253 Cartography and Geographic Information Science
the two technologies was not seen until 2005.
Google maps and Maps.search.ch and are two
early examples of web GIS applications using
both AJAX and image tiling techniques (Tsou
The second wave of the web map design
revolution is the development of mobile
mapping on smart phones, tablet PCs, and GPS
devices recently. The popularity of smart phones
(such as iPhones, Androids, and Blackberrys)
and mobile devices (iPads and tablet PCs) is
forcing new map user interface designs (using
ﬁngers or voice commands as input devices),
new mapping functions (tracking friends,
navigation, comparing housing values, etc.) and
new map content (GPS tracks, messages in social
networks, volunteered geographic information,
etc.). Apple’s iPad devices have several good
examples of new web map designs showing
innovative web map user interfaces with unique
mapping functions and useful map content.
The portability, friendly multi-touch screen
inputs, and the large screen display, along with
its internal locational awareness, make Apple’s
iPads, and similar tablet devices, a perfect match
for innovative web map design. Hundreds of
web mapping apps have already been developed
for iPads, such as Urbanspoon, GPS HD by
MotionX, UpNext 3D Cities, ESRI ArcGIS
for iPad, Zilliow.com, etc. This second wave of
the web map design revolution was enabled by
both portable hardware design and fast software
distribution frameworks (such as Apple’s App
Store and Android’s Market Place). Users can
easily download and install mapping software
directly to mobile phones without worrying
about complicated software license settings or
installation procedures. Most mobile software
development kits (Apple’s iOS and Google’s
Android) are open and free for software developers
to download. Open-style software development
environments and online application stores
have created a great opportunity for small GIS
companies and individuals to develop and share
innovative web mapping services.
The Rise of User-centered
Different from traditional cartography, mobile
mapping and interactive web maps place more
emphasis on the locations of users and user-
centered tasks (such as shopping, navigating,
and searching), rather than the visualization
of spatial phenomena (such as population
density, crime rates, and land use) and thematic
map design (such as the arrangement of map
elements, symbology, and typology). This trend
shifts the research focus of web cartography from
geovisualization (emphasizing visual analysis
functions and thematic maps) to user-centered
design (UCD), including the designs of user
interfaces, dynamic map contents and mapping
functions. UCD in web cartography emphasizes
the usefulness and practicality of web and mobile
maps, serving the needs of individual users and
Although the concept of user-centered design
has been introduced in GIS and cartography
before (Medyckyj-Scott and Hearnshaw 1993;
Tsou and Buttenﬁeld 1998), most early desktop-
based GIS applications did not emphasize
UCD. Traditional GIS project users were mostly
decision makers and GIS technicians who are
familiar with GIS and cartography. On the
other hand, web mapping service users are
more diverse and most of them do not have any
cartographic knowledge or GIS experiences.
Therefore, UCD becomes more important and
essential for web map users and web mapping
Web cartographers can design effective and
intuitive cartographic representation by focusing
on the creation of user interfaces, mapping
functions, and dynamic map content. Tsou and
Curran (2008) introduced a ﬁve stage UCD
framework (Garrett 2002) for the designs of web
mapping services and evaluation processes. The
ﬁve stages (strategy, scope, structure, skeleton,
and surface) can be split into two design tasks:
map content design and mapping function
design. The adoption of UCD approaches will
improve the quality of web mapping services
and generate more useful information services.
UCD is essential for many web mapping
projects and applications, including the U.S.
National Map. The early development of the
National Map Viewer was not very successful due
to the unfriendly user interfaces, complicated map
content, and slow performance. The 2007 report
by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), A
Vol. 38, No. 3 254
Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science at
the United States Geological Survey, recommended
UCD as a priority research topic within the area
of information access and dissemination in the
development the National Map web services
(NRC 2007). The NRC report facilitated the
development of several web mapping tools
and technologies in the new National Map 2.0
prototype, such as GeoPDF and ScaleMaster
(Usery 2010). These new technologies have
improved the user interface of the National
Map Viewer signiﬁcantly. The National Map
uses GeoPDF for its online map publication and
download format. GeoPDF is an extension of
Portable Document Format (PDF) with a highly
portable and compact format, and can be easily
transferred, downloaded, and printed (USGS
2010). GeoPDF provides a convenient way for
the public to download and view topographic
maps without installing GIS software locally.
