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UGIC 2009 Conference


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Public Participatory GIS: Empowering Communities using Google Maps API
Presented at UGIC 2009 Conference, Midway, UT

Published in: Education, Technology
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UGIC 2009 Conference

  1. 1. Public Participatory GIS Empowering Communities with Google Maps API Dr. Wansoo Im VERTICES, LLC UGIC 2009 Conference Midway, UT
  2. 3. GIS in Public Participation <ul><li>The ability to produce maps creates tremendous power for community groups through effective visualization </li></ul><ul><li>Maps are attractive, can provide clarification to community problems, and are more likely to draw the attention of important government officials to issues </li></ul><ul><li>(Craig et al. 2002; Seiber et al. 2002; IAPAD 2007) </li></ul>March 2009
  3. 4. Five Components of GIS Source:
  4. 5. Five Components of GIS Source:
  5. 6. Where 2.0 <ul><li>Technology (Hardware & Software) </li></ul><ul><li>Access to Data </li></ul><ul><li>Public and Involvement in GIS </li></ul><ul><li>Participation (Process) </li></ul><ul><li>Each component is closely related to the others, and continuously influencing the others. For example , the level of public participation is influenced by accessibility to technology and data, and ease of the use </li></ul>March 2009
  6. 7. Interoperability “ capability to communicate, execute programs, or transfer data among various functional units in a manner that requires the user to have little or no knowledge of the unique characteristics of those units” Source: OGC Abstract Specification Topic 12: Services. Derived from ISO 2382-1.
  7. 8. GIS Example in Watershed Organizations
  8. 9. What has changed?
  9. 12. Advantages of Internet Mapping <ul><li>The Internet mapping application is customized to the needs of the organization. Instead of being tailored for a general GIS data viewer, the application is designed to display historical water monitoring data. </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet mapping technology does not require intensive training . </li></ul><ul><li>Since most people are familiar with using an Internet browser, accessing a mapping application via a web browser encounters little user resistance . Therefore, the application promotes productivity and gains more value. </li></ul>
  10. 13. Advantages of Internet Mapping <ul><li>Public participation is encouraged by sharing information in a visual, non-intimidating and attractive format. </li></ul><ul><li>No installation or upkeep of any software or data is required by the organization or end user. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy data updates and maintenance can be performed via a web browser. </li></ul><ul><li>The organization and its constituency increases the number of GIS data users , which supports continued development by the source agencies. </li></ul>
  11. 14. Traditional Internet Mapping Requirements <ul><li>Design scope of the application </li></ul><ul><li>License Internet mapping software </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure access to a reliable server </li></ul><ul><li>Process GIS data layers to put into application, and </li></ul><ul><li>Train organization staff to manage and update site content </li></ul>
  12. 21. Benefits of Google Maps API <ul><li>Time and resources previously necessary to create aerial photos and basic street map layers are eliminated. </li></ul><ul><li>Lower entry barrier to GIS due to time and cost reduction. </li></ul><ul><li>Server requirements for hosting only the community specific data is minimal and performance </li></ul><ul><li>The application can be easily duplicated for other organizations with similar project scopes. </li></ul><ul><li>People are already familiar with Google Maps . There is less reluctance to using the application and less time required for orientation to the tasks of data entry and upkeep. </li></ul>
  13. 22. IMRivers (Interactive Mapping Rivers) ‏ An Internet Mapping Portal for Watershed Communities
  14. 23. <ul><li>Interactive mapping web portal designed for watershed and river environmental conservation groups </li></ul><ul><li>The project was conceived and developed by several environmental organizations with VERTICES when Dr. Im was invited to present the potential of Google Maps API for watershed organizations at the Alabama River Conference on March 7, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>The initial IMRivers project for Alabama was funded by the World Wildlife Fund via River Network </li></ul>
  15. 37. GIS Web Services USGS NJDEP GIS Application NOAA Google NJDOT
  16. 38. USGS NJDEP GIS Application NOAA Google NJDOT GIS Web Services (Web 2.0) ‏
  17. 45. Lessons… <ul><li>Environmental conservation groups are fully aware of GIS and its potential to achieve their missions, but cost and technical difficulty of traditional GIS poses a barrier to smaller groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Maps API applications enable small non-profit environmental groups to utilizing interactive GIS-like mapping with almost no (or negligible) entry cost. </li></ul><ul><li>Custom applications can be built without any GIS knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Applications can be developed for a specific group by utilizing any existing or publicly available GIS data which can be easily duplicated for other groups. </li></ul>
  18. 46. <ul><li>Data collected by each member can be shared and utilized by the organization and communicated to government, public entities, and to other watershed organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Data will be geo-tagged automatically and metadata can be entered making it more valuable as a time-stamped and reusable record. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages public participation and education through visual communication of information and allowing them to participate easily in data collection. </li></ul>Lessons…
  19. 59. Benefits of the Project <ul><li>Raising community awareness of walking and biking </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting physical activity by providing safer and more pleasant walking and biking environments </li></ul><ul><li>Helping community to assess needs and set priorities to make our streets and sidewalks safer </li></ul><ul><li>By promoting walking and biking, we are reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption by relying less on automobiles and buses </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting public participation and community pride . </li></ul>
  20. 64. Story by Jess from (
  21. 66. Mobile GIS
  22. 67. &quot;Connecting People and Connecting Communities&quot;    - Empowering the Public and Communities with GIS Technology -
  23. 68. Wansoo Im, Ph.D. email: