Assuring the quality of volunteered geographic information

Michael F. Goodchild, Linna Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

586 Scopus citations


Volunteered geographic information (VGI) is a phenomenon of recent years, offering an alternative mechanism for the acquisition and compilation of geographic information. As such it offers substantial advantages, but suffers from a general lack of quality assurance. We discuss the issues involved in the determination of quality for geospatial data, and trace the history of research on VGI quality. We describe three approaches to quality assurance, which we term the crowd-sourcing, social, and geographic approaches respectively. We discuss the advantages and limitations of each, and the research that will be needed to operationalize the geographic approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
JournalSpatial Statistics
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Data quality
  • Geographic information
  • Volunteered geographic information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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