The Crisis Map of the Czech Republic: the nationwide deployment of an Ushahidi application for disasters

It took us a while, but finally our paper about the Crisis Map of the Czech Republic got published (see abstract below). If you are interested in full paper, let me know, I will send you a private copy.
What is the paper about can be also found in this video.

Jirka Pánek
Pánek, J., Marek, L., Pászto, V. and Valůch, J. (2016), The Crisis Map of the Czech Republic: the nationwide deployment of an Ushahidi application for disasters. Disasters. doi:10.1111/disa.12221
Crisis mapping is a legitimate component of both crisis informatics and disaster risk management. It has become an effective tool for humanitarian workers, especially after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Ushahidi is among the many mapping platforms on offer in the growing field of crisis mapping, and involves the application of crowdsourcing to create online and interactive maps of areas in turmoil. This paper presents the Crisis Map of the Czech Republic, which is the first such instrument to be deployed nationwide in Central Europe. It describes the methodologies used in the preparatory work phase and details some practices identified during the creation and actual employment of the map. In addition, the paper assesses its structure and technological architecture, as well as its potential possible development in the future. Lastly, it evaluates the utilisation of the Crisis Map during the floods in the Czech Republic in 2013.

Participatory Mapping/GIS 2017conference

In 2016 Greg Brown joined California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) as Department Head of Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences after serving in multiple academic leadership positions at the University of Queensland, Central Washington University, University of South Australia, Alaska Pacific University, and Green Mountain College. Greg is a leading international researcher in participatory mapping research methods (PPGIS/PGIS/VGI). His participatory mapping applications include forest planning, national park planning, assessment of ecosystem services, coastal and marine areas planning, and urban parks and open space planning. He founded the Landscape Values and PPGIS Institute to facilitate global research and communication about participatory spatial planning methods.

In 2017 is is organising world first conference/colloquium about Participatory mapping/GIS for academics, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), students, information technology professionals, and anyone interested in advancing knowledge about participatory mapping methods.

The goal of Participatory Mapping/GIS 2017 is to bring together an international community of academics, planners/managers, and practitioners to (1) identify state of knowledge in participatory mapping methods, (2) to learn new mapping applications and technology, and to (3) identify best practices, standards, and future research needs.

If you are interested in Participatory Mapping or Participatory GIS you should not miss this event.

Call for Papers for the 2nd International Conference on ‘Urban e-Planning’ (IJEPR 2017 Conference)

Last year I took part in the International Conference on ‘Urban e-Planning’ (IJEPR 2017 Conference) organised in Lisbon, Portugal and it was quite a nice experience. The conference is closely linked with the International Journal of e-Planning Research, where I have published two papers (Emotional Mapping in Local Neighbourhood Planning: Case Study of Příbram, Czech Republic and Visual Comparison of Web Map Changes of OpenStreetMap and Commercial Online-Map Providers: A Research Note) – let me know if you want copy of any of these.

Nevertheless, the call for papers for the second year of the conference is out and I think it is worth presenting there, so if you are interested in participatory planning, send you abstract, we may see each other there 🙂

Participatory budgeting in Portugal

I know this is not quite related to spatial participatory tools, but still I find it quite interesting to share the article.

Portugal has announced the world’s first participatory budget on a national scale. The project will let people submit ideas for what the government should spend its money on, and then vote on which ideas are adopted.

Although participatory budgeting has become increasingly popular around the world in the past few years, it has so far been confined to cities and regions, and no country that we know of has attempted it nationwide. To reach as many people as possible, Portugal is also examining another innovation: letting people cast their votes via ATM machines. More can be found in the article: Portugal has announced the world’s first nationwide participatory budget.

Emotional mapping and its participatory potential: Opinions about cycling conditions in Reykjavík, Iceland

A paper from my research stay at the University of Iceland was just published in Cities journal (Q1, IF=2.051) – details below. If you do not have an access to the paper and want to read it, let me know, I will send you a private copy!



  • A simple internet platform for emotional mapping is introduced.
  • Cyclists in Reykjavík were asked about good and bad routes and places.
  • Participatory mapping and volunteered geographical information are of great value for planning of bicycle infrastructure.
  • The emotional mapping platform has much potential for use by urban planners.


Many cities have prioritised the provision of bicycle infrastructure, as part of a transition to more sustainable transport. Information from the users of bicycle facilities is crucial for successful bicycle planning. The article presents a case study of Reykjavík, Iceland, where a simple ‘emotional mapping’ platform was used to enable cyclists to express their emotional reactions to routes and places. A sample of 100 users identified some 541 features – lines and points – on a map of the city, associated them with either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions and wrote textual comments to elaborate on the reasons for their judgement. The results indicate clearly the importance of the natural environment for cyclists, as well as the negative feeling engendered by cycling close to car traffic or in the street with the cars. These data support the emphases found in the present bicycling plan of Reykjavík city. In general, volunteered geographical information and crowdsourcing has much potential for increasing citizen participation in urban planning. A flexible software platform for participatory mapping, such as the one used in the study, can be a valuable addition to the planner‘s toolbox.


  • Urban planning;
  • Cycling infrastructure;
  • Crowdsourcing;
  • Participatory mapping

From Mental Maps to GeoParticipation

Hi all, my paper titled From Mental Maps to GeoParticipation ( just got published by the Cartographic Journal. If you do not have an access to the paper, but still interested in reading it, please drop me a message ( and I will send you the paper…

Take care!


New PhD Opportunity

Interesting PhD offer and opportunity to join the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) group

Extreme Citizen Science blog

A new opportunity to join the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) group and undertake research in Human Computer Interaction and Spatial Data Quality for Online Civic Engagement.

Duration: 3 years

Funding: The scholarship covers UCL registration fees and provides a stipend of £17,045 per annum tax free. Travel expenses and research equipment will also be provided to the successful candidate

Funding Body: EU fundingHorizon 2020 and UCL

Vacancy Information: Applications are invited for one PhD studentship which forms part of, and will be contextualised by, the European Union H2020 funded project, WeGovNow! This project will focus on the use of digital technologies for effectively supporting civic society, whereby citizens are partners as opposed to customers in the delivery of public services. By integrating a set of innovative technologies from different European partners in Germany, Italy, and Greece to create citizen engagement platform, the project explores the use of digital tools for citizen…

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