Michael Goodchild was the featured speaker at the University of Minnesota’s GIS Day celebration. The event was the second in the U’s annual Borchert Lecture Series. Goodchild, like John Borchert before him, is a geographer and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has a Lifetime Achievement Award from ESRI and a host of other honors.
He spoke about “Geographic Information in the World of Web 2.0.” In Web 2.0, people contribute information; Wikipedia is the classic example. Geographic information in Web 2.0 is volunteered. It is asserted, rather than authoritative as in the traditional system. Typically, it is provided by local residents who know much more about their part of the world than experts in a national bureaucracy. Certainly it can be very effective for identifying mistakes and changes in traditional systems.