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Those 3% female mappers… Why they participate and why not?

Hiyashi
September 07, 2013

Those 3% female mappers… Why they participate and why not?

This presentation covers the key research findings from the project 'Fostering the participation of women in Voluntary Geographical Information (VGI) - encouraging FEMales to MAP' (Fem2Map). Funded by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) within the structural research programme FEMtech-fFORTE, this project employed mixed methods to study the behaviours and attitudes of female contributors in VGI (and specifically the OpenStreetMap community) which in turn informed the research to identify barriers to participation and draw a mitigation plan. The presentation will enrich our understanding of women's participation in OpenStreetMap and renew the discussion about how to engage women in VGI

Hiyashi

September 07, 2013
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  1. Those 3% female mappers…
    Why they participate and why not?
    Yuwei Lin (University of Salford)
    Manuela Schmidt, Silvia Klettner (TU Wien)
    Renate Steinmann and Elisabeth Häusler (Salzburg Research)

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  2. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 2
    Why this study?
     A gendered geo web - according to
    e.g., Haklay & Budhathoki 2010;
    Stark 2011, Lechner 2011,
    typical OSM contributors are:
    − Male (+ Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra)?),
    well-educated and technology-savvy
    − the number of women who contribute
    to OpenStreetMap is only about 2-5%.
     Why so few women are participating in OSM?
     What interventions can we devise to effectively
    enlarge the knowledge pool and improve diversity in
    Volunteered Geographical Information projects?
    ~2-5%

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  3. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 3
    A study using mixed methods
     Survey with academic conference delegates at LBS2011
    (46 respondents: 9F 37M, and 63% (17/46) involved in OSM)
     Desk-based literature review and case study on user-
    generated content platforms (including Facebook, Foursquare,
    Wikipedia, Google Map Maker, OpenStreetMap)
     A 6-month course engaging 12 female students in
    OpenStreetMap mapping
     Interviews with 9 female and 9 male OpenStreetMap
    community members
     An online survey circulated to all OSM mappers resulting
    in 516 responses

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  4. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 4
    Women and User-Generated Content
    A comparative study of spatially explicit, spatially implicit, and
    non-spatial UGC platforms. Does the spatial aspect limit
    women from contributing to UGC?
    − Identifying individual, socio-technical factors linked with the low
    number of female contributors in spatially explicit UGC platforms.
    Results:
    − Spatial aspect does not seem to be the critical point for non-
    participation in VGI projects.
    − Social incentives as well as platform-specific contribution and
    communication mechanism influence women's participation
    behaviours.

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  5. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 5
    Longitudinal study
     12 female participants
    − equivalent to the typical OSM user
    (technology-savy, well-educated,
    20-40 years old)
    − students in cartography, urban
    planning, information science
    − incentive: course credits
     A qualitative and longitudinal
    study to understand barriers
    and motivations

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  6. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 6
    Longitudinal study
    Session 1:
    Mapping with
    Walking Papers
    Session 1:
    Mapping with
    Walking Papers
    Mapping sessions
    Mapping sessions
    Follow-up survey
    Follow-up survey
    Mapping diary
    Mapping diary
    Session 2:
    Armchair mapping:
    Mapping from
    aerial imagery
    Session 2:
    Armchair mapping:
    Mapping from
    aerial imagery
    Session 3:
    Outdoor mapping
    with GPS
    (group activity)
    Session 3:
    Outdoor mapping
    with GPS
    (group activity)
    Session 4:
    Free mapping task
    and reflection
    Session 4:
    Free mapping task
    and reflection
    2 months later
    2 months later 4 months later
    4 months later

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  7. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 7
    Methods used
     Action-oriented (practices)
     Participatory observation
     Diary
     Course materials / assignments
     Focus groups

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  8. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 8
    Positive experiences
     Knowledge acquisition
    “You get to know your city when you go and map.”
     Outdoor experience
    “Being outside mapping is really a lot of fun.” “Mapping is fun, and you can
    add things that you like and that are interesting.”
     Contributing to open data
    “After tagging so many points the map will be more complete.” “We use our
    own knowledge to map something and other people can see that and
    maybe it is useful for them and it makes you happy if your contribution is
    used by others.”
     Self satisfaction / Visual feedback
    “A motivating experience is when the results are immediately visible.”
     Social experience
    “Looking back, I would say that mapping is all about interaction
    – with people, with space, with maps.”

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  9. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 9
    Negative experiences
     Complexity of learning
    „There is a possibility to ask a question but there isn’t something for
    beginners to know what to do.” „It takes time to find the right symbols and
    tags – if they exist.”
     Missing visual feedback
    “Mapped Points of Interest sometimes do not appear on the map –
    depending on different zoom levels.”
     Insufficient technical feedback
    „It would be useful if mistakes would be highlighted once you try to upload
    your edited parts.” „When you did a lot of work and you cannot upload it, it’s
    really frustrating.”
     Required time
    „In general it would be an advantage, if the contribution process didn’t take
    that long, because less passionate users might lose interest during long
    mapping sessions."

