What is crowd-sourcing?
Crowdsourcing is generating content on the internet, which involves contributions from a large, disparate group of individuals. These methods rely upon web applications that allow people to upload information easily and allow many others to view and react to this information. Crowdsourcing relies on the principle that a lot of knowledge resides with individual citizens, who are experts of their own local environment. Mapping sites that utilize crowdsourcing include: OpenStreetMap project, Google Map Maker, Geo-wiki, andWikimapia. These tools vary in terms of scope of geographical coverage, data entry methods, targeted end-users, data licensing arrangements, and ease of use. Additionally, they may use different methods of moderating data (verifying that entered data is valid), which influences data quality and speed of publication.
What is crowd source Mapping?
A vast amount of geodata is available on the internet, through on-line maps, web services and virtual globes. Data providers range from the individual mapper enthusiasts to geo-information professionals. Base data, such as road networks and satellite imagery are made available on a global scale, and more specific and valuable thematic data is often produced within dedicated projects.
Current software applications are changing the web to act more and more as platform for real-time information integration, with many web sites collaboratively controlled. Geospacial applications range from personal mash-ups, which is the combination of data from two or more sources, to project-based web mapping, where the concept of location adds new possibilities for exploring information.
Why should you map?
Quality geographic data helps empower organizations and communities to make important decisions across a range of environmental, economic and crisis management themes. For many places in the world, this information is incomplete or does not exist at all. Digital humanitarians map online to help give others the data they need to build a more sustainable future.
Through the Open Data Commons Open Database License 1.0, OpenStreetMap (OSM) contributors own, modify and share data publicly. There are many other free maps on the Internet, but most have legal or technical restrictions preventing others from using the data openly. With OSM both the maps and underlying data can be downloaded for free, for developers or anyone to use or redistribute. Additionally, in many places of the world where there is no commercial motivation to develop this data, OSM is often the best available resource.