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Development of a conceptual framework for the analysis and the classification of "Public Participation GIS"

by Turkucu, Aysegul

Abstract (Summary)
In the current context of democratization of technologies and methods of geomatics, “Public Participation GIS” practices - PPGIS multiply. The concept of PPGIS is, by its nature, interdisciplinary and multiform. It is connected, in a certain manner, to a specific variation of the GIS, understood as information systems (data, hardware, software, methods and human factor), including the dimension of public participation. Essentially, PPGIS are not limited to simple software tools. The principal objective of a PPGIS consists of accentuating/supporting the implication of the citizens in the territorial decision making processes, and to improve the access to tools, data, and information (Steinmann et al. 2004). Applications for PPGIS take a variety of forms depending on the economic context, the social and political organization, the culture, but also regarding to the treated problems and developed methodologies (Joliveau 2006). Examples underline that, in practice, dimension of “public participation” in PPGIS echoes different realities.

The creation of the field (Sieber 2004) is based on the convergence of social concepts as well as cultural, ethical and environmental concepts associated with information technologies (IT) and Geomatics. This development generates complex epistemological questions, in a measure where each implied discipline obviously poses a different view on PPGIS. Consequently, the concept of PPGIS is ambiguous. There is no consensus on its characteristic elements. This circumstance causes some problems, both on the scientific and practical levels. It makes difficult, not having the standardization of methods of development adapted to the PPGIS; but also the development of evaluation criterions of success and failure (Craig and al 1999). Besides, the scientific community associated with PPGIS considers that in order to understand reality that the researchers must rely on their works, the agreed formalization of a clear and precise definition of the concept of PPGIS is inevitable. Specialists affirm that one of the current priorities is to design a theoretical framework particularly based on a typology of PPGIS (Tulloch 2003, Steinmann et al. 2004). In spite of some research work already carried out, only a few limited typologies were developed, and the concept remains unclear.

The principal objective of this research consists of conceiving a more global typology starting from an in-depth analysis of the subjacent concepts. From a practical level, this research aims at designing and developing a web-based observatory of PPGIS experiments (this one is a component of our objective and at the same time a means of reaching it). Our methodology is based on the construction of a theoretical framework (literature review and an analysis of existing typologies) and an empirical analysis (study of a series of PPGIS experiments). Methodology is effectuated by an investigation into the specialized Web forums, so as to solicit the community of the field and to validate our results. This research thus made it possible to build a typology of the PPGIS, as a hole, complementary to those already existing. Doing this work improves understanding of this field in its infancy and elicits formal elements for better characterization of PPGIS.

This document abstract is also available in French.
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Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Roche, Stéphane; Chrisman, Nicholas

School:Université Laval

School Location:Canada - Quebec / Québec

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:foresterie et géodésie

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/01/2008

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