News & Blog

Resources for open source mapping — especially community participation

Posted on November 16, 2007

[As far as I’m concerned, the effective transformation of community knowledge to mapped information resource a vital need in most community development work. The resources developed by Giacomo Rambaldi under the IAPAD and PPGIS marks are OUTSTANDING. bp]

From: “Giacomo Rambaldi” issue, 15 November 2007

Editor: Giacomo Rambaldi

Tim Allen: Whose Knowledge Counts?

London School of Economics & Political Science, undated

Tim Allen interviews Robert Chambers about his work and influence. Several critical voices are also heard, drawing attention to the limitations with the participatory strategies he has so successfully promoted.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap is a wiki-like project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.

“Overall we want to enable users of mapping data to also be contributors, from reporting errors to doing full surveys.” said Steve Coast, one of the founders of the OpenStreetMap project.

Congo pygmies go high-tech to protect forest home

DAKAR (Reuters) – 17 October 2007

When Congo Republic’s northern pygmies go out into the forest these days, some will be carrying hand-held satellite tracking devices along with their traditional bows and spears. Using GPS handsets to pinpoint sacred sites and hunting areas, the nomadic forest dwellers are literally putting themselves on the map to protect their livelihoods and habitat against the chainsaws and bulldozers of commercial loggers.

M.A.P.S Alberta Capital Region Receives Award

Spatial News (press release) – Niceville, FL, USA

M.A.P.S. (Mapping and Planning Support) Alberta Capital Region was presented with an Award of Excellence at ESRI Canada’s Regional User Conference in Edmonton today. Mark Kachmar, Account Manager, ESRI Canada, presented the Award in recognition of M.A.P.S. Alberta Capital Region’s successful implementation of GIS to support social service planning.

Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) receives the 2007 World Summit Award

in the category Blog, November 09, 2007

On November 5, 2007 at a ceremony which took place during the Global Forum 2007 at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy, the CTA-supported project Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) for Resource Use, Development Planning and Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in Fiji was given the World Summit Award 2007 in the category e-culture. The product has been considered as one of the 40 best practice examples of quality e-Content in the world. The project has been jointly implemented by the following organisations:

  • Fiji Locally-Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) Network,
  • WWF South Pacific Programme,
  • Native Lands Trust Board,
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community,
  • National Trust of Fiji,
  • Lomaiviti Provincial Council and the
  • Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA).

Participatory GIS — a people’s GIS? Blog, November 15, 2007

Recent years have witnessed a burgeoning of applications of GIS which grant legitimacy to indigenous geographical knowledge as well as to `official’ spatial data. By incorporating various forms of community participation these newer framings of Geographical Information Systems as `Participatory GIS’ (PGIS) offer a response to the critiques of GIS which were prevalent in the 1990s. This paper reviews PGIS in the context of the `democratization of GIS’.

It explores aspects of the control and ownership of geographical information, representations of local and indigenous knowledge, scale and scaling up, web-based approaches and some potential future technical and academic directions.

The Open Forum on Participatory Geographic Information Systems and Technologies is managed by and hosted by www.ppgis.netPGIS, PPGIS and community mapping bibliography is found at

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