Geospatial Blockchain: review of decentralized geospatial data sharing systems
- 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
- 2GIS Center, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Keywords: geospatial data sharing, blockchain, crowdsourcing, open GIS
Abstract. Blockchain technologies are driving the internet infrastructures into a transformation from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. This remodels the internet foundations from a centralized approach, where data is hosted by a single actor, to a decentralized one in which data is distributed among peers in a network. Thanks to blockchain technologies, the evolution from centralized to decentralized applications (dApps) eliminate single points of failure, data censorship and data tampering. This transformation is not only important in the financial sector, where the technology is more evolved, but also in geospatial crowdsourcing activities. The objective of this work is to perform a literature review of current blockchain technologies used for sharing and crowdsourcing activities involving geospatial data. This study serves as a starting point for future works where the main purpose is to develop a geospatial sharing blockchain platform. At the present, two platforms have been developed for this purpose, FOAM and D-GIS. The former is a fully deployed implementation whose objective is to create a crowdsourced map. The latter is a platform designed to share geospatial studies publicly, however, it is only developed conceptually and not deployed. Additional to these works, other blockchain data sharing examples exist and are reviewed in this study as a baseline for future developments in the geospatial area. The output of this research indicates that it is feasible to use blockchain technology for the development of a crowdsourcing geospatial data-sharing platform.