The WikiCrimes System: Research and Development in Collaborative Mapping

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Crowd mapping combines the aggregation of geographic information and crowd-generated content. Here, a digital map works as a blackboard for accommodating stories told by people about events they want to share with others typically participating in their social networks.
The research we have developed in the last five years is inserted into this aforementioned context. In particular, it is based around a crowd system for mapping crimes, called WikiCrimes ( Wikicrimes is driven by three goals: i) to give more transparency and publicity to criminal information, ii) to provide means for citizen prevention, and iii) to reduce the phenomena of under-reporting (crimes that are not reported to authorities). Ultimately, WikiCrimes aims to obtain collaborative individual participation for generating useful information for everyone.

More than an innovative technological system, WikiCrimes has been shown a rich space for research in computer science. In my presentation I intend to overview the research lines that we follow in the Knowledge Engineering Laboratory (LEC), which I coordinate at University of Fortaleza - UNIFOR within the context of WikiCrimes and collaborative mapping in general. They range from Natural Language Processing of on-line news about crimes, semantic representations of reported crimes for use in open government, the creation of a platform for designing and hosting semantic crowd maps and the creation of methods for identifying malicious activity of users who intends to generate false trends in crowd maps.

Vasco Furtado is professor of computer science at University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Brazil, where he also leads a team of researchers in the Knowledge Engineering Laboratory that studies social and semantic web and electronic government. Furtado holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Aix-Marseille III, France, 1997. After his doctoral course Furtado was director of Technology of the Secretariat of Public Safety in the State of Cear√° for more than 8 years, where he headed research and development projects on the law enforcement domain. In 2006, Furtado spent on year at the Knowledge Systems Laboratory at Stanford, CA, USA for his sabbatical. He is currently assessor for innovation in technology at the Foundation of Support for Scientific Development of the State of Ceara (FUNCAP).

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