Exploring the Impact of Contextual Information on Student Performance and Interest in Open Humanitarian Mapping

Patricia Solís, Patricia R. DeLucia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The opportunity to engage university students in authentic, open humanitarian mapping raises important questions about how to guide the quality and productivity of volunteer spatial contributions while providing a valuable learning experience. It presents the unique chance to pique new mappers’ interest, satisfaction, and confidence in spatial technologies in particular, and technology in general, as well as pique their interest in the people and places that are served by the humanitarian mapping projects. This article shares the findings of a study that explores the importance of sharing authentic contextual information about the purpose of the humanitarian mapping task. Two groups of beginner mappers were given mapping tasks, with only one group being provided details on the purpose. Comparisons were made on their respective performance and changes in affective response to a series of questions about technology, education, good citizenship, and empathy. Measures of the quantity and quality of spatial data produced; their respective levels of interest, satisfaction, and confidence in technology; and affective responses before and after mapping show the relative effects of contextual information. Results provide insights about the potential effectiveness of authentic instruction on the performance of mapping as well as the potential effect on mappers themselves. Key Words: citizenship, data quality, empathy, humanitarian mapping, volunteered geographic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-535
Number of pages13
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • calidad de los datos
  • cartografía humanitaria
  • ciudadanía
  • empatía
  • información geográfica voluntaria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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