Maps, Geographic Information Systems, and spatial analysis are powerful tools that
recently have become increasingly accessible to non-specialists. Dynamic maps with
user created content are becoming part of daily life in the 1/3 world (developed
countries and elites in the global South).
There is a long history of maps as tools for civic engagement, with public
participatory GIS and community engaged mapping playing key roles in
(for example) indigenous land rights struggles, mapping health disparities, and
the environmental justice movement's demonstration of the unequal spatial
distribution of pollution. Most recently, new tools and platforms like Open
Street Maps and Grassroots Mapping are democratizing maps even further.
What challenges still constrain the effective creation and use of Civic Maps? What
tools and platforms are most promising? What steps can developers, practitioners,
and researchers take to help build the field of civic mapping?