Online lecture on co-creating participatory geoweb tools with vulnerable communities by Jon Corbet on 13 September 2023

Join an online lecture by Jon Corbet on September 13th at 2:30-3:30 pm (UTC+02:00, Eastern Europen Summer Time)

Dr. Jon Corbet will give a seminar lecture in Helsinki on 13 September, but there is a chance to follow it also online. Join us at 2.30-3.30 UTC +02:00 time. Please find the lecture abstract below.

“Bridging the Gap – Co-Creating Participatory Geoweb Tools with Vulnerable Communities”

Since the 1970s, participatory mapping has been employed by academics, civil society, and government as a tool and process to engage with and gain insight from non-experts regarding their knowledge, connections, and experiences in relation to a place. This technique is frequently utilized in research with vulnerable communities, including Indigenous Peoples. In this presentation, I will firstly define the term “vulnerable communities,” secondly provide some personal context of my relationship to participatory mapping and its recent developments, thirdly give three examples of participatory mapping projects that we have conducted with Indigenous communities in Canada, and finally discuss some of the challenges associated with their design, development, and sustainability.


Online meeting option:

Meeting ID: 601 508 0718


Hope to see many of you there!

If you wish to get more details about the seminar and/or the lecture, please contact

A new book on participatory mapping methods is now published!

This volume provides a framework for evaluating geospatial software for participatory mapping. The evaluation is based on ten key indicators: ethics, cost, technical level, inclusiveness, data accuracy, data privacy, analytical capacity, visualization capacity, openness, and accessibility (i.e., mobile friendly or offline capabilities). Each application is evaluated by a user and cross analyzed with specific case studies of the software’s real-world application. This framework does not discriminate against assessing volunteered geographic information (VGI) applications, as a form of participatory mapping, in circumstances that its application is spearheaded by underrepresented groups with the intent to empower and spark political or behavioral change within formal and informal institutions. Each chapter follows a strict template to ensure that the information within the volume can be updated periodically to match the ever-changing technological environment. The book covers twelve different mapping applications with the goal of creating a comparative evaluation framework that can be easily interpreted by convening institutions and novice users. This will also help identify gaps in software for participatory mapping which will help to inform application development in the future and updates to current geospatial software.

Go check it out!

How to promote your own work through participatory mapping network?

We at the administrative site of PMAP community want to highlight to everyone that there is an opportunity to promote and share your own work through the PMAP website. It is fairly easy to add your own publications and projects to the website.

Below are the general instructions how to become a member of the Participatory Mapping -network and how to share your work. It can be simply done by visiting our website and by giving the needed information:

By choosing one of the four tabs, you can:

  • Become a member (just give your name, title and institution and upload your photo)
  • Share your Participatory Mapping project (here you are expected to provide a bit more information, e.g., a short description of your project and a figure or other visualization about your project)
  • Share your publication (Here you are asked to give the basic information about the project and also to choose one of the 8 themes of Participatory Mapping (e.g., Marine and coastal planning)
  • Join our mailing list

When sharing your own participatory mapping -project, it is a good idea to check the descriptions of the existing projects. Please also notice that the projects are classified as current and past projects:

We hope these instructions are sufficient to help you joining the network. We are very much looking forward to learning more about your work!

PMAP institute founders join forces in combining active and passive sensing systems, and transformative governance processes to unlock trade-offs to sustainability transformation.

PMAP institute founders Christopher Raymond (University of Helsinki), Marketta Kyttä (Aalto University) and Nora Fagerholm (University of Turku) will collaborate in the Transformative Cities project, which develops and utilizes participatory mapping methods alongside many other digital tools for accelerating the sustainability transition.

Cities across the world are facing significant challenges in achieving the climate and biodiversity goals as soon as possible. To enable sustainability transformation, Transformative Cities project claims that nature-based solutions (NBS) including systemic approaches combining e.g., stormwater wetlands, neighbourhood green spaces and networks of green corridors need to be considered alongside transportation infrastructure, given NBSʼ established role in providing for active mobility (Fastenrath et al., 2020), as well as biodiversity, carbon mitigation, climate resilience and well-being outcomes (Frantzseskaki & McPhearson, 2021; Raymond et al., 2017). However, a major knowledge gap is how to create digital urban planning tools that enable city and corporate planners, and citizens to work together across planning sectors to unlock trade-offs to sustainability transformation (Gret-Regamey et al., 2021; Raymond et al., 2022; McPhearson et al., 2021).

