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VGI GeoStack - Some Questions

Matthew Dance

I am working on a mapping project where, once deployed, we will be looking to gather VGI or crowdsourced geographic information from a specific group of Edmontonians.  Ethical issues aside (I am looking at Matt Wilson's Critical GIS Reading List) I am trying to get my head around the technology that I will need to deploy to enable a customizable, flexible and light stack for displaying a number of map layers, and collecting point, line and polygon data as well as a narrative that may accompany these spatial data.  I considered a deployment of Ushahidi's Crowdmap, but feel that it does not offer the speed and UI / UX flexibility that we need. The stack I am considering, and would like feedback and suggestion on, is:

  • PostGIS as the database
  • QGIS + TileMill – to process and style the base-map and layers, and to make the MBTiles.
  • PHP Tile Server – To serve the MBTiles onto the internet.
  • Leaflet JS – for the UI/UX design
  • OSM's iD Editor - for the VGI component to manage the contribution of spatial data.

I have some questions regarding this:

  1. Is this the best / easiest way to go?
  2. Can the iD Editor be linked to PostGIS, or is there a better way in this instance to glean VGI?
  3. What role can GeoJSON and GitHub play in this stack?

I am still getting my head around this and would appreciate any thoughts.

UPDATE 02 December 2013

I received some good discussion and suggestions for a platform via Twitter from Alan McConchie and Hugh Stimson (Hugh pointed to his Salish Sea Spill Map as a map that incorporates VGI - it's an interesting project and cool map):


I plan on breaking down both uMap and MapStory, and will update this post again with my results.

uMap Update on 03 December can be found here.