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Community-based production of geographic information using open source software and Web 2.0

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This article presents an innovative approach to citizen-led production of Web-based geographic information where new and/or existing digital map features are linked to annotations or commentary and citizens engage in synchronous and/or asynchronous discussion. The article discusses the relationship of the approach to public participation geographic information systems (PPGISs) and the emerging challenges associated with volunteered geographic information. A custom-developed, open source software tool named MapChat is used to facilitate the citizen inputs and discussions. The information generated from applying the approach through a series of community workshops is presented and discussed in light of current issues in PPGIS and volunteered geographic information research.
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Keywords: Web GIS; geographic information systems; open source software; public participation GIS; volunteered geographic information

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Surveying, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand 2: School of Environmental Planning and Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, Canada 3: School of Planning, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada 4: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada 5: Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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