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Trends, Conclusions and Recommendations for the Future of Participatory Mapping Software


Year published: 2023
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-19594-5_11

Author / Authors:

  • Peter A. Kwaku Kyem
  • Charla M. Burnett



The goal of this edited volume is to provide practitioners and users of with a common framework for assessing and selecting participatory mapping software in hopes of making the process more streamlined and efficient. This chapter provides an overview of some of the criteria and important factors that may serve as useful guides to the selection of participatory mapping software. Today, easy access to digital data and mapping technology allows indigenous groups and communities in developing countries to engage in participatory mapping to re-map and defend their territories. Although technology is not a requirement, the computer mapping software plays a critical role in determining the success of participatory mapping projects. Given the critical roles computer software systems play in collective mapping projects that occur in traditional societies today, it is important that we focus on their adoption and examine the impacts that they create on the participatory processes, the communities and society at large. The chapter argues that developing mapping software systems without clearly considering costs, ethical concerns, analytical levels and visualization capabilities of end users, could lead to the development of software artifacts that fail to fulfill the needs of end users. Accordingly, software developers and users alike must explicitly identify and abide by ethical principles to guide them develop and use safe and useful technological products and services that best meets the needs of people in the target communities.

Participatory mapping software,
GIS development,
Participatory action research,


  • Book Chapter