Public Participation Internet Mapping Application
The Kittitas County Open Mapping Project has been discontinued.
For several years, RGIS-PNW has worked with rural governments to help them take advantage of geospatial information technologies. This has been done based on opportunities and observations of needs, without systematic analysis of where and how clientele have benefited and without a process to identify the most pressing needs. Technologies such as Internet Mapping Services (IMS) are increasingly becoming an effective tool for gathering information and opinions from citizens and communities. RGIS-PNW will implement a pilot project with a local rural community to assess the effectiveness of this innovative technology to extract information from citizens. Through feedback provided via the IMS, RGIS-PNW will assess utility of the system for voicing and communicating citizen needs, ideas, and perceptions, and where improvements can be made to improve the system's functions.
A public participation GIS was deployed over the internet in the form of a spatial survey, which allowed local knowledge to be used for delineating places in the landscape that contribute to the identity of a community and the quality of life of its residents. Many rural communities perceived as having high amenity values are experiencing in-migration. This can result in land use changes that alter the landscape and disrupt the social, biological, and physical systems within it. Land development can alter places in the landscape that contain meaning and hold value for residents. Additionally, development patterns may not reflect the preferences of the community. As a result quality of life for long-time residents and the amenities that initially attracted new residents and businesses may be degraded. A better understanding of the places that are meaningful to a community and the landscape preferences of the community can help protect and enhance these economic, social, and psychological assets of a community.
This research extends the functionality of GIS technology to anyone with access to the internet and makes public participation in the planning process more accessible. It also transcribes the less tangible aspects of the ecosystems, such as human perception, into a digital format that can be synthesized with existing GIS data concerning the biological and physical attributes of the landscape. Environmental planners, non-governmental agencies, and citizens can utilize this information to inform land use decision making.
Read Stakeholder assessment using internet mapping bulletin for more information.