D4DME – Participatory Culture (Part One)

As a little homework task, Rob asked us to contribute something to a UGC (User Generated Content) platform.

UGC denotes any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media Web sites.

I thought it would be fun to try this with Open Street Maps, as you never know what other people may have already added. I decided to start with something on the University campus, so I had a nosy through what had been added nearby the Student Village. Shockingly (this may or may not be sarcastic) someone had neglected to include the telephone box outside the first group of houses! Fortunately, I added the telephone box in like any humane person would.

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Screenshot of Open Street Maps

Having saved the day by adding in a vital land mark on the map, I moved down a bit further from the Student Village towards the local shops. I was greeted with yet another horror; the shops did not exist on the map (and neither did the car park. Those poor drivers…)
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Screenshot of Open Street Maps

Adding the shops and car park was easy enough, though this made me wonder how much content had been added around my neck of the woods back in East Sussex. As I had expected, the poor telephone box had been neglected from the map over there too, as well as the huge park behind my house.
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Screenshot of Open Street Maps

I hadn’t realised how easy it would be to work with UGC platforms before, as I’d never tried to edit a Wiki page or anything in the past. They are definitely very useful resources and I plan to look into other types of UGC across the web.

The objects that I added to the map weren’t exactly important, though if say for instance, Weymouth house had been missed from the map, anyone studying DMD relying on Open Street Maps would be in trouble. This is why Open Street Maps being a UGC platform is so helpful, as you don’t have to wait for a moderator to update the content on the maps – you can do it yourself!

References

Moens, M F., 2nd Li, J. and Chua, T S., 2014. Mining User Generated Content. United States: CRS Press.

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