Michael. 1998. Public Participation GIS - Barriers to Implementation. Cartography
and Geographic Information Systems 25 (2):105-112.
The article provides a
broad-ranging discussion about assumptions and criticisms regarding the
use of GIS for public participation for policy decisions. Arguments
regarding its use focus on the reality that software and hardware are
only part of the equation. Barndt observes that “Although GIS is often
mistaken for map making, the “I” for “Information” is the most
important part of the acronym (106). Creating an atmosphere that
encourages public participation and does not privilege some groups over
others, finding the appropriate combination of lay and expert use of GIS
technology, and incorporating different ways of knowing the world to
reduce the positivistic, data driven tendency of GIS are among the
Carver, Steve. 2003. The
Future of Participatory Approaches to Using Geographic Information:
Developing a Research Agency for the 21st Centry. URISA Journal
15 (1):61-71. http://www.urisa.org/journal_vol15no1APA
examines dynamics that work for and against democratic/participatory
decision making and the role played by geographic information. He does
so by utilizing a strategic planning standby: SWOT (an inventory of
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Elements such as
locality, scale and the spatial nature of issues all influence public
interest in participatory decision making and the role of GIS.
Capitalizing on findings from his SWOT as a frame of reference, the
author provides guidelines for a recommended participatory GIS research
Jonathan Corbett, C. Peter Keller, and Colin J. B. Wood. 2004.
Indigenous Knowledge, Mapping, and GIS: A Diffusion of Innovation
Perspective. Cartographica 39 (2001/2004):19-31.
examine the literature and arguments regarding the western/Cartesian
nature of GIS and indigenous ways of knowing the world, noting, “What
appears to be missing from the published debate is why and how GIS are
introduced to Indigenous peoples, as well as a critical review of how
Indigenous peoples are implementing and learning to work with GIS” (p.
20). Relying on a prevailing theory regarding diffusion of innovation,
the authors explore the ongoing debate regarding the suitability of GIS
as a mapping instrument for Indigenous populations and make
recommendations for a research agenda and for practice.
Corbett, Jon M., and C.
Peter Keller. 2005. An Analytical Framework to Examine Empowerment
Associated with Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS). Cartographica
debate in the realm of PGIS concerns its potential capacity to empower
otherwise disadvantaged or marginalized groups in decision making
processes. The authors put forth the argument that definitions of
empowerment are vague and that the means for analyzing evidence of
empowerment is lacking. After reviewing the relevant literature and
developing two empowerment definitions, empowerment and empowerment
capacity, Corbett and Keller present a prototype two-dimensional
framework. The framework analyzes both individual and community
empowerment utilizing four empowerment catalysts: Information, process,
skills and tools.
Craig, William J., Trevor
M. Harris, and Daniel Weiner, eds. 2002. Community Participation
and Geographic Systems. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.
book presents research and perspectives in three major parts: a
history and overview of PPGIS, case studies in the
and abroad, and multiple outlooks regarding the future of PPGIS. The
sections provide a spectrum of examples and viewpoints regarding PPGIS
that speak to its breadth of use and potential as well as its ongoing
challenges. The editors identify six core themes in research and
practice to date that can also inform future efforts to apply and
understand PPGIS. They include differential access to geographic
information and technology; integration and representation of different
realities regarding landscapes; identifying potential GIS project
beneficiaries; developing methodologies that facilitate inclusive, local
participation in spatial decision making; positioning PPGIS in its
local political context; and identifying community GIS contributions to
geography and GIScience.
Drew, Christina. 2003.
Transparency - Considerations for PPGIS Research and Development. URISA
Journal 15 (1):73-78.
Transparency is a significant
issue in public participation; stakeholders want to understand how
decisions are arrived at. The author’s involvement in the
environmentally complex process of cleaning up the Hanford site, a
former plutonium production facility in Washington state, led to an
exploration of what is meant by transparency. Despite frequent use of
the term in existing environmental and decision making literature, there
has been no existing framework or set of performance measures for
evaluating transparency in public participation processes. Synthesis of
the literature on transparency yielded seven components that the author
and others used to create The Decision Mapping System (DMS) for the
Hanford cleanup. Drew suggests that further research on the issue of
transparency is important to PPGIS—what it means, how it should be
measured in different contexts, and its importance relative to other
Duncan, Sally L., and
Denise H. Lach. 2006. Privileged Knowledge and Social Change: Effects
on Different Participants of Using Geographic Information Systems
Technology in Natural Resource Management. Environmental Management
become a preferred technology for analyzing and presenting
landscape-scale natural resource issues to diverse audiences. The
authors present an exploratory case study utilizing purposive sampling
among four different groups involved in the Coastal Landscape Analysis
Modeling Study in western
. They investigate how the groups—scientist and mapmaker, nonscientist
as map user, agency manager as both maker and user, and social
scientist—perceived the importance of using GIS technology and how
they interacted with the maps. The article discusses the tensions
between two key features revealed in the study: the paradigm of
technological and scientific legitimacy that casts GIS as an instrument
favoring privileged knowledge, and technology as socially constructed,
thereby allowing GIS to be influenced and changed away from current
power dynamics inherent in the presumption of scientific and
Elwood, Sarah. 2006.
