Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)

In addition to the volunteer computing, distributed thinking, and coordinated activities that David Anderson discussed at the Feb. 8th Geolunch, Volunteered Geographic Information is a growing form of "Citizen Cyber-Science." OpenStreetMap and Wikimapia are the most well-known examples of VGI, an emerging process in which citizens voluntarily create and combine spatial data for maps and mash-ups. I went to a talk last week by Rutgers Professor David Tulloch. He gave an overview of an interesting VGI site that was developed to let citizens help map vernal pools in New Jersey. Examples of other VGI projects and presentations on the ethics, reliability, and potential of VGI can be found on the Workshop on VGI site which includes info collected from an event held at UCSB last December. Also of interest is a site that provides the information presented at a Workshop on Agent-Based Modeling of Complex Spatial Systems. The talk was hosted by the Cal's Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, which will be hosting upcoming events on topics such as the SF green spaces, National Parks, and EU ecological policies .