ScaleMaster is another major UCD research
tool for the improvement of the National Map;
it provides support for multi-scale map design
and generalization processes with different
themes (such as topographic maps, zoning maps,
soil maps, and population density maps) and
different scales on computer screens based on
different user needs (Brewer et al. 2007).
Releasing the Power of Map-making to
the Public and Neocartographers
Creating traditional maps (paper maps or GIS
maps) is very expensive, involving costly printing
equipment and GIS software. Web mapping tools
have reduced the cost of map-making signiﬁcantly.
Both professional and amateur mapmakers
can easily use or combine free online mapping
services and access high quality online base
maps (road maps, aerial photos, or topographic
maps). The power of map-making is no longer
controlled by professional cartographers or
GIS experts. With the development of free and
open source software (FOSS) (Tsou and Smith
2011) and free web mapping APIs, “FOSS
cartography” and mashup maps have become
important componenents in web cartography
(Crampton 2009). Mashups are web applications
that merge distributed data sources and separated
application programming interfaces (APIs) into
one integrated client-side interface (Benslimane
et al. 2008). Two exemplar free and open source
cartographic research projects in the U.S. are:
- web-based epidemiological atlases that utilize
PostGIS (a database engine) and GeoServer (a
web map engine) (MacEachren et al. 2008),
- demonstrations of interoperability and high
visual quality with various web GIS datasets
using MapServer (a web map engine),
PostgreSQL (database tools), PostGIS
extension (database links), and the libxslt
XSLT processor (a document parser) (Yao and
The freedom of web map-making enables
amateur cartographers to create their own maps
and easily distribute them. They embrace new
web mapping tools and free mapping APIs to
publish and share their do-it-yourself maps with
the whole world. Lui and Palen (2010) used
several mashup examples in disaster responses
to demonstrate the powerful impacts made
by “neocartographers”, a new term describing
amateur cartographers without formal map
design training. Neocartographers are able to
create various mashup maps, with “frequently
updated data from multiple sources, allow[ing]
us to see microbehavior” – in this case, user
responses to social network messages by micro-
blogging services – “spatio-temporally”(Lui and
Palen 2010, p. 70). The emergence of amateur
cartographers and free web mapping tools
facilitates many do-it-yourself web maps with
user-generated contents. One major challenge is
how to improve the credibility and how to reduce
the uncertainty in these user-generated contents
and maps. Cartographers need to develop
intelligent information-ranking algorithms and
strategies for processing user-generated contents
and to ﬁlter out inaccurate geospatial data in
web mapping services.
The ubiquitous display of maps on various
mobile devices is another key factor enabling
the freedom of map-making. Developers no
longer limit themselves using traditional desktop
computer screens or printout maps for map
outputs and display. Mobile devices provide
ﬂexible and portable map display/output options
for web mapping services. It is important to
understand the advantages and disadvantages of
255 Cartography and Geographic Information Science
mobile display in different web mapping services
and associated visual design principles. Dillemuth
et al. (2007) examined design principles for
various map scales and map extents on mobile
devices for navigation systems. Gartner et
al. (2007) suggested a few research topics in
ubiquitous cartography, including 4D (space-
time) representation, adaptive representation,
real-time navigation, and locational privacy
concerns (Gartner et al. 2007). Gartner further
described how mobile map users can become
part of the map as an avatar positioned in real
time using GPS (or RFID, Wi-Fi), and how the
mobile map can be dynamically changed or
mirror the real geographic place in which the
user is situated.
