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The concepts of Neogeography and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) allow collaborative data managed by volunteers to be shared in an open environment. One way to explore these concepts and the knowledge about them is to record the creation of a data sharing community with an experimental web application called Mergeos. This web application would have the ability to add or "merge" data together to build a more complete data set of points, polygons, and lines from willing participants. Using tools and practices for the functions of mass data management, collaborative GIS, and social network data collection require us to contemplate and execute GIS solutions in different ways. The main purpose of the Mergeos experiment is to research, describe, and confirm these new concepts by developing a community site at a low cost.
The objectives of this research can be described in two parts. The first is to analyze and describe the process of creating a community site whose purpose reflects on neogeographic concepts. This involves comparing the differences between designing, planning, and developing a project with the traditional methods used for common GIS mapping applications. The second is to create a website to demonstrate a solution that implements these concepts by using the techniques and analyses from the first part of the research. Mergeos is intended for users to begin a data set, setting the standards by defining what data they want to store and how others will add to this data set, while maintaining it.
Mergeos was developed successfully and has demonstrated that a community site is possible with the accessibility of affordable technical resources. There are various limitations that can be addressed in future research. Overall, providing documentation on the creation of a collaborative community site helps us discover concepts of shared GIS and data management. Mergeos displays the many prospects that neogeographic and VGI concepts have available.