By Nora Fagerholm, María García-Martín, Mario Torralba, Claudia Bieling and Tobias Plieninger
What is encompassed by public participation geographical information systems? What resources are required? What are the strengths and weaknesses of involving stakeholders?
Participatory mapping combines cartography with participatory approaches to put the knowledge, experiences, and aspirations of people on a map. Under this umbrella term, public participation geographical information systems refers to the use of geographical information systems (GIS) and modern communication technologies to engage the general public and stakeholders in participatory planning and decision-making.
In practice, the terms public participation GIS and participatory GIS are often used interchangeably to:
- identify place-based values, perceptions, or attitudes, such as landscape values, ecosystem services, environmental quality factors, perceived problems or unpleasant experiences;
- analyse spatial behaviour of people, most notably everyday practices and activities, such as mobility patterns, routes travelled, or places visited;
- communicate preferences or visions about future land use;
- gather place-based observations through so-called geographic citizen science, such as trail networks or wildlife observations.