Re-inventing the Design
Principles of Web Maps for the
Renaissance of Cartography
In the last decade, major advancements in web
mapping technologies have been advanced
by the information technology (IT) industry,
rather than by cartographers or other associated
academic researchers (Plewe 2007; Haklay et al.
2008). Today, the new medium (the web), the new
tools (mobile devices), and the new participants
(new map makers and new map users) provide
a great opportunity for academic researchers
to re-invent the design principles of web maps,
including user interface design, dynamic web
content, and new mapping functions. These new
design principles and strategies will transform
the study of cartography into an important
scientiﬁc and technological discipline with the
emphasis of information representation, map
communication, and computing functions.
Some preliminary ideas for the re-invented
design principles of web maps are suggested in
User interface design: voice-activated zoom-in,
zoom-out mapping commands, video-
interpreting gesture mapping commands, and
motion-sensor-based mapping input.
Dynamic map content: augmented reality for
web maps, dynamic linkages between movies,
pictures, and texts with user generated contents,
and time-sensitive map display.
New mapping functions: In-door shopping
and navigation tasks, location-based social
networking, and presenting the credibility of
volunteered geography information.
To enable this renaissance in cartography, this
article suggests that the transformative research
agenda of web cartography should focus more
on user-centered design, user generated content,
and ubiquitous access from mobile devices.
The ultimate goals of developing innovative
web mapping applications and research are
to improve our quality of life, resolve human
conﬂicts, and facilitate sustainable development
of our society. Ideally, cartographers should be a
part of these projects, partnering with computer
scientists, sociologists, activists, psychologists,
and IT engineers, who will all be transformed
to “spatial information designers” or “geospatial
information architects” to create innovative
web map applications. These innovations
in cartography will help us to create a more
collaborative, humanistic, and sustainable society.
The author thanks the two anonymous reviewers
and Rob Edsall for their valuable comments and
suggestions to improve this paper. The author
expresses the appreciation of funds received from
the National Science Foundation (Award #CNS-
1028177 and DUE#0801893), and support from
San Diego State University.
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control, developers can swap or adjust the order of all or several PowerPoint document pages, or just change the position of certain one PowerPoint page in an how to reorder pdf pages; how to reorder pdf pages in
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Cartography and Geographic Information Science
About the Author: Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou is an
Associate Professor in the Department of Geog-
raphy, San Diego State University. He teaches
GIS and Cartography. His research interests are
in Internet mapping, Web GIServices, mobile
GIS, and geospatial cyberinfrastructure.
RasterEdge.com General FAQs for Products
speaking, you will receive a copy of email containing order confirmation and dedicated to provide powerful & profession imaging controls, PDF document, image change page order pdf preview; change pdf page order reader
he World Wide Web (the Web) has evolved
from a static encyclopedic unidirectional
warehouse of information to a more
dynamic, interactive, and participatory medium.
This evolution, referred to as Web 2.0, coincides
with reﬁnement of geospatial data exchange
standards as well as enabling technologies,
particularly GPS, that historically were available
only to institutional mapping agencies. These
concurrent developments enable users to
capture personal geospatial data, upload it to a
Web service, and share the resulting information
with the broader community. Individuals with
no special cartographic training or computer
programming skills are actively creating and
sharing maps and information. Goodchild
(2007) calls such data volunteered geographic
Volunteered Geographic Information:
A Bicycling Enthusiast Perspective
Abstract: Mapping technologies have made considerable strides in recent decades.
Global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing satellites, Web-based mapping services,
and geographic information systems (GIS) have facilitated the collection, distribution,
analysis, and ultimately interaction with geospatial information. In particular, portable
GPS have altered how individuals participate in mapping. Individuals can use GPS to col-
lect tracings of their personal interactions with the environment. These interactions can
then be uploaded to one of many available Web-based mapping services. Once uploaded,
the geospatial data can be mapped and shared among the broader community of users.
