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My presentation about CROWDMAPPING BETWEEN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PROSUMPTION for ESA consumption 2016 conference

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  1. 1. Crowdmapping between prosumerism and civic engagement
  2. 2. Geographer Michael Goodchild name it Volunteered GeographicIinformation (VGI) and talks about Citizens as sensors (Goodchild, 2007) The convergence of GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies, user-generated content on the Internet is generating a remarkable new form of geographic information VGI ranges from: l SNS (Social Networks Sites) tags l SNS based on georeferencing (Foursquare) l Tripadvisor reviews l Photo management and sharing application (Flickr) l To Crowdmapping and Google mapping Volounteered Geography Information: what's about There's also an unvolounteered geography which is about all the geographic information We produce whenever we allow, sometimes without even being aware, location-based App to track our movement (provided that your GPS on the phone is swithed on)
  3. 3. Crowdmapping: what's about Crowdmapping is a collaborative maps made through a Wiki process. Crowdmapping application can classified as shown below: 1. Those ones which use as base-layer Google Maps (recently some of them started using OpenStreetMap as base-layer), through Google API (Application Programming Interface), to visualize and locate object, phenomena, initiatives, activities, etc.(for example Ushaidi projects); Lower geographic skills (in these cases mapping mostly means putting a marker on an already existing map (quite often Google Maps) and/or annotations, pictures, ect. 2. Virtual Atlas like Wikimapia; Average geographic skills (in this case mapping means creating geographic features or simply uploading pictures and/or annotations) 3. Those which count on users knowledge to draw cartographic layers, such as OpenStreetMap. Higher geographic skills (in this case mapping ranges from uploading annotations, proposing a tag, until creating concrete geographic features by means of specific procedures)
  4. 4. ●Through Crowdmapping for the first time ever we can have a look at the world from bottom-up and not, as with classic cartography happens, top-down. And it's a look by many citizens, then more reliable, with less mistakes, with many point of view. ●Crowdmaps can represent a counterpower to the institutionalized storytelling.
  5. 5. We're witnessing in most of western coutries: l Political disillusion l Scarce political participation l Politcal parties crisis l Societies Neoliberism-focused l Ever less participation in association (cultural, religious, political, ect.) On the other hand: l Ever more form of mediated citizenship l New public sphere l New espressions of civic engagement General frame
  6. 6. The research Qualitative approach 1. Desk analysis: Netnography implemented through a: ✔ Participant observation (as a lurker) ✔ Case studies ✔ Interviews to crowdmapping opinion leader and experts and crowdmapping platform founders 2. Interviews to crowdmappers 3. Conclusions Research question: Can crowdmapping be an expression and a way to foster civic engagement?
  7. 7. Interviews to crowdmapping opinion leader and experts “OpenStreetmap communities are like an archipelago” “Validation procedures in Google Maps take a long time and are very strict” “Google is a capitalist who's able to create an economy based on sharecropping of the feud it owns” “Newcomers quite often leave after the first mapping party (OSM)” “OSMappers are like a sect, they don't want to even hear about Google” “i think most of crowdmappers believe no matter what: either Google or OSM, most important thing is reaching the objective” “Very few women among crowdmappers....i don't know how come” “It's undoubtely a form of civic engagement, even though quite often crowdmappers Participate to have fun, sometimes to compete....” “In my opinion crowdmapping is a kind of 'egoism-altruism'” “Digital divide is a big issue in developing countries....somehow also in developed countries Since many people don't know how to effectively use the Internet”
  8. 8. “All the 'DIY' (do it yourself) creates cohesion, when people collaborate to reach an objective collectively, group cohesion increases, that's why also social capital increases. Nevertheless, in case of extremely professional activities, such as those demanded by HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap), no relationships are created, social capital neither”
  9. 9. Case studies ➢ HarrasMap ➢ OSM (HOT and Missing Map Project) ➢ Crowdmapping Mirafiori-sud ➢ Mappi-Na ➢ Hushaidi Burundi ➢ Crowdmapping Mirafiori-sud ➢ Fix my Street Case studies have been analysed by means of: Participant observation + project founders interviews
  10. 10. Netnography: participant observation (FB groups and Twitter account and hashtag) “Brilliant, great to see the % figure rising so rapidly. It is really encouraging. What next?” “Congratulations guys, this is so useful!” xxxxx: how can i work with this projects?please help me how? Missing Maps Project: Hi, check out to learn how to map, and to see if there are any mapping events near you! “Yes, I will tonight after my job and tomorrow too. Amazing project. Thanks” Hi @gregorymarler, this will be the first @MSF #MapSwipe task that directly feeds the tasking manager. Really excited to see how it works!
  11. 11. Netnography: participant observation “We are working to engage all of Egyptian society to create an environment that does not tolerate sexual harassment”. “I write and express my concerns and my thoughts without fear of the interpretation of the words or the core, the first thing that needs the idea of feminism” “An advice for the girls: The most important thing is when you're walking in the street be up on the sidewalk and not under the sidewalk and side cars I see like many times I see someone who knocks girl sensitive areas, while when he was riding a motorcycle
  12. 12. Netnography: participant observation “Neaples is a special place...."Are you sue that culture doesn't make economy..." Mapper: gbarbaro06 “Neaples is worldwide know for being the most beautiful and the most dirty as well...I wanna show off to the world and to my fellow citizens that's not like this... “
  13. 13. Just reported obscene grafitti about and hour and a half ago; walking back home the grafs are gone- well done to the FixMyStreet team and well done to Lewisham council! Kay Thomas Kay Thomas Just reported flytipping but was then sent email from council making me report it on their website too. So double the work for me Betty Edwards Betty Edwards This rubbish has been here two weeks or more,and more added to it, it is on the canal path, reddish bridge gorton. M18 7 JF FixMyStreet Hi Betty, if you'd like to report this to your local council, please go to and input your postcode. from there you can click on the map to show the exact positioning, and the report will go to the right council to deal with it.
