Organized mapping activities within OpenStreetMap frequently lead to the production of massive amounts of data over a short period. In this article we utilize a novel procedure to identify such large-scale data production events in the history of OpenStreetMap and analyze their patterns. We find that events account for a significant share of OpenStreetMap data and that organizational practices have shifted over time towards local knowledge-based events and well-organized data imports. However, regions in the “Global South” remain dependent on remote mapping events, pointing to uneven geographies of representation. We also find that events are frequently followed by periods of increased activity, with the exact nature of effects depending on contextual elements such as previous events. These findings portray organized activities as a significant and unique component which requires consideration when using OpenStreetMap data and analyzing their quality.
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© 2021 The Authors. Transactions in GIS published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd