There is a persistent need for improved tools and techniques to facilitate public involvement in transportation decision making.
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Description: This paper addresses the thorny issue of uneven access to GIS and the associated social power it confers. Following the principle that effective access to information leads to better government as well as to community empowerment, this paper explores the issues of providing equitable access to GIS at the grass-roots level.
Citation: Ghose, Rhina. "Use of Information Technology for Community Empowerment: Transforming Geographic Information Systems into Community Information Systems." Transactions in GIS, 2001, Volume 5 (2).
Description: Water quality is a serious concern throughout eastern North Carolina due to development pressure, agricultural runoff, and animal operations. A local environmental organization was concerned that water quality monitoring in the Pamlic-Tar River basin is hampered due to a sparse network of sampling sites and inconsistent data collection. Consequently, a volunteer watershed monitoring project was initiated by Pamlic-Tar River Foundation (PTRF). University researchers partnered with the PTRF to assist by providing two GIS-based solutions: guidance for the selection of water quality monitoring sites, and distribution of water quality data to the public in mappable form via the Internet. The results reported here demonstrate a collaborative partnership between university researchers and a grass roots environmental organization that can be characterized as a form of Public Participation GIS.
Citation: Luchette, Joseph. "A Public Participation GIS Application for Citizen-based Watershed Monitoring in the Pamlic-Tar River Basin, North Carolina." Southeastern Geographer, 2008, Volume 48 (2).
Description: Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, together with GIS technology, this research has examined the quality of life across three locales in Saskatoonâ€”representing Low, Middle and High socioeconomic status in both 2001 and 2004. The participatory action research approach used in this work ensures the value of the outputs to the stakeholders. Given the strong recognition of the importance of interfacing policy, research and community, and the growing impatience with the limited application of research findings to social and health practices and policies, this project has undertaken four major knowledge translation/transfer strategies, above and beyond the traditional academic channels: (1) engagement of local media on a consistent basis, (2) implementing community policy forums to ensure continued community readiness and uptake, (3) facilitation of and successful functioning of a steering committee, and (4) employment of an action researcher to operate as a policy entrepreneur. This paper will review and discuss each of these strategies and outline the evaluative research being done to document the success of these strategies.
Citation: Williams, Allison. "Knowledge translation strategies in a communityâ€“university partnership: examining local Quality of Life (QoL). Social Indicators Research, 2008, Volume 85 (1).
Description: This paper presents the main findings from a collaborative community/university research project in Canada. The goal of the project was to improve access to community health information, and in so doing, enhance knowledge of the development of community health information resources and community/university collaboration. The project built on a rich history of community/university collaboration in Southeast Toronto(SET), and employed an interdisciplinary applied research and action design.. Major themes emerging from the community/university collaborative research process included separate community and university cultures, time as an important issue for all involved, and the impact of uncertainty and ambiguity on the collaborative process.
Citation: Buckeridge, David L. "Making health data maps: a case study of a community/university research collaboration." Social Science & Medicine, 2002, Volume 55 (7).
Description: Examining a case study in California, the author shows that a customized, distributed web services model is capable of capitalizing on economies of scale and remote technology while maintaining its commitment to serving non-expert GIS users. Analysis of users from the Neighborhood Knowledge California (NKCA, http://nkca.ucla.edu) system demonstrates that WGIS projects enable anonymous users to upload and integrate local data, facilitate inter-agency cooperation, and more efficiently utilize publicly available geospatial and demographic data.
Citation: Rattray, Nicholas. "A User-Centered Model for Community-based Web GIS." URISA Journal, 2006, Volume 18 (2).