PPGIS: From desktop to the GeoWeb


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Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) defines a practice where GIS technology and methods are used in support of public participation and decision making in a number of domain applications (Sieber, 2000). PPGIS is viewed as a top-down process where a central authority identifies a problem, the stakeholders and the best way to address it (Ghose, 2007). Current advances in the GeoWeb are challenging the top-down purview of PPGIS in that more citizens are directly engaging with tools that enable the collection and communication of place-based knowledge by non-experts. This emerging process raises pertinent questions, including: How is knowledge of place expressed, and to what extent is it relevant to PPGIS? This talk will highlight local research that centered on Edmonton’s river valley trail network where 17 informants were interviewed regarding their knowledge of place, in addition to their collection and communication of place-based information. This research will address the crowdsourcing of such information through the GeoWeb as a means of replacing traditional, authority controlled, PPGIS processes. We will demonstrate that individuals possess a complex, detailed and nuanced understanding of place. And, finally, we will discuss the current limits and future trends of the GeoWeb’s ability to capture that depth of understanding.

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  • Matthew DanceRecent MA grad in Geography from the UofA
  • Lynch was perhaps one of the first to use crowdsourced data in his research. He compiled mental maps of Boston, New York and Jersy City that were derived from interviews with people who lived within those cities. This could represent the first PPGIS
  • Themes such as:IsolationGetting away from it allConnecting with peopleDeeply personal and varied.
  • Thematic clusters around:Sports and recreation activitiesActivity routesImpressions of placeMemories of placeSpecial placesNotions of power relative to place
  • The main thing to see in this list is that many of these applications rely on OPEN DATA and CROWDSOURCED DATA for their operation. OSM crowdsources data to populate their base map, Ushahidi and crisis maps for their content. Sensitive content. BUT REALLY, is crowdsourced data a viable business opportunity?MAP BOX -- Data journalismWAZE - Traffic mappingThe addition of applications like Flickr, twitter and FB attempts to gain access to those data that are more qualitative – how a person feels about a place,
  • I support MapBox with a monthly subscription because they contribute to the OSM project AND they make beautiful maps. It is a matter of business for them.
  • The combination of these plus other emerging location based technologies will set the stage for a digital infrastructure that will define, in part, a new way of making places that goes beyond check-ins and maps that locate businesses and restaurant reviews.These data will be crowdsoucred and verified by …. The crowd.
  • PPGIS: From desktop to the GeoWeb

    1. 1. Public Participation GIS: From the Desktop to the GeoWeb. Matthew Dance
    2. 2. Purpose To connect the rich human geography tradition of place-based enquiry to the emerging GeoWeb. 1. How is knowledge of place expressed? 2. How is this relevant to PPGIS?
    3. 3. Talk Overview 1. Context: Overview 15 years of PPGIS. 2. My MA research: Place based communication via emerging tech. 3. Bringing these two related themes together. 4. Current and future trends in location based collaboration.
    4. 4. Do you recall…? Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City, 1960
    5. 5. PPGIS the early years… A practice where GIS technology and methods are used in support of public participation and decision making in a number of domain applications (Sieber, 2000). • Top down & authority driven • NOT collaborative • Concerned with problems defined by authorities • Stakeholders are to be mined for data
    6. 6. Diagram of a Collaborative Spatial Methodology From Balram and Dragicevic (2006)
    7. 7. Mapping, Mashups, and Beyond Early 2000’s – Basic web maps such as MapQuest. 2005 – Launch of Google Earth (now at over 1 billion downloads). 2005 + - Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) via hand held smart phones and the Internet of Things where inanimate objects talk to each other (i.e. Air Quality Sensors).
    8. 8. What is ‘place’? Place is defined as being comprised of three dimensions (after Relph, 1976): 1. Observable activities that occur in relation to the location; 2. The meanings that are created by a person in that location, and; 3. The physical features that comprise the location’s concrete or tangible attributes.
    9. 9. Methods • Qualitative Methodology • Case Study Method – Semi-structured interviews (N=17) • Mental Maps • Place and space • The GeoWeb – Discourse analysis of transcripts – Primary on-line sources such as Facebook & Garmin Connect
    10. 10. Results: Mental Maps
    11. 11. There was a path in the woods there, and we call that Moonies run because our teacher, Mr. Moonie, lived right there. My friend played guitar and I played guitar, and we used to take our amps, carry our amps across back and forth across the river. At this point here right in the middle of the bridge was we deemed that as perfectly half way, so we would say, ‘Okay, I’ll meet you on the bridge’. But yeah, I spent a lot of time down there, in Gold Bar. Chris Results: Nuanced Understanding
    12. 12. Results: Data Generation Web Mobile Data Types Evan Garmin Connect, Facebook Garmin Forerunner GPS trace, heart rate, time, distance, elevation. Megan Google Earth Garmin eTrex, iPhone GPS trace, video, photos, GE fly through visualization Isabel Google Earth, Map my run Garmin Forerunner GPS trace, time, distance Chris Running map Garmin Forerunner GPS trace, time, distance John OSM Garmin eTrex GPS trace, line, polygons
    13. 13. Results: Data Communication Evan Garmin Connect: Facebook:
    14. 14. Results Summary Q1: How is knowledge of place expressed? 1. People have a detailed and nuanced understanding of place. 2. Current tech does not capture this variation and nuance. 3. Current tech is good at point-line-polygon- real-time types of quantitative data.
    15. 15. So what? Q2: How is this relevant to PPGIS?
    16. 16. PPGIS is dead…long live PPGIS Citizen Participation Open (geo) Data Open Code GeoWeb Crowd map Crisis Maps Google Maps ESRI Story Map Ushahidi MapBox & TileMill WAZE Plan Your Place OpenStreetMap Flickr Twitter Facebook
    17. 17. WAZE “The point is Waze didn’t just create a static navigable map, it created a real-time (crowdsourced) representation of the current state of roads.” Via gigaom.com Google recently bought WAZE for 1 billion USD.
    18. 18. Haiti Crisis Map Edits
    19. 19. OSM iD Editor
    20. 20. CSV>Q>TileMill Global News FOIPP CSV Oil Spill Data QGIS TileMill
    21. 21. MapBox
    22. 22. New PPGIS paradigm Upside • Bottom up • User driven • Define issues – Who is needed to address – Best way to address • Realtime data • Push notifacations • Open data / software • Crowdsourced data and information Downside • Digital divide • Knowledge of code a + • Literate • Access to computers • Understanding of data • Still lacking access to nuanced understanding of place…..
    23. 23. Situating citizens: Who is a ‘place’ expert? "Given a large enough beta-tester and co- developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix will be obvious to someone." Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 1999
    24. 24. Place-based Digital Infrastructure
    25. 25. Thank you Matthew Dance, M.A. Geographer @mattdance matt@matthewdance.ca 780.554.9222