Call for Special Issue on “GeoWeb and GeoMobile Applications for Public Engagement Emerging Trends and Novel Approaches”

A new call for a special issue with the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is out, on the topic of “GeoWeb and GeoMobile Applications for Public Engagement Emerging Trends and Novel Approaches” . The deadline for manuscript submissions is 31st of July 2021 (note that accepted papers will appear online earlier if they are accepted). Guest editors for this special issue are: Dr Artemis Skarlatidou, Dr Vyron Antoniou, Dr Patrick Rickles and Professor Muki Haklay.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Information and communication technologies have been evolving rapidly over the past few decades, bringing significant changes to the field of geographic information science and changing the ways in which a much wider audience of people—other than geospatial experts—interact with and rely on online geospatial information. Fast internet speeds, network availability (even in remote areas), open-source software, mobile phones and other technologies equipped with locational services, new hardware (e.g. sensors, drones), to mention just a few of the technological developments,  have resulted in a vast amount of geospatial data being captured and used in web and mobile geographic applications. This constant evolution has enabled people to go from passive consumers of geospatial information into active producers, and it is clear that the way in which the geospatial web (GeoWeb) is currently being utilised opens up new channels for public engagement, providing the means to engage new audiences in various contexts and for various purposes.  

The use of geospatial visualisations for the inclusion of local indigenous knowledges and democratic (spatial) decision-making traces back to the field of participatory GIS. The recent trends in GeoWeb and GeoMobile have expanded these capabilities and we are witnessing a new era of geo-participation, where geospatial technologies are constantly being integrated into our daily activities and becoming increasingly important in terms of addressing 21st century challenges. For some public authorities, the facilitation of smart city initiatives through participatory public services has led to the development of GeoWeb applications where citizens provide real-time information about urban life and other neighbourhood issues, such as broken traffic lights which directly notify the relevant public administration departments (Tsampoulatidis et al. 2019). In education, GeoWeb applications are now not only used to educate students about specific topics; students can identify problems and set up their own participatory geographic applications, which enables them to engage in civic matters and extend their understanding of social justice issues (Corbett and Legault 2019). An increasing number of GeoMobile applications further enable people to collect, share and analyse geospatial data for crisis mapping, disaster management, and for participating in the scientific discovery (citizen science applications). A few of these applications are even used with indigenous communities and illiterate people in developing regions, supporting environmental justice movements and further promoting biocultural diversity (Skarlatidou et al. 2020). These recent trends and emerging approaches for geo-participation in the GeoWeb introduce new challenges and opportunities. 

The aim of this Special Issue is to present high quality, original manuscripts to capture the recent trends and emerging approaches in the current GeoWeb landscape for public engagement purposes; the new challenges and opportunities that we are facing. Manuscripts must be original, but significant expansions and revisions of papers recently presented at conferences and workshops will be considered. Papers considering issues under the following themes are particularly welcomed:

  • Review papers to capture the current state of the art in the context of geo-participation.
  • Socio-technical approaches for the development and deployment of GeoWeb applications to support public engagement and which address global or local challenges in the 21st century (e.g. sustainability; risk and disaster management, etc.). 
  • Case studies and lessons learnt from the use of GeoWeb applications to support public engagement in various contexts.
  • Challenges and barriers in the use of GeoWeb applications in the current social- technical landscape; here, we expect contributions to also emphasise on salient concepts such as ownership, access and trust issues that surround the production of volunteered geographic information (VGI) and how it is currently consumed. Usability and usefulness are also prevalent research topics for uncovering and introducing novel solutions to improve mainstream interaction with geographic applications and make them more accessible and inclusive.

To submit your paper or for any additional information visit the special issue’s page on the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information.

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