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People’s GIS


Of the people

The use of GIS is prevalent in daily lives, it is used by governments to plan cities, map crimes for better law enforcement programs and by health experts to study and control the flow of diseases. The result of uses of GIS can be seen in an efficiency of the emergency response teams during natural disasters. Reduction of crimes in the crime-ridden neighborhood due to analysing crime patterns. Reduction in commuting time due to studying traffic patterns and taking appropriate steps to reducing congestion. While not generally visible to the public, GIS touches upon the lives of almost everyone in its many uses.

By the people

While analysing and interpreting data from maps can be a task for a professional only. The people too can participate in the process by  Participatory Learning and Action, thus PGIS.

PGIS is Participatory GIS (PGIS) is a participatory approach to spatial planning and spatial information and communications management. Combing community mapping with GIS technology to put people’s spatial knowledge into digital maps that could be incorporated into the future planning of any project. The detailed input data can be obtained through social mapping workshops with community participants, which eliminates the crucial difference between just a project and a collective effort. This leads to the acceptance of the project by the public while safeguarding their own geographical interest.

For the people

The application of this can be many they have included protecting ancestral lands and resource rights; management and resolution of conflicts over natural resources; collaborative resource use planning and management. A case study for the use of PGIS can be how Zimbabwe used GIS to control its AIDS epidemic problem in 2011. Results were a better use of funds, better control of the spread of the disease all concluding with a 22% decrease in the number of new cases. All of this possible due to the participation of health officials, GSI data analysing experts and the participation of the general public towards the cause.



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