The goal of “GEOCROWD – Creating a Geospatial Knowledge World” is to establish a fertile research environment by means of a training network that will promote the GeoWeb 2.0 vision and advance the state of the art in collecting, storing, analyzing, processing, reconciling, and making large amounts of semantically rich user-generated geospatial information available on the Web. Specifically, activities will focus on
- exploiting user-contributed geospatial data,
- Web-geodata management and
- efficient means for data collection and dissemination, e.g., mobile computing.
GeoWeb 2.0 is the geographic embodiment of the Web 2.0 moniker for the next generation Web, i.e., the next generation of geographic information publishing, discovery and use. With the proliferation of the Internet as the primary medium for data publishing and information exchange, we have seen an explosion in the amount of online content available on the Web. A large portion of this content is being made available by individuals as User-Generated Content (UGC). The objective of GEOCROWD is nothing less than training a new generation of scientists with respect to taming this geodata tsunami and addressing the challenge of transforming the data into meaningful chunks of information obtained with simplicity and speed comparable to that of Web-based search.
The aim is to mobilize and integrate premier European research groups with expertise in related areas, fostering collaborations among them, and instituting formal instruments of research interactions and educational programs, thereby ultimately incubating a new research community. GEOCROWD comes at a crucial time: our ability to generate geospatial data has increased to unprecedented levels (with respect to both their size and rate), the wealth of information that can be derived from user-contributed content is extremely high, but our ability to make this valuable information actionable for the benefits of science, business, or our everyday lives is hindered by the algorithmic, computational as well as semantic complexity of the required data and information processing. Consortium members have been extensively involved in research in several problems that are fundamental to managing the geospatial information. GEOCROWD represents a natural follow-up to their earlier work, will consolidate and align their currently diverse plans to pursue further relevant research. Its outreach activities will increase the ability of the research community and academia to transfer their research results to industry and influence the development of competitive sophisticated stream management systems.
The project will also build a qualified, trans-European Intelligent Geospatial Information Management research community, whose members will be inspired by common use cases and will share experiences, plan, innovate, and reach out together, with strong commitment to tackle the main relevant technical challenges.
In conclusion, GEOCROWD seeks to achieve the following:
- Create and coordinate research, education, and innovation activities, laying the foundations for permanent programs that guarantee sustainability of the scientific effort in the long term;
- Bring research leaders with interrelated, but complementary expertise together to advance technology so that the wealth of data available may be exploited for effective production of new knowledge, e.g., cognitive scientists, data management experts, GIS researchers, hardware and systems experts, Web 2.0 researcher;
- Raise the value of significant European innovations that exist in the area of Intelligent Information Management so that they become more influential and better recognized globally.