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I have conducted survey and ethnographic research that has shown people value geographically relevant information and that they will georeference information themselves for a variety of motivations.
Yet the current mechanisms in library collections to georeference information through automation or manual effort are often not sufficient. Current projects are providing online, collaborative tools to allow people to georeference material. This crowdsourcing model of social georeferencing is not only scalable but also allows people to determine the place of information resources that they find meaningful.
This presentation will introduce the core concepts of geographic relevance, georeferencing mechanisms, geosocial networking, and locative technology to present a model for libraries to consider that may help bring their collections into the field.
A Model for Libraries
By Glen Farrelly
• Doctoral candidate @ University of Toronto,
Faculty of Information
• 15+ years as digital media consultant and
• My dissertation examines how people’s use of
locative media affects their spatial relationships
• For further Glen info glenfarrelly.com
a. British Library
Sample of a libraries local studies collection
• Location-based services (LBS)
made geographically relevant
info more accessible & desired
• Current ways to georeference
• Online, crowdsourcing offers
Importance of Topic
• People value geographically relevant
• Long history of media used to
deliver geo. relevance
• LBS have increased demand
• Much info in libraries not
Use of Location-Based Services
% of respondents
Find nearby Find nearby Find nearby
Read history Read local
current info of location
In a survey I did, 86% of respondents reported using their device to access at least one place-related
function in the past month. The results are dated now, so I expect these rates to be higher.
At the high end, 84% reported finding proximal businesses or services, reading local news
(74%), finding nearby sites (67%), and reading information about their location (66%).
• Users create information for
o plotting on map
• Helps with toponym problems
• Collaborative and social
• Asked public to georeference maps
• Used online tool (below) developed by Klokan
• In 7 weeks, 2700
• More details:
• Collaborative project with libraries & museums
• Assisted in digitizing and online cataloguing of
local history collections
• Public contributed
objects and comments on
location & details of
existing online items
• More info:
• Easy to use and familiar online tool to georeference
location of photos via plotting on map
• Flickr also enables geotagging,
i.e. folksonomy tags
• Geotags may better capture
place-name info seeking
behaviour of people
• Visit map:
• LibraryThing is example of easy-to-use, social tool
people use to describe, tag, and share info
• Projects have successfully combined LibraryThing’s
user-generated content with library catalogues
• Model of way to
• Quality and accuracy of public’s work
• Malicious hijacking
• Exploitation of free labour
• Creating and managing an online, collaborative
system is time-consuming
• Maintaining public (and internal) interest in project
• Offer incentives and prizes
• Reward “super users”
• Give credit for contributions
• Promote with social media
• Engaging user experience (incl. gamification)
Read: Holley, R. (2010). Crowdsourcing: How and why should libraries do it?
D-Lib Magazine, 16(3/4).