Susanne Schröder-Bergen

Geography, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

Brief description of the doctoral project

In my PhD in digital geography, I explore how the OpenStreetMap project, informed by the ethos of the free/libre and open source software movement, relates to the tense relationship between emerging data economic structures characterised by the dominance of digital platforms. OpenStreetMap is a community-driven, open, global geodatabase to which thousands of individuals contribute. Other private sector initiatives to promote open geodata and the activities of platform companies in OpenStreetMap are putting the functioning of the OpenStreetMap community project to the test. In my work, I examine the extent to which changes in the geospatial industry affect the project and whether it is possible to integrate the business-orientated logic of platform companies into the project.

Photo credit: Jerry Li