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Examining the values that are
embedded in the processes and
technologies of participatory GIS
Acknowledgement
This talk would not be possible without the
generosity of the many people and
communities that we have wor...
Acknowledgement
… and the funders, project partners, and sponsors that
we’ve worked with (and will work with in the future)
Outline
• Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) as a
socio-technical practice
• Values in PPGIS
• Values and technology: Andrew...
Participatory GIS: context
1980s
• Participatory
Rural
Appraisal
• Participatory
Learning and
Action
1990s
• Public
Partic...
Chauffeurs, facilitators & technology
Aurigi, A., Batty, S., Bloomfield, D., Boott, R., Clark, J., Haklay, M., Harrison, C...
2003
In house development
by a green IT company,
costly basemap
Collaborative
deliberative process,
paper focused
2006
Google mapping & API,
ease of development
and use
Haklay, M.. 2006, How to build a Green GIS from the bottom up?, Isr...
2007
Community led
software development,
participatory data
collection
Haklay, M. and Weber, P., 2008, OpenStreetMap – Use...
Community air quality monitoring 2016
Decoupled front
end/back end software
for community
mapping, APIs
Structured process...
• From the start, PPGIS was both limited
and enabled by technological aspects:
hardware, software, data, and network
speed...
PPGIS AND VALUES
Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies
of participatory GIS
• As if being socio-technical is not enough…
• PPGIS is a valued-laden practice
• Moreover, PPGIS is mostly about
expressi...
• Ensuring societal benefits from technology
Values in PPGIS
• Respecting lay, local and traditional
knowledge
Values in PPGIS
• Community, collective views, addressing
inequities
Values in PPGIS
• Maintaining scientific standards, ensuring
quality, empowerment
Values in PPGIS
• Supporting wider societal and
environmental goals
Values in PPGIS
• Democratisation
Values in PPGIS
• Representation, giving voice
Values in PPGIS
• Inclusion (passive or assertive)
Values in PPGIS
Values
• Address social or
environmental justice
• Inclusion
• Democratisation
• Control & Self-
determination
• Egalitari...
VALUES IN TECHNOLOGY
Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies
of participatory GIS
Thinking through technology
©Stock.XCHNG
©Stock.XCHNG
• The prevalence of the instrumentalist
view: technology is value-free, and
therefore it is open to any use
• Digital tech...
Feenberg‘s philosophy of technology
Main positions in Philosophy of
Technology
Technology is: Autonomous Humanly Controlled
Neutral (complete
separation of me...
Feenberg’s Deep Democratisation
• ‘Technical representation is not primarily
about the selection of a trusted
personnel, b...
INTEGRATING VALUES IN PPGIS
TECHNOLOGY & PROCESSES
Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologie...
• Integrate technology with a social
process, and take account of the context
ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles
Wider
context...
• Directed process, with deliberate open
elements to ensure co-design and local
control
ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles
Int...
• Work with people where they are, don’t
expect them to come to you (physically,
and digitally)
ExCiteS/MfC Guiding princi...
• Keep it simple, in order to make it
inclusive (no cutting edge tech)
ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles
ExCiteS/MfC technologies
http://geokey.org.uk/
Community Maps
Mapping for Change Process
Introduction to
existing public
information
General
perception
mapping
Discussion &
initial pri...
Earthquake preparedness
• Reach people where they are: linking to
social media outlets
• Simplify: process is deliberately simple
and limited in a...
Engagement: Free, Prior Informed Consent
(FPIC)
Participatory software design
Participatory Software design
Training and support
Monitoring poaching
• Respecting local knowledge: designing
icons in the field with participants
• Data control: acting as custodians in
terms...
• Integrating values into PPGIS technologies
is possible, but does not stop using it as a
means to a different ends:
– Usi...
WHERE NEXT?
ExCiteS & Mapping for Change
Experimenting with maps
51
Tap&Map
Summary
• PPGIS is a socio-technical, value-laden
process and practice
• Values should be expressed in the social
practice...
• Follow us:
– http://www.ucl.ac.uk/excites
– Twitter: @UCL_ExCiteS
– Blog:
http://uclexcites.wordpress.com
The work of Ex...
Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS
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Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS

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A persistent question about participatory methodologies that rely on technologies, such as public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS), is how to integrate values, such as inclusiveness of all the people that are impacted by a decision, or identifying options that are popular by the majority but acceptable to the minority, within technologically focused projects. Moreover, technologies do not operate by themselves – they are embedded in organizational, political, and social processes that set how they are used, who can use them, and in what context. Therefore, we should explore where the values reside?
