The first issue of Development, Environment and Foresight journal is available

The post has nothing to do with participatory mapping or GeoParticipation, nevertheless I would like to steer your attention to the first issue of  Development, Environment and Foresight (DEF journal).  Continue reading


Participatory methods: Sketch Mapping

Following the first post about Ground mapping, I will describe another fairly easy participatory mapping method called Sketch mapping, sometimes also called as mental mapping. It is a method of representing primarily “free drawing” from memory (, 2014). The resulting “map” includes main features that the community enters on the map, and are therefore important to the community. The method is not based on exact measurements and, therefore, the resulting products are not very accurate.

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Participatory methods: Ground mapping

As a part of my blog, I would like to describe some basic participatory mapping methods. I will start with the technically easier ones and continue to the technically more demanding. Ground mapping (sometimes also called Ephemeral mapping) is a straightforward mapping method that involves community members drawing maps on the ground from memory using any available materials, such as plants, rocks or household tools. This method is inexpensive and easy to facilitate. The resulting product, however, is unstable in time. In most cases it is a preparatory stage for other mapping methods, in which the community is familiar with the concept of understanding space and location in which they work.

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Participatory GIS at NTNU, Norway – is there any?

Thanks to the EEA Grants and Norway Grants I am able to visit the Department of Geography at NTNU (Trondheim, Norway). The aim of my stay is to learn and observe, how local experts teach GIS in context of Development Studies, as well as to share some of my experience. Currently, the first week of my stay is behind me and I had meetings with Hans Ola FredinTomasz OpachJan Ketil RødHilde Refstie and Ragnvald Larsen. Continue reading

Community mapping in urban informal settlements: examples from Nairobi, Kenya

Recently, me and my colleague Lenka Sobotová wrote a paper for The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries called “Community mapping in urban informal settlements: examples from Nairobi, Kenya”. Our aim was to compare two participatory mapping projects, that were realized (not by us) in Nairobi, Kenya. Both of these projects took place in Kibera, by few considered the biggest slum in Africa (it is not, but I will get to it later). The main difference was in the understanding of word participation.

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Emotional maps, how they can be used in local participatory mapping?

Emotional maps are known as a concept mainly within the western geography school. Maps have power to present spatial information in understandable and widely accepted form to general public. Mental maps and mental mapping are activities usually used in the first phases of the community mapping and the process of creating the knowledge about the common space and our environment.

Emotional maps allow users to get involved in the process of collecting information related to their emotional links with their environment. The idea is grounded within the GeoParticipation – using spatial tools in order to involved citizen in community participation. Continue reading

Why GeoParticipation?

I have decided to start a blog about GeoParticipation, because I believe that there is a new, growing multi- and inter- disciplinary field, which combines geography, GIScience, cartography, development studies, urban planning, sociology, political science, architecture, policy making, and many more.

In each discipline, the field (if you can already call it a field) has been given different names – Participatory GIS, Community mapping, neocartography, local spatial knowledge planning, sustainable community development, etc. Based on my previous experience, everything is more or less related to the spatial element, therefore I started exploring this topic under term GeoParticipation. Continue reading