on the development of feature trustworthiness. In order to evaluate the trust measure, its results have been compared to the results of a quality measure obtained from a field survey. The quality measure is based on thematic accuracy, topological consistency, and information completeness. To address information completeness as a criterion of data quality, the importance of individual tags for a given feature type was determined based on a method adopted from information retrieval. The results of the comparison between trust assessments and quality measure show significant support for the hypothesis that feature-level VGI data quality can be assessed using a trust model based on data provenance.


Data Quality Ground Truth Data Volunteer Geographic Information Trust Assessment Data Consumer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Keßler
    • 1
    Email author
  • René Theodore Anton de Groot
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for GeoinformaticsUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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