Reconceptualizing the user in spatial data infrastructures (GIS), 2006-11

Spatial data infrastructures, which are Internet-based mechanisms for the coordinated production, discovery, and use of geospatial information in the digital environment, have diffused worldwide in recent decades.

There are many of these at regional, national, and inter-national levels. They operate with two main assumptions:

  • formal organizations are the producers and suppliers of geospatial information;
  • users are the passive recipients of that information.

An alternative is volunteered geographic information as on social media sites.

This research seeks a middle ground between traditional spatial data infrastructures and volunteered geographic information. The alternative conceives users as active agents shaping the content, form, and use of formal geospatial information.

Collaborators include Nama Budhathoki and Zorica Nedović–Budić.


Budhathoki, Nama R.; Nedovic-Budic, Zorica; & Bruce, Bertram C. (2010). An interdisciplinary frame for  understanding volunteered geographic information. Special Issue on Volunteered Geographic Information, Geomatica, the Journal of Geospatial Information Science, Technology and Practice64(1), 11-26. [ISSN (print): 1195-1036; ISSN (electronic): 1925-4296]

Budhathoki, Nama R.; Bruce, Bertram C.; & Nedovic-Budic, Zorica (2008, August). Reconceptualizing the role of the user of spatial data infrastructuresGeoJournal: An International Journal on Geography, special issue on Volunteered Geographic Information, 72(3-4), 149-160.