Prospects for VGI research and the emerging fourth paradigm

Sarah Elwood, Michael F. Goodchild, Daniel Sui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

70 Scopus citations


This concluding chapter reflects on some of the core themes that crosscut the contributed chapters, and further outlines some of the stimulating and significant relationships between volunteered geographic information (VGI) and the discipline of geography. We argue that future progress in VGI research depends in large part on building strong linkages with a diversity of geographic scholarship. We situate VGI research in geography's core concerns with space and place and offer several ways of addressing persistent challenges of quality assurance in VGI. We develop an argument for further research on the heterogeneous social relations through which VGI is produced and their implications for participation, power, and collective or civic action. The final two sections, closely related, position VGI as part of a shift toward hybrid epistemologies and potentially a fourth paradigm of data-intensive inquiry across the sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCrowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge
Subtitle of host publicationVolunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Theory and Practice
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789400745872
ISBN (Print)9400745869, 9789400745865
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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