Two factors obscure our view: The misleading conceptualisation that technologies are value free, and can be used for good or for bad – which put all the weight on the process, and ignores the way in which any technology allow only certain actions to be taken. Another popular view of technology conceptualisation is to emphasise their advantages (upside) and ignore their limitations. If we move beyond these, and other “common sense” views of technologies, we can notice how process and technology intertwine.
We can therefore look at the way the process/technology reinforce and limit each other, and the way that the values are integrated and influence them. With this analysis, we can also consider how technological development can explicitly include considerations of values, and be philosophically, politically, and social-theory informed. We need to consider the roles, skills, and knowledge of the people that are involved in each part of the process – from community facilitation to software development.
The paper will draw on the experience of developing participatory geographic information technologies over the past 20 years, and will suggest future directions for values-based participatory technology development.

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Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS

  1. 1. Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS
  2. 2. Acknowledgement This talk would not be possible without the generosity of the many people and communities that we have worked with over the years…
  3. 3. Acknowledgement … and the funders, project partners, and sponsors that we’ve worked with (and will work with in the future)
  4. 4. Outline • Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) as a socio-technical practice • Values in PPGIS • Values and technology: Andrew Feenberg’s mapping and deep democratisation • Explicitly integrating values and process in technology • Where next?
  5. 5. Participatory GIS: context 1980s • Participatory Rural Appraisal • Participatory Learning and Action 1990s • Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) • Participatory GIS (PGIS) 2000s • Volunteered / Crowdsourced Geographic information • Participatory Sensing 2010s • Citizen Science APB-CMX Harry Wood 2010
  6. 6. Chauffeurs, facilitators & technology Aurigi, A., Batty, S., Bloomfield, D., Boott, R., Clark, J., Haklay, M., Harrison, C., Heppell, K., Moreley, J. and Thornton, C. (1999), UCL Brownfield Research Network, University College London, London, UK, 42 pp 1998 Technical: Commercial Desktop GIS, government environmental information, desktop computers Social: Facilitated participatory process, low level familiarity with technology
  7. 7. 2003 In house development by a green IT company, costly basemap Collaborative deliberative process, paper focused
  8. 8. 2006 Google mapping & API, ease of development and use Haklay, M.. 2006, How to build a Green GIS from the bottom up?, Israeli Geographers Association Annual Meeting, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 17-18 Collaborative deliberative process, paper focused
  9. 9. 2007 Community led software development, participatory data collection Haklay, M. and Weber, P., 2008, OpenStreetMap – User Generated Street Map, IEEE Pervasive Computing. October-December 2008:12-18. Mapping Parties, Pub meetups, self- organised/IRC coordination
  10. 10. Community air quality monitoring 2016 Decoupled front end/back end software for community mapping, APIs Structured process, both community led and initiated deliberately, digital Ellul, C., Francis, L., and Haklay, M., 2012, Engaging with local communities: A review of three years of community mapping. Urban and Regional Data Management, UDMS Annual 2011 - Proceedings of the Urban Data Management Society Symposium
  11. 11. • From the start, PPGIS was both limited and enabled by technological aspects: hardware, software, data, and network speed • The “Public Participation” part means that it is embedded in complex and detailed social practices PPGIS as socio-technical practice
  12. 12. PPGIS AND VALUES Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS
  13. 13. • As if being socio-technical is not enough… • PPGIS is a valued-laden practice • Moreover, PPGIS is mostly about expressing the values. Otherwise, usual instrumentalist/utilitarian/technocratic/ empiricist practices should apply Values
  14. 14. • Ensuring societal benefits from technology Values in PPGIS
  15. 15. • Respecting lay, local and traditional knowledge Values in PPGIS
  16. 16. • Community, collective views, addressing inequities Values in PPGIS
  17. 17. • Maintaining scientific standards, ensuring quality, empowerment Values in PPGIS
  18. 18. • Supporting wider societal and environmental goals Values in PPGIS
  19. 19. • Democratisation Values in PPGIS
  20. 20. • Representation, giving voice Values in PPGIS
  21. 21. • Inclusion (passive or assertive) Values in PPGIS
  22. 22. Values • Address social or environmental justice • Inclusion • Democratisation • Control & Self- determination • Egalitarian production of knowledge • Respect to lay, local and traditional knowledge • Relinking to nature • Individual vs. community • Data validity, scientific standards • Not wasting participants time • Ensuring efficient, effective, and economic participation • Securing decision making by majorities/loud participants vs. including minorities • Contribution to wider societal goals (e.g. science) • Meaningful & flourishing human relationships • “The Good Life”
  23. 23. VALUES IN TECHNOLOGY Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS
  24. 24. Thinking through technology ©Stock.XCHNG
  25. 25. ©Stock.XCHNG
  26. 26. • The prevalence of the instrumentalist view: technology is value-free, and therefore it is open to any use • Digital technology is being promoted by emphasising the up-sides, and not mentioning, or even ignoring, downsides and side-effect Two common challenges
  27. 27. Feenberg‘s philosophy of technology
  28. 28. Main positions in Philosophy of Technology Technology is: Autonomous Humanly Controlled Neutral (complete separation of means and ends) Determinism (traditional Marxism) Instrumentalism (liberal faith in progress) Value-laden (means form a way of life that includes ends) Substantivism (means and ends linked in a system) Critical Theory (choice of alternative means-ends systems) Source: Feenberg, A. (1999) Questioning Technology, Routledge, New York.
