Addressing Uneven Participation Patterns in VGI Through Gamification Mechanisms

Part of the Advances in Geographic Information Science book series (AGIS)


This chapter studies the spatial behavior of contributors to OpenStreetMap and links it to gamification mechanisms which provide a solution to issues that arise with patterns of participation. More specifically, three issues are identified: (1) high productive contributors show little commitment to return and update geographic features they created, (2) the gap between the accumulated percentage of created features and the accumulated percentage of updated features is widening, (3) there is a significant contrast between areas of high and low mapping activity. Spatial allocation games are described as a subclass of location-based games suitable for addressing the participation issues. Based on an analysis of the geogames Geograph, Foursquare, Ingress, and Neocartographer we identify common design patterns for the allocation and deallocation of places. In addition, we show how to map the participation issues map onto the game design patterns. Results from an agent-based spatial simulation provide insights into the interaction of the spatial design patterns.



The second author’s research has been funded in part by ESRI Inc. within the Geogames and playful Geodesign project.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hellenic Army General Staff/Geographic DirectorateAthensGreece
  2. 2.Faculty of Information Systems and Applied Computer SciencesUniversity of BambergBambergGermany

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