Community GIS or Community vs GIS?

Bal Krishna


In view of the advent of technology such as GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS and Internet, a situation is being created where a certain section of the society is able to avail the benefits of thesetechnologies where as a larger section of the society especially in rural areas, mostly in developing world is far from having any access of these technologies. As a consequence, these technologies may end up creating digital divide rather than being a tool to make the world digital. The proposed paper will deal with some fundamental issues how to take GIS to grassroots and moreover in the process if local community participation can be ensured. The paper will deliberate upon applicability and usability of GIS and related technology in rural context in terms of its affordability, acceptability, replicability, scalability and sustainability. Issues related to engaging community in the entire process of data collection, data interpretation and evolving some developmental plan will also be discussed by giving examples of some ongoing projects.