This policy brief summarizes the findings of the research report “Identifying success factors in crowdsourced geographic information use in government” produced by the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) in partnership with scholars from University College London (UCL). This brief explains the report’s context, methodology, main findings and recommendations.
The adoption of crowdsourced geographic data, or volunteered geographic information (VGI), as a valuable source of spatial data is growing at all levels of government. VGI is crowdsourced geographic information provided by a wide range of participants with varying levels of education, knowledge and skills. Despite some initial concerns about data quality during early development of VGI approaches, extensive research now demonstrates that the reliability and accuracy of VGI is suitable for official or government use. Such concerns should no longer be a reason for the lack of government adoption of VGI. Nonetheless, significant challenges remain for governments seeking to take full advantage of the benefits that crowdsourcing offer.