Public Participation Visualization: Conceptual and Applied Research Issues

Originally prepared as a Presentation and Poster for 1998 Association of American Geographers Conference.

Geographic visualization (GVIS) is conceptualized as predominantly private map use involving high human-map interaction and exploratory analyses. GVIS Research has focused on particular users and applications: highly skilled scientists engaged in scientific research using advanced computing technologies. However, rapid advances in technology - and the World Wide Web (WWW) in particular - is allowing a much broader array of non- scientific users to engage in visualization-type map use. Users not only access geographic information, but can interactively explore 'what if' scenarios and actively amend and add information to publicly accessible WWW sites. Developments in WWW-based programming languages are making highly interactive advanced GVIS and GIS applications available to anyone with a modem and internet browser. My presentation provides an overview of a series of research issues, conceptual and applied, which arise in the context of public participation visualization and GIS as focused on a prototype WWW site developed for a neighborhood in the inner-city of Buffalo NY. Research issues include access to information technology (in a predominantly poor area), site design and content development, representational issues (hypermedia, non-threatening graphics), data issues (ownership of data, privacy issues, legal issues, and community provided data), the diversity of users (or publics), educational requirements, impact on communities (geographic and virtual), impact on public participation, and evaluation.

This research is closely related to current research on the social impacts of GIS, mapping, and information technology. Examples of this include the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) initiatives on GIS and Society and Public Participation GIS (PPGIS). Similar issues are being consdered by the University Consortium on Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). "Public Participation GIS" (PPGIS) here is conceived broadly as an integrative and inclusive process-based set of methods and technologies amenable to public participation, multiple viewpoints, and diverse forms of information. The work documented here is related to PPGIS as well as other areas of research - including geographic visualization, community networking, and urban and social geography.

A Project Verenious Specialist Meeting on "Empowerment, Marginalization, and Public Participation GIS" took place in October of 1998. A proposal, summarizing my research on PPVis is entitled "Public Participation Visualization: Conceptual and Applied Research Issues." This proposal summarizes information in the following WWW pages.

Major Components of this Project

Public Participation Visualization: Conceptual and Applied Research Issues Outline of issues relevant to the design of PPVIS sites. This is an evolving outline.

Prototype Map Objects-based WWW Site: Introduction and access to prototype WWW-based visualization and gis site.

"The Design of A Web-based Geographic Information System for Community Participation" by Keng-Pin Chang: Details about the construction of the Prototype Map Objects-based WWW Site.

Support for this project came from the NCGIA Proposal Development Fund, NCGIA Initiative 19, and the University at Buffalo Research Development Fund.


...back to krygier top page. krygier research page.

OWU Home
OWU Geology and Geography Home