Participatory Culture – UGC

Rob set us some homework and to play around with the UGC (User Generated Content) platform. This is a user generated map which is used by google, apple and all the big companies as Rob said. I will be talking about the process on the website with images below and describing how it’s used and how I found it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.02.27
Home of OpenStreetMap


This is the Open Street Map. I created an account to edit the information within the map. It looks quite plain and fairly empty from far away. But when you zoom into the map, you come to face different points with symbols representing the location pin points which keys in whether there are public/private buildings, shops or restaurants.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.20.31
Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.15.33 Help section of openstreetmap


There is a help section which  is located on the right side of the website, this help section breaks down the whole website in detail and how it is used. This is good for new users as it assisted me in using the website, this makes the access better because we get a better understanding of how to input our own data as a user.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.04.22
Breakdown of the use of the website

This screen shot gives information on the website and the use of its information which is all information openly given by users of the website, referring to Robs lecture discussing the concept of open data and users given the freedom to change the data on the website. This allows the users to correct and edit data making it more reliable. Rob made comparisons to Wiki and Open Maps, they are fairly similar just different platforms as open map is the wiki for maps and Wiki websites such as Wikipedia is for data and general information that can be edited.

I will show more of the great features open street map offers down below:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.17.48
Tool to add a large area to a map e.g. playground/stadium


Open street allows you to select a whole area if you wanted to put a whole area, for example a playground or even a stadium.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.19.30
Tool to add and connect streets together


You can also input roads that are yet to be added onto the map, adding onto the data that is already there.

For my set point I have added something quite interesting, I thought about what stores/restaurants/shops were around where I live and I noticed that there was an adult store 2 blocks away from me called Simply Pleasure and I pin pointed it down as an Erotic store. I found it easy to navigate and edit pin points and because the kebab store next to me isnt the right name,  I will find out the real name of the Kebab store when I walk past later on and edit it on the map.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.24.59
Inputting data onto the map


Overall I think that this is an advantage for participatory culture as it quite important for new media, because such things allows the user to have their own input of information, making it more of a community instead of a individual website as people have the same rights to edit and also we have freedom as a user. But there are downsides to this as people can edit information for the wrong reasons, this is something i have to keep into mind. But I can use this as a plan to create my database website and maybe use UGC.


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