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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.