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  10. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 10
    What would motivate them to
    continue mapping
    Data extracted from the diaries and the post-event
    questionnaires:
    − Improved help and support options
    − Dedicated tutorial for beginners
    − A more user-friendly interface
    − Less time-consuming mapping solutions
    − Positive feedback / rewards for editing
    − Mapping with other people indoors
    − Mapping with other people outdoors
    − More profile options (e.g., for networking and for sharing)
    − Mapping for a dedicated purpose

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  11. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 11
    Online survey in February 2013
     Target group: people, who know of OSM, but are not
    necessarily active
     Dissemination channels:
    − mailing lists in the geo communities
    − Twitter
    − OSM community

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  12. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 12
    An invitation to our online survey
    Dear visitors and colleagues,
    We are currently conducting a study regarding your personal experiences
    and attitudes towards platforms with user-generated content, particularly
    OpenStreetMap. Completing the whole survey will take 10–15 minutes.
    All participants have the chance to win one of five 30€ Amazon vouchers.
    Of course we will handle your personal data confidentially, and will not pass
    them to any third party.
    Thank you for participating, we appreciate your help!
    Silvia Klettner & Manuela Schmidt
    January 31, 2013
    Update on March 10: Our survey is closed now. 516 people completed the
    questionnaire. The five winners have been contacted. Thank you very much for
    your participation!
    http://cartography.tuwien.ac.at/fem2map/2013/01/invitation-to-our-online-survey/

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  13. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 13
    Online questionnaire: Results
     516 persons completed the questionnaire
    − Mean age: 35.8; SD=11.7
    − 75.4% male, 23.6% females, 0.9% assigned to no gender
     Groups of OSM experience:
    − Group 1: “I have never heard of OSM.”
    − Group 2: “I know OSM, but I have never contributed data myself.”
    − Group 3: “I have an OSM account, but hardly ever contributed.”
    − Group 4: “I used to be active in OSM, but I am not anymore (e.g.
    no edits within the last 6 months).”
    − Group 5: “I am currently active in OSM.”

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  14. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 14
    OSM experience and gender
    218 respondents in groups 2, 3, 4

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  15. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 15
    Contexts of working with OSM

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  16. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 16
    What would make people contribute (again)?

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  17. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 17
    Qualitative responses
    43 comments on open question with further aspects,
    which might make respondents contribute (again).
    Common categories:
    − lack of time
    e.g. “Changes in my life, the problems are not on the side of OSM”
    Male, 35, Group 4
    − overcoming first technical barriers
    e.g. “Courses offered at Universities etc., get a first time experience on
    how to contribute (how easy or difficult it really is)” Female, 27, Group 2
    − practical/social aspects
    e.g. “If my friends were still contributing” Female, 32, Group 3
    − discontentment with current license and organization of OSM
    e.g. “Less offensive contributor terms, transparency in OSMF, including
    clear policies and the ability for users and members to influence decisions
    […]” Male, 31, Group 4

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  18. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 18
    Interview Results
     How did you get involved in mapping?
     Why so few women in OSM mapping?
    − Social: participants usually got involved through social networks
    (e.g., men introduced men to the community, or involved their gfs)
    − Structural: tech industry is still predominated by men, and society
    does not particularly encourage women to be tech-savvy
    (reinforcement of the inequality; normalisation of the situation)
    − No personal motivations, no catalysts
     Have you been treated differently in the OSM community
    because of your gender?
     How to encourage women to participate OSM?
     Should OSMF encourage women to participate?
    − Yes, but how?

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  19. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 19
     larger group of potential contributors
    − for collecting data
    − for updating data
    more diverse views of the world
    Knowledge/data is created in different contexts. What content is regarded relevant?
    Elwood 2008; LAM et al. 2011; Callahan & Herring 2011
    “'the exclusion and under-representation of information from and about marginalised
    people and places in existing data records is linked to the ensuing exclusion of their
    needs and priorities from policy and decision making processes” (Elwood 2008)
    Advantages of broader contributor groups

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  20. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 21
    Recommended Strategies (1/2)
     Fostering project-based mapping:
    Devise projects that concern women's welfares and
    interests as a means to motivate women
    − E.g., Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), zoo mapping,
    mapping baby changing rooms, mapping with the National Trust
    − Example: National Forest planning in the United States through
    collecting public landscape values and special places data for input
    into a national forest planning decision support system:
    “Two of the three study results indicate that women mapped more of certain types of
    landscape values than men, such as biological, life sustaining, and learning values.
    These results are consistent with a number of studies that indicate the propensity of
    women to express stronger environmental concern than men. To the extent that women
    are underrepresented as a respondent group as is the case with the three studies, the
    proportion of various landscape values will deviate from what would be expected in the
    general population.” (Brown and Reed 2009, p. 173)

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  21. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 22
    Recommended Strategies (2/2)
     Fostering diversity-friendly social events
    (e.g., women and family friendly)
     Reducing the complexity of learning of OSM mapping and
    editing (e.g. through online tutorials, such as learnOSM.org)
     More user-friendly, intuitive, efficient tools and better
    documentation for data contribution in general
     Awareness raising – working with schools, local communities
     Build demonstrators to showcase the values of OSM, making
    it close to women's everyday lives
     Education and training
     Peer support and community networks
     Make OSM fun and cool

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  22. Those 3% female OpenStreetMap Mappers: Why they participate and why not? 23
    Thank you for your attention!
    http://cartography.tuwien.ac.at/fem2map
    This work was funded by the Austrian Ministry for Transport,
    Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) within the structural research
    program FEMtech fFORTE.

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