  29. 29. Feenberg’s Deep Democratisation • ‘Technical representation is not primarily about the selection of a trusted personnel, but involves the embodiment of social and political demands in technical codes.’ • Technology can be also change from within, through an intervention by the users Source: Feenberg, A. (1999) Questioning Technology, Routledge, New York.
  30. 30. INTEGRATING VALUES IN PPGIS TECHNOLOGY & PROCESSES Examining the values that are embedded in the processes and technologies of participatory GIS
  31. 31. • Integrate technology with a social process, and take account of the context ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles Wider context Social context Mapping • Politics • Economics • Local inclusiveness • Technical ability • Views / Perceptions • Facts / Evidence
  32. 32. • Directed process, with deliberate open elements to ensure co-design and local control ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles Introduction to existing public information General perception mapping Discussion & initial priorities setting Digitisation, visualisation and discussion Website and online map Citizen Science and data gathering
  33. 33. • Work with people where they are, don’t expect them to come to you (physically, and digitally) ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles
  34. 34. • Keep it simple, in order to make it inclusive (no cutting edge tech) ExCiteS/MfC Guiding principles
  35. 35. ExCiteS/MfC technologies
  36. 36. http://geokey.org.uk/
  37. 37. Community Maps
  38. 38. Mapping for Change Process Introduction to existing public information General perception mapping Discussion & initial priorities setting Digitisation, visualisation and discussion Website and online map Citizen Science and data gathering Haklay, M., and Francis, L., forthcoming 2017. Participatory GIS and community-based citizen science for environmental justice action, in Chakraborty, J., Walker, G. and Holifield, R.(eds.), Handbook of Environmental Justice, Routledge
  39. 39. Earthquake preparedness
  40. 40. • Reach people where they are: linking to social media outlets • Simplify: process is deliberately simple and limited in analysis, with ability of exporting information for further analysis • Community control: moderation, different levels of access • Representation: visualisation and icons through participatory processes GeoKey/Community Maps Roick, O., Haklay, M., and Ellul, C.. 2016, GeoKey - open infrastructure for community mapping and science, Human Computation
  41. 41. Engagement: Free, Prior Informed Consent (FPIC)
  42. 42. Participatory software design
  43. 43. Participatory Software design
  44. 44. Training and support
  45. 45. Monitoring poaching
  46. 46. • Respecting local knowledge: designing icons in the field with participants • Data control: acting as custodians in terms of managing the information • Community vs Individuals: FPIC, community protocol. • Democratisation, giving voice: technology and process to ensure inclusion Sapelli/GeoKey Stevens, M., Vitos, M., Altenbuchner, M., Conquest, G., Lewis, J. and Haklay, M., 2014, Taking Participatory Citizen Science to Extremes, IEEE Pervasive Computing, 13(2):20-29
  47. 47. • Integrating values into PPGIS technologies is possible, but does not stop using it as a means to a different ends: – Using Sapelli to help navigate legal details of logging permits and laws – Using Community Maps to collaboratively map experiences of Concord – Using GeoKey for community preparedness checklists with alerts Deep democratisation?
  48. 48. WHERE NEXT? ExCiteS & Mapping for Change
  49. 49. Experimenting with maps
  50. 50. 51
  51. 51. Tap&Map
  52. 52. Summary • PPGIS is a socio-technical, value-laden process and practice • Values should be expressed in the social practices and in the technologies that are used • Generic technologies can be used, with some compromises and trade-offs • Developing technologies also require compromises and trade-offs
  53. 53. • Follow us: – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/excites – Twitter: @UCL_ExCiteS – Blog: http://uclexcites.wordpress.com The work of ExCiteS is supported by EPSRC, ERC, EU FP7, EU H2020, RGS, Esri, Forest People Program, Forests Monitor, WRI and all the people in communities that we’ve worked with over the years

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