Such volunteered geographic information (VGI) exempliﬁes the conceptualization of an
individual collecting, mapping, and sharing personal geographic information. This paper
focuses on challenges surrounding VGI. To help place these challenges in a broader con-
text, specialized Web services and GPS technologies developed for the bicycling commu-
nity will serve as examples of the current status and future prospects of VGI.
Keywords: Volunteered geographic information, neogeography, user-generated content,
Web 2.0, global positioning systems, and bicycling
Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 38, No. 3, 2011, pp. 258-268
information (VGI), and those who participate are
involved in the broader practice of neogeography.
This short article aims to accomplish three
things. First, I provide a brief background
on the VGI phenomenon and discuss several
important challenges surrounding it. Second, I
contextualize these challenges within technology
developments and Web services available to the
bicycling community. Third, I offer a perspective
on the success of VGI and its future.
Volunteered Geographic Information:
Development and Challenges
During the early 1990s, the Web was viewed
as a depository of downloadable information
accessible through hyperlinks. The idea
of ‘looking something up on the Web’ was
fundamental to how users viewed and used
the Web. As technology evolved, so did the
Web. Speculating about the future of Web
mapping, Dangermond (1995) and Krygier
Fritz Kessler, Department of Geography, Forstburg State University,
Frostburg, Maryland, 21532, USA. Email: <email@example.com>.
259 Cartography and Geographic Information Science
(1999) suggested that one outcome should be to
engage users more explicitly and permit them
greater access to data, thus encouraging their
participation and collaboration, in general,
and in mapping, in particular. Map-based Web
services such as MapQuest and Yahoo! Maps
(both launched in the mid 1900s) allowed users
to interact with the Web, tailoring information
content to their individual needs (e.g., obtain
As technology continued to evolve, Web services
like Google Earth and other virtual worlds
permitted individuals to become more involved
with the creation, maintenance, and distribution
of their own geospatial information. O’Reilly
(2005), in coining the term Web 2.0, describes
the Web’s evolution from a unidirectional
depository of information to a growing range
of personal interaction opportunities, with
Web 2.0 referring to individuals collecting,
contributing, and participating. More recently,
O’Reilly and Battelle (2009) suggest that Web
2.0 has evolved to a new level where intelligence
is being incorporated into Web services (e.g.,
geotagging). Geotagging adds geographical
identiﬁcation metadata such as a latitude and
longitude marker, elevation, or place name to
a photograph (e.g., iPhones allow automatic
tagging of photographs). The photograph then
becomes searchable through a Web service such
as Wikimedia Commons allowing individuals to
ﬁnd speciﬁc locations.
Web 2.0 and related technologies are the
backbone upon which VGI infrastructure
exists and helps to create the diversity of VGI
users and applications. Since Goodchild (2007)
introduced VGI other terms have been proposed.
For instance, ‘people-centric sensing’ (Campbell
et al. 2008) and ‘personal cartographies’
(Lauriault and Wood 2009) reﬂect user-collected
information, neogeography (Turner 2006)
focuses on map creation for individual needs,
and Goodchild (2009, p. 82) suggests that
VGI blurs the distinction between “producer,
communicator and consumer of geographic
Although VGI is relatively new, Tulloch (2008)
reﬂects that many of the same arguments that
faced public participation in GIS (PPGIS) in the
1990s are still applicable to VGI. For instance,
debates, relevant to PPGIS, questioning what
is public, who owns the information, and how
technology alters the role that its members play
in societal power struggles are still relevant to
VGI. In fact, most of these arguments have yet
to be fully addressed in the VGI arena. Elwood
(2008) categorizes these debates into three
main themes: the technology that makes VGI
possible, data collection and dissemination, and
a characterization of knowledge production.
Here, I use these themes to organize and discuss
several ongoing challenges in the VGI ﬁeld. This
discussion will also provide a context for a later
explanation of how VGI has been integrated
into the bicycling community.
