The recent advent of Web 2.0, has placed individuals, their information and their social connections to the center of the Internet stage: the Internet has evolved from being an academic and business tool, to one of the prime means for casual everyday people to network, communicate, publish and exchange all sorts of different data, and to collaborate on projects and activities.
GeoWeb 2.0 is the geographic embodiment of the Web 2.0 vision for the next generation of geographic information publishing, discovery and use on the Web. In this context, GEOSTREAM aims at providing novel techniques and tools for extracting, processing, and exploiting user-generated geospatial information on the Web.
Harvesting and exploiting user-generated geospatial content involves several challenges:
- Content is authored by largely untrained individuals and their actions are almost always voluntary. Hence, the results may not be accurate, posing a serious concern with respect to the trustworthiness of the data.
- A myriad of Web applications producing geospatial data exists today. Each has its distinct data model and means to access the data. This makes it overall difficult to access and compare data from such sources.
- User-generated content may never replace quality data sources, but may be used to complement them. In fact, its value may lie in what it can tell about local activities in various geographic locations that go unnoticed by the world's media, and about life at a local level. Thus, integration of user-generated content with high quality data sources is needed.
The objectives of the GEOSTREAM project include:
- Smart data mining and fusion mechanisms for user-generated geocontent, to tap into the vast amounts of such content existing on the Web and derive meaningful datasets from it. The key underlying assumption is that a large number of observations with low accuracy can be combined to generate data of high accuracy.
- Tools that support the user in the authoring of such data, i.e., to create Web-based geospatial content authoring tools that allow the inclusion of as many users as possible to create content.
- A means to publish such content and provide related services on the Web as well as on mobile devices, leading to the creation of live mobile guides, in which users will create the live content shared with a larger community.