Design for Digital Media Environments – Lecture 1 Homework

In the first lecture of this unit, I was set the task of contributing to a community based User Generated Content platform.

I decided to contribute to the Open Street Map, a user generated mapping website, similar of that to Google Maps, however all maps and its content is added by its users. 

I had to create an account in order to participate in building this map. 

The first thing I did was added the name of a business nearby to my halls of residence. A user had added the business to the map, however was not named, so I added this in and saved it. 

The second thing I did was I added a new “point” to section of the map. I searched for my home address and noticed that the ATM machine that nearby was not listed on the map. 

I can see both advantages and disadvantages to using Open Street Map. I think that the fact that it is open source and anybody can edit is absolutely amazing, because it puts the users in power, rather than large corporations such as Google. 

However, my problem with is that I wouldn’t want to use this as my main mapping tool because it could potentially be unreliable. Compared to Google which has the “Streetview” feature, Google allows you to actually see the physical space via images, it is easy to verify that what the data Google are using is accurate. 

On Open Street Map, anyone could edit it and that potentially could be a disadvantage because there is no way of confirming a point, feature or location actually exists in the physical space. I wouldn’t want to use this tool if I was lost and trying to find a location. 

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