Technologies that Facilitate VGI
Elwood’s ﬁrst theme is the technology operating
the hardware, software and Web services
that enables VGI activities. Web services
like World Wind and OpenstreetMap have
fewer expert knowledge demands than other
information sharing technologies such as GIS
or data clearinghouse database servers. VGI
Web services have simpliﬁed their usability
expectations (e.g., through interface design) so
that GIS functionality, particularly creating,
posting, and sharing information, is more readily
accessible to the public. The ease by which this
interaction takes place also suggests that more
diverse user communities can engage in VGI.
Aligned with expanding user group
composition are the concerns raised by
Chambers (2006) who reﬂects that VGI has
elicited questions about the data collection
process, its resulting empowerment, and the
ultimate use to which volunteered data and
information is put. For instance, when someone
establishes a free account with a Web service or
with any social networking site, there is a tacit
contract between the account holder and the
Web service: in return for providing a free Web
service, the company collects and tracks personal
information (e.g., spatial location and shopping
habits). Dobson and Fisher (2003) refer to this
practice of monitoring users and their activities
through technology as geoslavery.
Data Collection and Dissemination
Elwood’s second theme deals with the ease by
Vol. 38, No. 3 260
which data collection takes place and the volume
of information collected and disseminated under
the VGI umbrella. This massive amount of data
collection has proceeded in a haphazard fashion.
The very nature of personal data is quite different
than the more structured data associated with,
for example, spatial data infrastructure, and
thus no single VGI data model has emerged.
Craglia (2007) observes that the spatial data
infrastructure concept is designed for expert-
to-expert data sharing in a GIS environment.
VGI relaxes those restrictions in that Web-based
services do not expect a certain level of GIS
expertise. That VGI is fundamentally open to
a wide range of users and their expertise is the
fundamental appeal of VGI.
Another important component of spatial data
infrastructure is metadata, which is absent from
volunteered information. Critical components of
metadata include quality, accuracy, and validity
statements. As Flannigan and Metzger (2008)
discuss, volunteered information does not have
an entity (e.g., government agency) or persons
(e.g., professional cartographers) to serve as
quality control. Since VGI information is quickly
collected and disseminated, the necessary time
and effort to provide, for example, quality
control is lacking. However, Flannigan and
Metzger optimistically suggest that the power of
social media and the larger community of users
of a Web service may serve as an in situ mediator
and discredit or correct erroneous volunteered
Characterization of Knowledge
Elwood’s third theme focuses on the purposes for
which the knowledge gained from VGI is used.
On one hand, VGI is associated with adding to
existing geographic information, while on the
other hand VGI helps to foster the production
of new forms of knowledge. OpenStreetMap
adds to existing knowledge in instances where,
for example, public funds may not be available
to pay for mapping an extensive road network.
Through OpenStreetMap users contribute their
own route information to help build a road
network database. Adding to existing spatial
data through a piecemeal process through Web
services like OpenStreetMap is what Goodchild
(2007) refers to as a ‘patchwork’ method and is a
key strength of VGI.
Liu and Palen (2010) discuss how ‘crisis
mashups’ of situationslike natural disasters,
disease outbreaks, or social unrest can utilize
VGI services to create new forms of knowledge.
For instance, a crisis mashup can expedite
communication of timely information to
the public on rapidly changing situations
(e.g., speciﬁc evacuation routes due to an
uncontrolled wildﬁre). On the other hand, VGI
can spark unintentional outcomes of knowledge
production. In many communities Web services
(http://www.familywatchdog.us/) allow you to
enter an address and see a map pinpointing
the location of all sex offenders. While this
form of knowledge allows neighbors to be kept
informed of sex offenders’ locations and, for
example, keep children at bay, the service may
unintentionally spark violent retribution against
those sex offenders (Nordheimer 1995).
VGI and the Bicycling Community
Elwood (2008) points out that VGI has opened
the possibility for different user communities to
engage in collecting and sharing information.
