Potential contributor perspectives on desirable characteristics of an online data environment for spatially-referenced data
Keywords:Copyright, Metadata, Volunteered Geographic Information, Data Repository
A significant body of spatially referenced, locally produced, small-scale data is not currently online and therefore is effectively unavailable to professional scientists and to the general public. If there were an online environment, a “Commons of Geographic Data,” where that data could be deposited or registered, what infrastructure characteristics might potential contributors find desirable in order for them to be willing to contribute their data without monetary compensation? Based on data preservation literature, this study hypothesized three such potential characteristics as desirable. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we examined the desirability of these infrastructure capabilities in a non-statistical sample of potential contributors. The results of both the qualitative and quantitative research support the hypothesis. The results can provide guidance for those who may wish to design such a commons environment for small scale, locally generated, spatially referenced data in the future, and may also be of use to those that operate repositories of other types of data.
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