L3.11: Discussion


Skeptical of Crowdsourced Data

For this week's discussion I want to focus on Crowdsourced Geospatial Data (CGD). Here are a few prompts for this week's discussion:

  • Read the following quotation:
I am always skeptical of crowdsourced data or, indeed, any data. As a geographer and remote sensor whose focus is enumerating displaced populations, I have to be. Skepticism is part of my job. All data contain error, so best to acknowledge it and decide what that error means. There is still a lot of uncertainty around these types of volunteered geographic information; specifically questions over the positional accuracy, precision, and validity of these data among a wide variety of other issues. These quantitative issues are important because the general assumption is that these data will be operationalized somehow and it is, therefore, imperative that they add value to already confusing situations if this enterprise is to be taken seriously in an operational sense. The good news is that research so far show that these “asserted” data are not – a priori – necessarily any worse than “authoritative” data and can be quite good due to the greater number of individuals to correct error.
Source: http://blog.standbytaskforce.com/tag/tomnod/.
  • Based on the above quote and your experience of using Tomnod to track the damage from the September 15, 2014, Boles Fire near Weed, California, discuss the following:
    • What impact do you think CGD will have on the future of GEOINT?
    • Is being skeptical of CGD different than being skeptical of other data?

Head over to the dedicated discussion forum to talk about these issues.

Forum link resolves to Coursera