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Monday, April 9 • 1:30pm - 1:45pm
SYMPOSIA-06: A bright future for participatory mapping?

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AUTHORS: Sarah Gergel, University of British Columbia

ABSTRACT: Participatory mapping is an important method of characterizing landscapes yet it has only recently been embraced by much of the landscape ecology and environmental science communities. Participatory techniques range widely, encompassing “low-tech” pen-and-paper exercises to use of big data and mobile remote sensing units. Most importantly, participatory mapping emphasizes the direct involvement of local people to characterize landscape features, human activities, ecosystem services and/or resource use. Participatory approaches potentially include sites of cultural significance as well as travel routes. Rigorous quantitative methods for evaluating participatory outputs remain elusive, however. Furthermore, comparisons between participatory mapping outputs versus conventionally-produced landscape ecological maps (such as remote sensing products) is a key research need. Here I outline some of the primary contrasts in output from participatory versus remote-sensing approaches, as well as discuss the benefits and limitations of each for assessing landscape heterogeneity and characterizing local ecological knowledge over broad spatio-temporal scales. I aim to provide recommendations for building better conceptual and technical bridges that support incorporation of participatory mapping into landscape ecological assessments in a variety of settings (from terrestrial to aquatic to marine landscapes). Additionally, I aim to set up the over-arching question for our subsequent special session: What is the future of participatory mapping and geospatial citizen science?

Monday April 9, 2018 1:30pm - 1:45pm CDT
Grant Park Parlor