One community of users that has not received
attention in the cartography literature is bicyclists:
Those who ride a bike for recreation, commuting,
or ﬁtness. This section explores the unique
needs of the bicyclist, and the impetus behind
developing bicycling-speciﬁc VGI services, and
how these services illustrate the three themes
reported by Elwood.
Spatial awareness is a vital part of riding a
bike. Bicyclists frequently ride in their familiar
local environment and are well versed about its
spatial arrangement: They know distances and
travel times along speciﬁc routes, which routes
to avoid, and where to go for the best bicycle
repairs. Chief among their tasks is planning
an efﬁcient route for getting to work or for
recreation. Unfortunately, bicyclists often face
signiﬁcant challenges in their planning as most of
their travels take place on networks designed for
motorized vehicular trafﬁc. They also are keenly
aware of routes that have lower trafﬁc volumes,
fewer changes in elevation, and smoother road
As Priedhorsky, et al. (2007, p. 93) offer,
261 Cartography and Geographic Information Science
bicyclists have a “strong tradition of sharing
information.” Up until recently, that sharing has
been made difﬁcult by the lack of technology.
Prior to 1984, bicycling recording devices were
limited to mechanical odometers that tallied
the day’s mileage. In 1984, Avocet introduced
the ﬁrst bicycling computer – the Model
20. Although crude by today’s standards, the
Model 20 displayed current speed, trip distance,
total distance, and ride time. Mapping a route
would not be possible until 2007 when Garmin,
the manufacturer of GPS enabled devices,
developed the Edge series speciﬁcally tailored to
the bicyclist. Garmin bicycling GPS devices allow
the user to instantaneously receive and view route
data on the bicyclist’s speed (current, maximum,
and average), distance (current and total), and
health (power and cadence output). Edge units
also continuously record a rider’s location and
display the current position on a base map in
real time. The coordinate location and various
data are recorded as a .gpx ﬁle in GPS exchange
format, which is readily interchangeable with
various bicycling speciﬁc Web services.
From a cartographic standpoint, the Edge
units come pre-loaded with road basemaps for
the United States. Zooming and panning of the
maps are possible during the ride. The built-in
map database has various levels of detail (i.e.,
interstate down to street-level detail). If desired,
separate MicroSD cards containing additional
street-level map detail of road networks of other
countries can be purchased. MicroSD cards of
1:100,000 or 1:24,000 topographic coverage of
United States are available for mountain biking.
Edge users can also see the elevation proﬁle of
their route on screen.
Other devices for recording bicycle route
information have also been developed. Eisenman
et al. (2009) describe BikeNet, which is a mobile
sensing system that records real-time ﬁtness
data (e.g., heart rate) and environmental factors
(e.g., CO2 levels). BikeNet collects information
and stores it, but the information can also be
uploaded to a server in real time for later analysis.
Priedhorsky et al. (2007) explain how their
research has lead to the design of a personalized
geowiki for the bicycling community. Its aim is to
allow bicyclists to contribute to, access, and edit
existing bicycle routes. Some notable features
include a wiki map of bicycling routes contributed
by the bicycling community, a wiki geodatabase
of important landmarks (e.g., a local café or
an angry dog), route ﬁnding capabilities, and
personalized bike-ability rankings (e.g., rating
the riding difﬁculty of each route). Similarly,
Reddy et al. (2010) discuss Biketastic. By using
smartphones as the platform, the bicyclist is
provided with an affordable means to record the
route for personal or sharing purposes without
having to purchase expensive bike-speciﬁc
computers/GPS devices (e.g., Garmin’s Edge
705 bundled with U.S. street maps costs $700.00).
Lastly, GPS-enabled smartphones can sense
information about road roughness and noise
levels along the route and be uploaded to database.