Negotiating Knowledge Production: The Everyday Inclusions, Exclusions,
and Contradictions of Participatory GIS Research. The Professional
Geographer 58 (2):197-208.
The author argues that
positioning PPGIS inquiry more solidly within research on participatory
processes can fill an existing research gap: how representation and
participation in knowledge production for shared decision-making efforts
is negotiated. Describing her experiences with Chicago’s Humboldt Park
GIS Project, the author explores the dynamics of who participates, how
their differing priorities influence what types of information are
incorporated into decision making and how that information is accessed
Cultural and Institutional Conditions for Using Geographic
Information; Access and Participation. URISA Journal 15:29-33. http://www.urisa.org/journal_vol15no1APA
examines the influence of culture and institutions on access to, and use
of, geographic information and GIS. He provides a diagram showing the
relationships among culture and institutions, participation, spatial
problem solving, and GIS and geographic information. He also provides a
framework illuminating four common dimensions of national culture which
can affect access to, and participatory use of, geographic information:
Power distance (hierarchical structures), individualism versus
collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, and uncertainty avoidance.
While access is necessary and can facilitate participation in the use of
geographic information, access alone is insufficient to ensure that it
occurs. Incorporating examination of cultural and institutional
arrangements can enrich understanding regarding the nexus of access and
participation in PPGIS.
Timothy Nyerges. 2001. Geographic Information Systems for Group
Decision Making. New York: Taylor & Francis Inc.
The book is synthesis of the
authors’ research on aspects of what they refer to as participatory
geographic information science. Jankowski and Nyerges seek to fill the
theoretical gap between GIS development and GIS use by balancing writing
on theory, methodology and empirical research on PGIS. The goal of the
book is to expand the conceptual foundation of PGIS and to provide
practical strategies and techniques for collaborative problem solving
entailing spatial decision making. The authors develop Enhanced Adaptive
Structuration Theory 2 (EAST2) as a theoretical framework to formulate
hypotheses regarding use of participatory GIS and to help users make
assessments regarding GIS based decision support needs.
Kyem, Peter A. Kwaku.
2001/2004. Power, Participation, and Inflexible Instititons: An
Examination of the Challenges to Community Empowerment in
Participatory GIS Applications. Cartographica 38
The purported empowerment of
underprivileged groups has a distinct place in discussions of PGIS. The
author writes that there is significant uncertainty regarding whether or
not fundamental cultural and institutional changes are occurring in ways
that facilitate empowerment. He suggests that PGIS is still new enough
that empowerment is difficult to gauge, in part because empowerment is
incremental over a long time horizon. Kyem provides insights on
empowerment associated with a PGIS project for forest management in
southern Ghana that began in the early 1990s. The project had ceased to
function by the time the author revisited the site in 2001 due to a
number of cultural and institutional reasons. The PGIS effort placed new
demands on the people involved and threatened existing power structures.
The ability of inflexible institutions to keep underprivileged
communities from participating in decision making that might help them
makes PGIS all the more compelling; however, finding ways to implement
such programs will likely continue to be a challenge.
Schlossberg, Marc and
Elliot Shuford. 2005. Delineating "Public" and
"Participation" in PPGIS. URISA Journal 16 (2):
PPGIS, as with other joint
decision processes, can encourage citizen engagement as part of the
wider trend replacing expert-driven, top-down decision making. The
authors note that there are inconsistencies in how practitioners and
scholars utilize the term PPGIS across uses and applications. They
contend that, to optimize the use of GIS for civic engagement, there
needs to be a clearer understanding of what is meant by “public” and
“participation” are they relate to GIS utilization. They provide
background on the two terms and present a two-plane matrix to help users
and researchers provide a more methodical and deliberate context for
Sieber, Renee. 2006.
Public Participation Geographic Information Systems: A Literature
Review and Framework. Annals of the Association of American
Geographers 96 (3):491-507.
The article provides a
comprehensive view of PPGIS—its origins, potential, criticisms and
evolution to date. It also provides a discussion of the difference
between PPGIS and PGIS and the current campaign to merge the two
perspectives and practices under a single acronym. The author develops a
framework for PPGIS—one that is “mutually constituted through
numerous perspectives” (p. 494). Sieber develops the framework, which
can serve as a guide for PPGIS research and practice as well as a means
for evaluating current efforts, through a literature review comprising
four major themes: place and people, technology and data, process, and
outcome and evaluation.
Talen, Emily. 2000.
Bottom-Up GIS. Journal of The American Planning Association 66
The trend in
community planning has been toward more democratic decision making based
on participatory, communicative processes. Talen points to the tendency
of GIS to proscribe certain types of communication. Its technical data
capture and analysis features tend to favor top down informing and
concurrence. It can, however, be a tool for bottom-up planning, helping
citizens to reframe typical GIS questions that take advantage of local
knowledge, perceptions and preferences. Referring to this approach as
BUGIS, or Bottom-Up GIS, the author uses two visioning events in
to illustrate how to conduct a BUGIS process for community and