The State of Mapillary: An Exploratory Analysis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2019, 9 (1), . 10.3390/ijgi9010010
As the world’s largest crowdsourcing-based street view platform, Mapillary has received considerable attention in both research and practical applications. By February 2019, more than 20,000 users worldwide contributed approximately 6.3 million kilometers of streetscape sequences. In this study, we attempted to get a deep insight into the Mapillary project through an exploratory analysis from the perspective of contributors, including the development of users, the spatiotemporal analysis of active users, the contribution modes (walking, cycling, and driving), and the devices used to contribute. It shows that inequality exists in the distribution of contributed users, similar to that in other volunteered geographic information (VGI) projects. However, the inequality in Mapillary contribution is less than in OpenStreetMap (OSM). Compared to OSM, the other main difference is that the data collection demonstrated obvious seasonal variation because contributions to OSM can be accomplished on a computer, whereas images have to be captured on the streets for Mapillary, and this is considerably affected by seasonal weather.