Assessing an open spatial data infrastructure from a user participation perspective: A qualitative exploratory research with OpenStreetMap

G. Spinoza Andreo*, F.M. Welle Donker, S. Calzati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific

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As we advance technologically, spatial data gains importance with its ability to be used in various fields. Traditionally, most spatial data are collected by government organisations. To facilitate sharing and reuse of spatial data, Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) have been developed in the last decades. More recently with the growing maturity of open data, the notion emerged that not only government organisations should be involved in SDIs but also companies and citizens should be included to upload and share their data in an Open SDI. One of the Open SDI challenges is how to engage and continuously motivate non-governmental parties to participate as an open data community. This research used OpenStreetMap (OSM) as a case study to explore the factors that foster user participation in an Open SDI community, as we consider OSM to be a non-governmental Open SDI ecosystem. Using a qualitative and a quantitative approach, we found that participants that were mostly heavy contributors are highly motivated to participate mostly because they believe in the main goal of OSM, they value the community and the development of the OSM platform and trust the system and its users. Moreover, they also participate for fun, instrumentality, altruism, meeting own needs, and for learning. Although OSM participants perceive OSM as an Open Data Ecosystem, there are dividing opinions of the perception of Open Spatial Data Infrastructures. The participants’ concerns and recommendations for future development of OSM can be used by government organisations in the development of Open SDIs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventTODO International Conference on Open Data: Open Data Challenges in Times of Crisis and Growth - Hotel Dubrovnik & University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 28 Nov 20222 Dec 2022


ConferenceTODO International Conference on Open Data
Abbreviated titleICOD2022
Internet address


  • open spatial data infrastructure
  • SDI
  • OpenStreetMap
  • User Participation
  • Volunteered geographic information
  • VGI
  • Motivational factors

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