Analyzing the localness of OSM data

Room: Track 2

Sunday, 12:15


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  • Susanne Schröder-Bergen, Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg

The “localness” of data is often described as a major factor for the authenticity of (geo-) information in OpenStreetMap. However, the exact meaning and relevance of “localness” remain controversial. We compare proposals made for the “measurement”, i.e. for the empirical operationalization, of “localness”. Based on this, two convincing operationalizations were selected and implemented in order to contrast regional differences in “localness”. Our analysis allows the identification of regions in which exceptionally high proportions of data are mapped remotely – mostly regions in the Global South. Bearing this in mind, we discuss how “localness” is negotiated in the OSM community.