Once completed, the route and associated data
can be visualized on the Biketastic Web service
(http://www.biketastic.com). Trimble, another
supplier of GPS-enabled devices, has developed
a GPS smartphone application. Through the
use of Trimble’s Adventure Planner (http://portal.
trimbleoutdoors.com), the GPS coordinates of the
route can be uploaded and mapped as well as
embed pictures or video of the trip. Interestingly,
Adventure Planner also allows the importation
of a route collected by a Garmin device. Once
the route is uploaded to Adventure Planner, the
route can be shared. A signiﬁcant drawback of
the smartphone applications to the bicyclist is
that the bicyclist has no ability to safely view the
data of the route during the ride.
VGI and Bicycling-Speciﬁc
To explore the degree to which VGI has
integrated into the bicycling community, I used
a Garmin Edge 705 unit to record various
bike rides. The details of these rides were
then uploaded to three Web services: Garmin
Connect, Bicycling-Trimble Outdoors, and
MapMyRide. These Web services will serve as
a framework for discussing Elwood’s three VGI
themes and provide a context for contemplating
Garmin Connect (http://connect.garmin.com) is a
free site that allows Edge owners the opportunity
to upload their own GPS route data. Once
uploaded, the data can be analyzed and shared
Vol. 38, No. 3 262
through a variety of interactive graphs, charts,
and maps. Figure 1 shows ride details pertaining
to a route displayed on the Garmin Connect site.
Bicycling Magazine, one of the oldest
continuously running bicycling magazines
(since 1961), teamed with Trimble Outdoors to
bring another VGI Web service to the bicycling
community. Unlike Garmin, Trimble does not
produce a standalone bicycling speciﬁc GPS
device, but rather markets a fee-based application
that can be downloaded to a mobile phone.
The Smartphone application records data and
the GPS coordinates during the bicyclist’s ride.
The route information is then uploaded to the
Bicycling-Trimble Outdoors site (http://bibicycling.
trimbleoutdoors.com). Users register a free account
on the Web service after which they can upload
any .gpx ﬁle (or other GPS ﬁle formats).
MapMyRide is another bicycling-focused
Website hosted by MapMyFitness, a Denver,
Colorado based company that offers Web
services, such as MapMyWalk and MapMyRun,
to outdoor recreational enthusiasts. Similar to
the Garmin Connect and Trimble Outdoors site,
MapMyRide offers the bicyclist the ability to
post the route for detailed viewing of collected
data and analysis of the ride. As with the Garmin
Connect and Bicycling-Trimble Outdoors sites,
MapMyRide provides a summary of basic
route data, such as distance, time, and elevation
climbed. All three Web services rely upon Google
Map data as cartographic base information. The
user has options to display the route in street,
satellite, hybrid, terrain, and topo formats.
Technologies that Facilitate VGI
Collectively, these three bicycling Web services
illustrate examples of how simpliﬁed technology
facilitates mass involvement in VGI. For instance,
the Garmin GPS device came with a quick
start guide that simpliﬁed the device set up and
instructions on data uploading. Uploading data
to these three Web services was easily handled.
A free account on each site was created, the unit
was plugged into a USB port, and by following
the on-screen instructions, the data was uploaded
and mapped. The amount of time involved from
plugging the unit into the USB port to seeing
a map of the data took less than three minutes
per site. If a user had to write code, download
drivers, or conﬁgure/format the data ﬁle, these
Web services would not be as easy to use and
thus not as popular.
Reducing technological hurdles has certainly
encouraged users to explore these Web services
and utilize the various tools. Figure 2 shows the
interface of the Bicycling-Trimble Outdoors
Web service which includes a Map Editor tool.
Figure 1. The interactive
environment of the Garmin
Connect web service. The
red line plotted on the map
shows the route traveled by
the bicyclist. The ﬁve graphs
below the map indicate
throughout the route. The
top graph overlays changes
in elevation with heart rate
along the mapped route. The
animation control buttons
allow the red marker on the
map to move along the route.
As the red marker moves,
ride data is updated at the
bottom and a red vertical
line moves on the top graph
showing changes in elevation
and heart rate.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested