Geo-Data User Chains

P.A.J. van Oort 1
1 Wageningen University, Centre for Geo-Information, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands, Tel: +31-317−474403, E-mail:

Abstract. The internet is changing the way we exchange information. Exchange is becoming more efficient and more anonymous. For geo-data, one can observe often long geo-data user chains from producer to end-user. For example a dataset is produced by the producer, then handed to the salesperson/data manager, next it is received by the data managers of various other organizations. Internally, the receiving data manager may place the geo-dataset on an internal server. Anyone within the organization has access to this internal server. In the end, one has not a clue of who is actually using the dataset. From various perspectives this can be undesirable. Producers are less well informed about users’ needs. Users are less well informed about data quality and other users’ experiences. User surveys and user conferences may overcome these problems, but often their response rate is very low. As a result, one does not know whether these surveys accurately represent the user community. In this paper, we present the results of a research in which we aimed to identify and classify all users in the population. Differences between organizations are analyzed. We investigate which fractions of users give feedback to the producer and whether these users are representative for their community. And we investigate the importance of printed metadata relative to personal contacts. To our knowledge, this is the first effort ever to identify the  complete user population of a geo-dataset. We conclude the paper with a vision on a new research agenda on geo-data user chains 

Keywords: geo-data user chains, spatial data infrastructures, user typology

In: Wan, Y. et al. (eds) Proceeding of the 8th international symposium on spatial accuracy assessment in natural resources and environmental sciences, World Academic Union (Press).

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