Is Everyone a Geographer? Data users as data producers.
Yesterday I wrote an essay entitled “Is Everyone a Geographer?”
I pose the question to the readers of this Spatial Reserves blog because it has direct ties to our book “The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data.” In the book, we discuss the implications that crowdsourcing has had on the availability, formats, timeliness, and quality of spatial data, and the fundamental shifts it has caused in organizations and for individual GIS data users. Nowadays, everyone is a potential spatial data user, which is quite different from the world of even a few years ago. But even more of a radical shift is that nowadays, everyone is a potential data producer, as well. Whereas in the not too distant past, international and national agencies such as the USGS, UNEP, Ordnance Survey, local governments and authorities, universities, and non-government organizations were the only data producers, now, anyone with a smartphone can contribute data to the GIS cloud and share it so that others can use it. We are only just beginning to grapple with the effects this has had and will increasingly have on the world of GIS.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this subject.