WEB-BASED GIS AND THE FUTURE OF PARTICIPATORY GIS APPLICATIONS WITHIN LOCAL AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

http://www.ejisdc.org/ojs2/index.php/ejisdc/article/viewFile/584/292

Dr. Peter A. K. Kyem, GISP
Department of Geography
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, CT 06050, USA.
E-mail: kyemp@mail.ccsu.edu

Dr. James C. Saku
Department of Geography
Frostburg State University
Frostburg, MD 21532, USA.
E-mail: jsaku@frostburg.edu

ABSTRACT
As resource managers search for strategies to meet the challenges posed by intense competition for scarce local resources, the implementation of Community-based GIS applications have become widespread. Besides mapping, the Participatory GIS (PGIS) projects create a peaceful medium for community groups and public officials to meet, exchange views and also learn to develop trust for each other. However, the PGIS projects face many problems including the lack of basic supporting infrastructure and services. The adoption of the Internet as a platform for PGIS applications therefore raises concerns about the future of PGIS projects. While the Internet may open the participatory process, it can also hinder participation among local groups. In an era when PGIS applications have become important in the management of local resources, there is an urgent need to examine implications of the On-line PGIS project. Accordingly, in this paper, we assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of on-line PGIS applications within local communities.

KEY WORDS: Internet GIS, On-line GIS applications, Participatory GIS applications, Community Resource Management, Developing countries.

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