Mapping Local Solutions to Entrenched Transport Problems: Key Lessons Regarding the Use of Geographical Information Technologies in Community Mapping with Disadvantaged Communities
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There is an increasing interest in the use of information technology as a participatory planning tool, particularly the use of geographical information technologies to support collaborative activities such as community mapping. However, despite their promise, the introduction of such technologies does not necessarily promote better participation nor improve collaboration. In part this can be attributed to a tendency for planners to focus on the technical considerations associated with these technologies at the expense of broader participation considerations. In this paper we draw on the experiences of a community mapping project with disadvantaged communities in suburban Australia to highlight the importance of selecting tools and techniques which support and enhance participatory planning. This community mapping project, designed to identify and document community-generated transport issues and solutions, had originally intended to use cadastral maps extracted from the government's digital cadastral database as the foundation for its community mapping approach. It was quickly discovered that the local residents found the cadastral maps confusing as the maps lacked sufficient detail to orient them to their suburb (the study area). In response to these concerns and consistent with the project's participatory framework, a conceptual base map based on resident's views of landmarks of local importance was developed to support the community mapping process. Based on this community mapping experience we outline four key lessons learned regarding the process of community mapping and the place of geographical information technologies within this process.
The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
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