Next #geowebchat: iVGI (Involuntary Geographic Information)

Just a reminder that the #geowebchat is back Tuesday June 5 at 12pm PDT, 3pm EDT, and 8pm BST (that’s tomorrow, or today for some of you!). The topic this week will be “Involuntary Geographic Information”. We’ve talked a lot about VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information), and wrestled with what “volunteered” means… does it imply altruism? Or even intentionality? In their recent Annals article, Elwood, Goodchild, and Sui clarify that VGI should not include cases “where the contribution of geographic content was involuntary or where the geographic content was inferred or added later by others.” (Elwood et al 2012, p. 575) Meanwhile, we’ve seen the emergence of terms such as “Ambient Geospatial Information” (Stefanidis 2011) that seem to suggest an increasingly passive role for contributors of VGI.

So, what are the politics and ethics surrounding this “iVGI” (Fischer 2012), from the point of view of researchers studying it, citizens creating it, and corporations and governments exploiting it?

Here is the announcement tweet:

Next #geowebchat: The ethics of “iVGI” (Involuntary Geographic Information). Who’s mapping your digital footprints? Tues @ noon PT. Pls RT!

Here’s the link to retweet:


Elwood, Sarah, Michael F. Goodchild, and Daniel Z. Sui. 2012. Researching Volunteered Geographic Information: Spatial Data, Geographic Research, and New Social Practice. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102, no. 3 (May): 571–590.

Fischer, Florian. 2012. VGI as Big Data. GeoInformatics 15, no. 3 (May): 46–47.

Stefanidis, Anthony, Andrew Crooks, and Jacek Radzikowski. 2011. Harvesting ambient geospatial information from social media feeds. GeoJournal (December 4).


The transcript of the chat

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