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Spatial Data Collection Using Crowdsourcing

Sep 19, 2019

There are a lot of ways to gather information and business data nowadays. Unlike before, technological advancement in this modern age allows companies to generate and collect almost everything they need for business modeling, strategic research, forecasting, and many others. While this has been the case, oftentimes this kind of data generation involves a lot of cost and investment, which may not be desirable for some.

In the age where data is almost everywhere, some might ask if companies still need to do data collection. Of course, they do. But instead of asking this, I think the more important thing is knowing how they can do it in a more efficient and cost-effective way.

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing refers to the practice of collectively organizing information coming from a large group of people, like the general public. This information could be ideas, services, or contents that would be helpful for business development, operation, as well as sales and revenue generation. Although this practice has been going on for quite some time, its popularity rose during the late 2000s when the smartphone revolution began, and high-volume data can be easily generated from consumers.

Benefits of Crowdsourcing

By collecting information from different types of audience, the amount of knowledge generated about a certain aspect of business also expands. This is helpful especially during brainstorming since different perspectives are considered.

When dealing with bigger tasks, crowdsourcing can be implemented to break them into smaller chunks that many users can work individually. In doing so, a significant amount of time can be saved also.

One of the main advantages of using crowdsourcing is that it is a cheaper way of collecting information. Operational costs can be lessened significantly by leveraging user experiences to obtain data. Not only that companies can save financially, but this also promotes a higher level of customer engagement.

Success Story

The story of Waze is perhaps one of the most successful cases of crowdsourcing in location analytics. Unlike other mapping businesses, Waze used crowdsourcing to collect real-time information on the street level so its users can significantly enjoy a very powerful route optimization experience. Using Waze location platform, users can input traffic jams, ongoing road constructions, events, and even police radar locations. This result not only in a successful navigation app but also in a community of heavily-engaged users as well.

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Crowdsourcing in vMAP

Businesses can use vMAP in starting their crowdsourcing initiatives. vMAP provides an easy-to-use location analytics platform that companies can used to engage consumers. Local governments can also use vMAP to reach out to their constituents and promote projects and initiatives by their offices. For instance, community maps can be generated by asking the public to map different landmarks in their area.

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In doing crowdsourcing with GIS data, data organizers can create different map views for different themes that they want to collect. They can share the maps to the public where users can interactively add and modify points of interest. By using Object Inspector also, administrators can expose the attributes of the features.

While crowdsourcing can be an efficient and cost-effective tool for GIS data build-up, it should also be noted that for this to become successful, rigorous quality assurance and checks also need to be set up in place. You cannot expect that every time users input data; they are the right ones. When it comes to this kind of information, quality is as important as quantity.