Recent developments in information and communication technologies, including the emergence of the Internet and the Web as a global infrastructure, have provided valuable opportunities for the active participation of ordinary people in the planning, decision-making, development and advancement of science and knowledge. The web and mobile GIS technologies have provided the necessary platform for people to actively participate in the production of spatial data by providing the ability to draw on the maps via smartphones equipped with GPS systems. Unlike the traditional process of data production, which is closed, expert-centered, and organizational, participatory spatial data is generated by each user and made available to others for free. In other words, each person is both a consumer and a producer of spatial data. The amount of effort made by people trying to produce spatial data is directly related to the quality of the spatial data produced. The low effort of a user in the production of spatial data, indicates that the user produces data with low quality or, conversely, users with high interest and motivation who spend more effort to produce data, improves data quality. Therefore, it is necessary for users of participatory spatial data (such as government organizations) to be aware of the amount of effort made in the production of spatial data. In other words, by measuring and evaluating the amount of effort made in data production, the quality of data can be ensured to some extent. Therefore, determining and evaluating various indicators that indicate the amount of effort made in the production of spatial data is an important and necessary issue.
The purpose of this study is to investigate and evaluate the efforts of citizens in producing spatial data related to urban problems. For this purpose, five indicators including the time spent drawing features, the number of zooming performed, the number of features drawn, the difference between the number of complex and simple features and the number of spatial edits on the map were selected. To measure the above indicators, a participatory web and mobile GIS was implemented in District 6 of Tehran. The results show that most users spend about 16 to 32 seconds between drawing the first and last feature, 0 to 3 times zooming operation, 0 to 2 times drawing the feature and 0 to 3 times the activity of restoring the drawn feature to the previous state and redrawing (Undo-Redo) on the map. In addition, the number of polygon features drawn by most citizens is more than point features (high effort) while for 17 people the opposite is true (low effort). In general, the low number of the above activities shows that citizens have not spent much effort and accuracy in producing spatial data. It is suggested that future studies examine and evaluate the relationship between user characteristics and indicators of effort in producing spatial data. Moreover, the amount of effort of users in producing spatial data related to a geographical phenomenon is affected by the degree of complexity, user perception and knowledge about that phenomenon. Drawing some phenomena requires more thought, time and effort. For example, drawing a contaminated area whose boundary is not precisely defined is far more complex than drawing an urban green space that has a clear boundary. Therefore, it is suggested that future studies examine and analyze the relationship between user perception and understanding of a spatial phenomenon and the amount of effort in producing data of that phenomenon.