Chris, Marketta, Nora and a group of Finnish researchers joined forces with businesses and cities in the Transformative Cities project, which received €3 million in funding from the Academy of Finland for the period 2023–2025. Transformative Cities aims to create an integrated set of active and passive sensing, and transformative governance methods to inform rapid changes to carbon neutral and climate resilient futures by 2035. Transformative Cities moves beyond the state-of-the-art by combining active (including PPGIS and GEMA methods) and passive (big geospatial data) sensing systems, and transformative governance processes, collectively referred to as a ʻCompass for Transformationʼ. Across the project, there is strong emphasis on co-creating solutions for sustainability transformation across competence cluster members, which include: University of Helsinki, Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland and Turku University, ETH Zurich and New School New York; Cities of Helsinki, Lahti, Espoo and Oulu; KONE, YIT, Mapita, SOVA3D, ITS-Finland, HSY, Telia and Sitra.

Interested in learning more about the project? The project website will be released soon and linked to the PMAP website along with more detailed project description. You can naturally contact any of the Transformative Cities researchers from the PMAP institute in case you have questions:

Christopher Raymond, Marketta Kyttä, Nora Fagerholm and Tiina Rinne



Fastenrath, S., Bush, J., & Coenen, L. (2020). Scaling-up nature-based solutions. Lessons from the

Living Melbourne strategy. Geoforum 116.

Frantzeskaki, N., & McPhearson, T. (2021). Mainstream nature-based solutions for urban climate

resilience. BioScience 72.

Grêt-Regamey, A., Switalski, M., Fagerholm, N., et al. (2021). Harnessing sensing systems towards

urban sustainability transformation. npj Urban Sustainability 1.

Gret-Regamey et al., 2021; Raymond et al., 2022; McPhearson et al., 2021).

McPhearson, T., M. Raymond, C., Gulsrud, N. et al. (2021). Radical changes are needed for

transformations to a good Anthropocene. npj Urban Sustain 1.

Raymond, C.M., Cebrián-Piqueras, M.A., Andersson, E., et al. (2022). Inclusive conservation and

the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: Tensions and prospects. One Earth 5.

Multi-sensory PPGIS combining the qualities of soundscape research and landscape values mapping.

Public participation GIS methodology has been mainly used to map the social values and behaviour patterns of users in city and neighbourhood levels.  However, very little attention is paid to the role of different sensory systems in the perception and the embodied experience of place. The new paper by Korpilo et al. (2023) addresses this gap by integrating the soundscapes and landscape values of urban green infrastructure in two neighbourhoods in Helsinki, Finland.

The paper develops, tests and validates a Multi-sensory Public Participation GIS (MSPPGIS) method combining the qualities of soundscape research and landscape values mapping. The analysis consisted of hotspot mapping, spatial overlap assessment and compatibility analysis showing the level of spatial compatibility between positive landscape values and positive and negative soundscapes (see Figure below). Results indicated very low to low spatial overlap between the different landscape values and pleasant/unpleasant sound hotspots, suggesting that landscape values do not necessarily reflect sonic perception of urban green and blue spaces. Pleasant and unpleasant sounds were located closer to home than landscape values, indicating that respondents’ soundscape ‘cognitive map’ is smaller in spatial range.

The MSPPGIS method enables the elicitation of a more dynamic and diverse set of sounds compared to previous soundscape mapping which tend to focus on ‘noise’ instead of multiple experiences of different sounds. Also, the combination of landscape values and soundscapes in MSPPGIS provides for a more integrated assessment of ‘where’ and ‘how’ to design urban green infrastructure.


Check out the paper: Korpilo, S., Nyberg, E., Vierikko, K., Nieminen, H., Arciniegas, G., & Raymond, C. M. (2023). Developing a Multi-sensory Public Participation GIS (MSPPGIS) method for integrating landscape values and soundscapes of urban green infrastructure. Landscape and Urban Planning, 230.

methods, MSPPGIS, Silviya Korpilo

Participatory Mapping Institute
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