Public Participation GIS (PPGIS)

How to use:
To understand what PPGIS is
To describe the principles of PPGIS
To apply examples of case studies and their
use in health communication and advocacy
To participate in a PPGIS process
(1) a study of the uses and applications of
geographic information and/or geographic
information systems technology
(2) used by members of the public, both as
individuals and grass-root groups,
(3) for participation in public processes (data
collection, mapping, analysis and/or decisionmaking) affecting their lives1.
Rutgers (2011)
Enable public access to cultural, economic and biophysical
data generated by governments, private sector
organizations and academic institutions;
Is best applied via partnerships developed between
individuals, communities, NGOs, academic institutions,
governments and the private sector;
Support lifelong learning that helps to bridge the divides
that exist between cultures, academic disciplines, gender
and class;
Is about sharing the challenges and opportunities of place
and situation in a transparent and celebratory manner2.
2 Aberley
& Sieber, (2002)
Bottom-up approach
Allows communities to see their space from a
different perspective
Visual representation of multiple realities
Gives voice to marginalized populations
Can be adapted to any setting , low cost
Context and issues driven rather than
technology driven
Can create conflict
Participants may lack
polictical, technical
and financial control
over data and its use
Increased time
Community Mapping
Participatory 3D Models
Garfield, NJ Boys and Girls Club - PPGIS
Participatory Chinatown, Boston
Determine where to situate trial bike shares
Refer to your “character” – bureau of tourism,
bike association, interested citizens
Pinpoint spots in downtown Vancouver
where you may visit in a typical day
Next Steps
Aberley, D. & Sieber, R. (2003). Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) Guiding Principles. In: The 2nd URISA PPGIS
Conference Portland, Oregon. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from
Asian Community Development Corportaion, et al. (2010). Participatory Chinatown Retrieved March 1, 2011
City of Vancouver (2011). Bike Vancouver. Retrieved March 4, 2011 from
Dunn, C. (2007). Participatory GIS – a peoples’ GIS. Progress in Human Geography 31(5), 616-637.
Driedger, S. (2007). Using Participatory Design to develop (public) health decision support systems through
GIS. International Journal of Health Geographics 6, 53-63
Garfield Community Mapping Blog. Retrieved March 1, 2011 from
GIS Use in Public Health and Health Care. (2011). Retrieved March 2, 2011 from
Hassan, M.M. (2005). Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh: spatial mitigation planning with GIS and public
participation. Health Policy 74, 247-260.
Integrated Approaches to Participatory Development (n.d.) Participatory Avenues, the Gateway to
Community Mapping, PGIS, PPGIS. Retrieved March 4, 2011 from
Pennsylvania State University (2011). Geospatial Revolution : A Public Media Campaign. Retrieved March 1,
2011 from
University of Victoria (2011). GIS and Epidemiology Workshop (ASHG101). Retrieved February 28,2011 from
Water Aid (2005). Community Mapping: A tool for Community Organising. Retrieved March 4, 2011 from

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