A derivation of factors influencing the innovation diffusion of the OpenStreetMap in STEM education

Steven J.H. Shiau, Chi Yo Huang*, Chia Lee Yang, Jer Nan Juang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Geographic information is a confluence of knowledge from spatial science, information technologies, engineering, and mathematics, etc. Effective spatial training can enhance achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Therefore, the geographic information system (GIS) plays a daily role in modern STEM education. Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) is characterized by the openness of the geographic information being generated and accumulated by volunteers. Within the VGI sphere, OpenStreetMap (OSM) is one of the most well-known VGI due to its openness, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and web-based mapping capability, making it one of the best alternatives for use as the mapping application for STEM education. However, very few or no prior works have investigated the factors influencing the innovation diffusion of OSM in STEM education. Therefore, to fill this gap, this work aims to investigate these factors. To achieve this purpose, the authors have defined an analytic framework based on innovation diffusion theory (IDT) and the technology acceptance model (TAM). The factors influencing students' acceptance and intention to continue using and diffusing OSM in STEM education will be investigated. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to confirm the hypothesized IDT-TAM integrated model. An empirical study based on sample data collected from 145 Taiwanese undergraduate and graduate students from engineering-related institutes was used to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed analytic framework and to derive the factors related to the adoption and diffusion of OSM in STEM education. The proposed theoretical framework forged in this study was proven to be successful. Based on the empirical study results, ease of use, observability, and compatibility are the most influential factors in OSM diffusion. Therefore, activities that enhance the ease of use, observability, and compatibility of OSM should be emphasized so that STEM students' perception of the usefulness of the technology and their perceived attitude towards it leads to the intention to continue the use of OSM. The analytic results can serve as a foundation for the design, development, and accelerated adoption and diffusion of OSM in STEM education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3447
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 27


  • Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM)
  • Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT)
  • OpenStreetMap (OSM)
  • Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM)
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)
  • Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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