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Appl Ergon. 2013 Nov;44(6):886-94. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

The role of VGI and PGI in supporting outdoor activities.

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Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK.


This paper explored the question of how volunteered and professional geographic information (VGI and PGI) can be used together in an outdoor recreation context. In particular, consideration is given to what makes each information source valuable to the user, and how this can be used to help developers of GIS provide more useful, usable and satisfying products. The assumption that VGI is inferior to PGI is shown to be unfounded; rather each has its own strengths in describing particular aspects of the user information landscape. Considering the opportunities to influence user activities, both VGI and PGI have a greater ability to influence the user in the planning phase than actually during the activity. The importance of the author of the information (volunteer or professional) is shown to be of less importance to the end-user than the characteristics which describe the information in terms of communication, frequency of updates and accessibility.


Human factors; Information Use; Kayaking; Relevance; VGI

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