  14. 14. Crowdmapping Mirafiori-sud “We firstly tried to tackle digital divide in the area, especially with th help of interaction between Younger and older citizens (digital litieracy)...a part from it, i think the main reason why project Succeded was because people got a feedback and concrete commitment by Municipality”
  15. 15. Ushaidi Burundi
  16. 16. Crowdmappers interviews “Crowdmapping is a way to know more about my surrounding” “Crowdmapping is using the power of many people who can be working from different locations and at different times to build better maps remotely” “I crowdmap to boost the local knowledge on the Internet “It's a mutual help” “There are many of us all over the world with some time and with the skills and the interest to help out” “I make it for fun, yep, basically for fun” “Because i need to map all the facilities in town that i usually use” “I had to learn some mapping skills to be part of HOT and OSM” “Google is a private company, and the data is owned by Google” “By myself” “Sometimes we have different option on certain issues. But we still know we have a common goal” “In general I think the purposes I am most interested in helping are best served by open databases, but not necessarily”
  17. 17. In your opinion, which are main factors that eased dissemination of crowdmapping and which are those that can further ease the spreading? “Simple access. simple tools and banning people with bad intentions” “increasing use of mobile phones, increasing online gaming interest. To further ease the spreading - more news and word of mouth” “The main thing in crowdmapping is crowds. The technical part is easy. If you cannot gather and get crowd involved, then there is no map. So, the main element there is to generate enough enthusiasm around an issue, an event or a cause, and sustain it for a period of time” Which factors prevent crowdmapping to develop? “Spare time is limited” “local ignorance and lethargy” “Time, privacy and knowledge” “1. concerns of privacy 2. the unequal distribution of internet/mobile access in places that need the mapping the most” “The lack of a crowd, which is to say the lack of a clear cause and dissemination plan”
  18. 18. In your opinion, how come some geographic areas are more mapped, by means of crowdmapping, than others? “It depends on Internet penetration. The more urban and online connect place, the more the people there will involve in crowdmapping. The open source and open content movement is also a key factor” “more people interested and involved in mapping and better cooperation with regional leaders” “Knowledge and team mutual help” “Crowds are vital. So there are factors, such as the level of freedom in an area or the presence of a critical mass of crowdmappers and bloggers or the level of access to mobile technologies, etc. that can determine how crowdmapped a concrete area is .
  19. 19. “Mapping for Google is like volounteering for Coca-Cola” “I normally do it by myself” “Once in a while i take part in mapping parties (OSM), though i map whenever I have the chance to do it and by myself” “I don't participate to any typical political actions, neither do i've been member of political Or cultural association. I don't vote, but i think that promoting Open Source Movement is itself making politics”
  20. 20. Conclusions (?) Participation and mediated citizenship Crowdmapping Platform represent an environment between public sphere and private sphere, between politically oriented participation and simple conversation (Chadwick, 2009) Media as a way to give voice to a group to express collective identity (Dahlgren, 2012) Cultural citizenship (Hermes, 2007) Civic cultures (cultural resources) > Civic agency (Dahlgren2012) Political path concerning civil society: freely associate to reach common goals (Fandom, wikis, citizen journalism) (Dahlgren, 2009) Weak ties (Granovetter) through which strangers become reciprocally visible, at different levels, with the objective to cooperate There are many ways to be citizens. Civic identities are variable and broad-spectrum. They evolve by means of civic cultures which are heterogeneous in relation to the social environment (including the Internet) and the institutional mechanism. (Dahlgren, 2009)
  21. 21. Mass individualism lead to considering participation from another perspective: a private or cultural partecipation aiming at self- promoting Minimalist form of participation (Carpentier) There's participation only when a co-decision process is ongoing (it can be concerned with contents, policy and/or technologies) or in case of subverting of producer decisions, such as hacking practices (Lievrouw 2011). Participation and mediated citizenship Networked individualism(Wellman, Castells) Solo-sphere (Dahlgren, 2012) Socio-individual knowledge building process >empowerment Participation more extensive than intensive (Rivolsi, 2014) Participation depends on sociality (for example mapping party is a sociality practice which support and strenghten and express a sens of community) (Dahlgren)
  22. 22. We can see clearly a digital new media culture feature like an immediate sens of the “belonging” as feeling part of a group one get in touch with and with which share interests and causes (mediated participation) Relationships as affiliates rather than members. Personal options in ways to engage and express themselves. Personalized collective action formations in which digital media become integral organizational parts (Bennet, 2008). Participation and mediated citizenship
  23. 23. Digital divide (inequalities) (Van Dijk, Bentivegna, 2010) l Access l Social capital l Cultural capital (Communication skills) l Civic practices and communication skills get togheter different form of civic identity
  24. 24. Prosumption l Prosumer Capitalism (Ritzer, 2010) l Privacy l Googlization of the knowledge (Vaidhyanathan, 2013) Tactics and strategies (de Certau)Open vs Closed
  25. 25. Still, life politics, civic hacking and new form of participation involving more acitve players can activte new movements. We shouldn't have, on this regard,too many expectations as Arab Spring proved (Dahlgren) Strong civic identity implies a political actor enabled to tackle power structures (Lievrow) According to Lievrouw interactivity and participation are synonimous (both in terms of media contents consumption and relations with others we got in touch with) However Lievrouw underlines «cultural fragmentation and radical subjectivity of postmodernity, the only tenable way forward for politicai activism is smaller, episodic, nomadic, rapid-response moments of "resistance", not revolution».
  26. 26. Thank you for your attention Umberto Mezzacapo For any further questions/info/whatever