PMAP launches a webinar series

Dear Participatory Mapping Institute members,

PMAP will launch a webinar series to share recent research results, knowledge and experience among our expert community!

We are glad to announce that the first webinar takes place on Tuesday May 24th 3:30-4:30 pm CET time (4:30 pm Helsinki, London 2:30 pm, New York 9:30 am, Tokyo 10:30 pm).

Jirka Panek and Ian Babelon will present on 100+ shades of geoparticipation.

Dr. Jirka Panek works as an associate professor at the Department of Development and Environmental Studies, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. With background in geography and GIS, he has been enthusiastic about developing participatory mapping methods both in global North and South and has been co-developing participatory platform for collection perceptions about urban environment. Dr. Ian Babelon is Research Fellow at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK. His PhD investigated the use of digital tools for public participation in urban planning. Recently, Ian, Jirka and colleagues published an article ( reviewing objectives of 25 web-based geoparticipation projects in urban planning.

Please join via Zoom to this webinar at (passcode: 506809). No pre-registration is required!

In case you have interest to present in this biannual webinar series, please do not hesitate to contact Associate Professor Nora Fagerholm (


PMAP hosts

geoparticipation, participatory mapping, webinar

Using community surveys with participatory mapping to monitor comprehensive plan implementation

Comprehensive or general plans are long-range documents intended to guide future urban or regional land use, growth, and development. Structured and periodic monitoring and evaluation of plan implementation is important to identifying when plans should be revised or updated based on changed planning assumptions or conditions, but such monitoring is uncommon. In this study we present and illustrate a research-based method to evaluate general plan implementation for a case-study community located in central California. A community survey was combined with participatory mapping to assess continued public approval of key elements of the general plan: 1) residential growth, 2) community development needs, 3) preferred locations for development (spatial), 4) consistency of resident land use preferences with general plan categories (spatial), and 5) areas with the greatest potential for land use conflict (spatial). Over the five-year period following plan adoption, there was relatively little change in general resident preferences for residential growth or the perceived need for new types of urban development, with the exception of affordable housing; however, city approval of three large, mixed-use development projects, while nominally conforming to the plan, generated community conflict based on development scale and location. As a novel plan monitoring and evaluation method, a community survey combined with participatory mapping provides a means to assess consistency with plan assumptions, desired conditions, and goals and can proactively identify the potential for place-based conflicts among various interests to identify optimized community land use outcomes.


For more information see: Brown, G., Kyttä, M., Reed, P. (2022). Using community surveys with participatory mapping to monitor comprehensive plan implementation. Landscape and Urban Planning


California, participatory mapping, urban planning

How to combine participatory mapping and other sensing systems in support of urban sustainability transformation

Members of the Participatory Mapping Institute have just published a journal article on “Harnessing sensing systems towards urban sustainability transformation”.  This paper presents a novel set of conceptual frameworks to show how participatory mapping, classed as an active sensing system, could be combined with passive sensing systems like big data collated from social media  to secure an inclusive, sustainable and resilient urban transformation. The paper derives principles for sustainability planning, including an iterative dialogue along a sensing loop, new modes of governance enabling direct feeding of sensed information, an account for data biases in the sensing processes and a commitment to high ethical standards, including open access data sharing.

For the full text see: Grêt-Regamey, A., Switalski, M., Fagerholm, N. et al. Harnessing sensing systems towards urban sustainability transformation. npj Urban Sustain 1, 40 (2021).

active sensing, big data, participatory mapping, passive sensing, social media

New publication exploring the pros & cons of using PPGIS data for activity space modeling

This paper focuses on the use of public participation GIS (PPGIS) data in activity space modeling and analysis and aims to draw more scholarly attention to the existing research potentials in this area. While reviewing the pros of using PPGIS for activity space studies, this paper also discusses the existing limitations and outlines how they can be addressed in future research.

Access article for free:

activity space, GIS, PPGIS

Open Geo Hub: Spatial Data Anonymization Made Easy

If you’re interested in open data and want to try anonymizing some of your spatial datasets here’s some good news for you:

We have launched a GIS web app where you can anonymize your point data for free. The app can be accessed here:

Using this tool you can anonymize your data using two methods:

  • a simple but efficient donut anonymization
  • An advanced context sensitive anonymization algorithm.

The tool is based on the method developed in the following study:

Hasanzadeh, K., Kajosaari, A., Häggman, D., & Kyttä, M. (2020). A context sensitive approach to anonymizing public participation GIS data: From development to the assessment of anonymization effects on data quality. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 83, 101513.

This is a beta version of the tool and all feedback are welcome at this stage. If you have any inquiries, please find the contact information on

The tool currently only supports point data. More functionalities will be added to the hub in future.

anonymization, open data, open science, PPGIS

Participatory Mapping Institute
Copyright 2020