EXPLORING THE APPLICATION OF VOLUNTEERED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION TO CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT: A SURVEY APPROACH
- 1Faculty of Engineering and Surveying, University of Southern Queensland, Queensland 4350, Australia
- 2Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, University of Southern Queensland, Queensland 4350, Australia
Keywords: Volunteered Geographic Information, Spatial Information, Spatial Data Infrastructure, User-generated Content, Natural Resource Management, Catchment Management
Abstract. The participation and engagement of grass-root level community groups and citizens for natural resource management has a long history. With recent developments in ICT tools and spatial technology, these groups are seeking a new opportunity to manage natural resource data. There are lot of spatial information collected/generated by landcare groups, land holders and other community groups at the grass-root level through their volunteer initiatives. State government organisations are also interested in gaining access to this spatial data/information and engaging these groups to collect spatial information under their mapping programs. The aim of this paper is to explore the possible utilisation of volunteered geographic information (VGI) for catchment management activities. This research paper discusses the importance of spatial information and spatial data infrastructure (SDI) for catchment management and the emergence of VGI. A conceptual framework has been developed to illustrate how these emerging spatial information applications and various community volunteer activities can contribute to a more inclusive spatial data infrastructure (SDI) development at local level. A survey of 56 regional NRM bodies in Australia was utilised to explore the current community-driven volunteer initiatives for NRM activities and the potential of utilisation of VGI initiatives for NRM decision making process. This research paper concludes that VGI activities have great potential to contribute to SDI development at the community level to achieve better natural resource management (NRM) outcomes.