Metadata squared: enhancing its usability for volunteered geographic information and the GeoWeb

By:  and 
Edited by: Daniel Z. SuiSarah Elwood, and Michael F. Goodchild



The Internet has brought many changes to the way geographic information is created and shared. One aspect that has not changed is metadata. Static spatial data quality descriptions were standardized in the mid-1990s and cannot accommodate the current climate of data creation where nonexperts are using mobile phones and other location-based devices on a continuous basis to contribute data to Internet mapping platforms. The usability of standard geospatial metadata is being questioned by academics and neogeographers alike. This chapter analyzes current discussions of metadata to demonstrate how the media shift that is occurring has affected requirements for metadata. Two case studies of metadata use are presented—online sharing of environmental information through a regional spatial data infrastructure in the early 2000s, and new types of metadata that are being used today in OpenStreetMap, a map of the world created entirely by volunteers. Changes in metadata requirements are examined for usability, the ease with which metadata supports coproduction of data by communities of users, how metadata enhances findability, and how the relationship between metadata and data has changed. We argue that traditional metadata associated with spatial data infrastructures is inadequate and suggest several research avenues to make this type of metadata more interactive and effective in the GeoWeb.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Metadata squared: enhancing its usability for volunteered geographic information and the GeoWeb
DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-4587-2_4
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Dordrecht; New York
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geographic Science Center
Description 21 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge volunteered geographic information (VGI) in theory and practice
First page 43
Last page 64
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details