OpenStreetMap

Results of OSM user demographic survey: further results

Posted by Geospa_gal on 11 July 2018 in English (English)

My last diary entry, which linked to some initial results from the survey, generated a comment about different contributors undertaking different types of mapping activities and the impact this could have on the data produced. The content of my most recent conference presentation with Peter Mooney at AGILE 18 in Sweden, discussed exactly this.

The results of this particular analysis showed that although women are more likely to be engaged in mapping for humanitarian purposes (i.e. HOTOSM), the prescriptive nature of these tasks mask the natural mapping behaviours and interests of those that complete them, i.e. many women.

Please see below for links to both the paper and powerpoint presentations.

http://www.cs.nuim.ie/~pmooney/websitePapers/AGILE2018PM_ZG.pdf

https://www.slideshare.net/ZoeGardner1/investigating-gender-differences-in-openstreetmap-activities-in-malawi

Comment from Richard on 11 July 2018 at 14:51

This is terrific - really beginning to cut through the generalities of the debate to some really worthwhile specifics. I think my two takeaways from skimming the presentation and paper are:

  • think about why people want to contribute (your point about "women motivated by intrinsic (humanitarian) reward"). Intrinsic reward has always been a massive motivator for OSM, but portraying ourselves as "worthwhile" has historically only broken through to certain demographics - such as the traditional open-source crowd which is mostly male
  • the really stark age difference: this perhaps masks a little-remarked strength of OSM that, in contrast to most open projects, we've long been good at attracting older (male hobbyist) contributors as well as younger (male) programmer types.

Comment from Heather Leson on 16 July 2018 at 18:03

Thanks for this analysis, Zoe.

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