Tutkimus avaa karttapohjaisten osallistumismenetelmien roolia nykypäivän suunnittelussa

Karttapohjaisten osallistumismenetelmien

avulla voidaan tuottaa uutta tietoa, joka

perustuu kansalaisten kokemuksiin ja

näkemyksiin. Tällaista paikkaan sidottua

tietoa on viime aikoina hyödynnetty

etenkin yleis- ja asemakaavoituksessa ja

yhä enemmän myös liikenne-, viheralue- ja

luonnonvarojen käytön suunnittelussa.

Researchers and Citizens Co-Design Singapore’s Waterfront

Dr. Johannes Müller and his group at the ETH-Singapore Future Cities Laboratory has recently used Maptionnaire in the “Big Data Informed Urban Design” research project. Citizens as creative contributors to a crowd-informed city is one aspect of their project. In a case study, they empowered Singaporeans to plan a new waterfront neighborhood. This blog continues our series of interviews with researchers working with participatory mapping.


Johannes, could you first tell us a bit about your research group?

The Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) is the first program of the Singapore-ETH Centre, an institution established jointly by ETH Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation. In our work, we analyze and develop new strategies to involve citizens in the urban planning process.


What was your research project about?

Singapore’s waterfront is undergoing change as the current and centrally located container terminal in Tanjong Pagar will be moved elsewhere after 2027. The master planning of the site is now in progress, but the work is still at an early stage. We used this opportunity to showcase new forms of participatory design. As a research group, we wanted to not only learn how citizens would like to see the area develop, but also observe how they react to different digital participation tools.

Maptionnaire was one of the tools you experimented with. Can you elaborate what you did with it?

We decided to include Maptionnaire, because it is one of the very few products on the market that already contains a design component for regular people and is accessible via the internet.

And the questionnaire we made was a kind of a “Citizen as a Planner” game. Participants could zone the site as they wished by drawing residential, commercial and green areas on a map of Tanjong Pagar. We also asked participants to draw future pedestrian and cycling paths. Finally, people got to browse through pictures of existing examples from Singapore and choose which types of designs for parks, residential blocks, and malls they would prefer to see in the area.


What did you learn?

We’re still in the middle of reviewing the answers we received. I can, however, already say that a publicly accessible waterfront, good access to public transportation, and low-rise buildings with neighborhood parks were preferred by the participants.

There were process-related lessons as well. We had planned to organize some face-to-face events linked to the online questionnaire. Unfortunately, we did not manage to have quite as many participants join as we wanted to. What we learned is that reaching out to citizens successfully requires multiple areas of expertise, such as marketing, web design and social science.


What was your and the Singaporeans’ experience with Maptionnaire?

We think that the tool was a good choice for getting a sense of the opinion among citizens. Even though our questions were quite openly formulated, participants could clearly share their ideas in a more creative way than conventional survey tools would allow them to.

In general, people liked Maptionnaire because the tool contains elements every participant is familiar with: A map and a survey. Other tools we used in the project work with 3D city models. They turned out to be a bit challenging for some people because 3D models provide an uncommon representation of the existing space, and, hence, are more difficult to comprehend if a low level of detail is given. Our participants preferred tools that are not too abstract and show them a familiar user interference. The simplicity of the elements in Maptionnaire, therefore, was advantageous and motivated people to participate.

From the project management side, I also found Maptionnaire was very easy to use. It’s good that you don’t need specific knowledge about geography or GIS to work with it. You can get your response data automatically in an easily understandable format and further analysis can be done with common software.

The bottom line is that both the citizens and planners liked Maptionnaire because it facilitates the transforming of people’s ideas and opinions into generalized design instructions.


Heritage Is Ours – Crowdsourcing Place-Based Memories

Heritage Is Ours – Crowdsourcing Place-Based Memories

Public participation is important when it comes to built-heritage conservation. Celebrating its importance, as well as the European Year of Culture Heritage 2018, Europe Nostra has published “Heritage is Ours – Citizens Participating in Decision Making”. A book that presents inspiring practices and cases related to heritage participation. These crowdsourcing examples that come from all over Europe tell about citizens’ success on impacting cultural heritage decision-making processes.

Using Maptionnaire as a Research Tool at University of Melbourne

The blog post below was written by Adeline Gabriel – a student at the University of Melbourne. Adeline used Maptionnaire as a participatory research tool to map health-related experiences on her campus.

Post written by Adeline Gabriel

I used Maptionnaire software to demonstrate to my university Health Geography class how geospatial technologies could be used effectively to map health-related experiences. In the field of Health Geography, valuable data can often be lost in hordes of raw data sets. The strength of GIS (geographic information systems) like Mapionnnaire is their ability to link layers of data for statistical and spatial analysis and to communicate important correlations, trends, and patterns. In terms of effective visualization, Maptionnaire is an especially interface between real-world experience and diagrammatic representation. Maptionnaire is a strong example of a GIS program that allows for easy geocoding, collecting spatial data from participatory sources and pinpointing them on a map. This not the only GIS function of Maptionnaire, but it is it's most fundamental. Maptionnaire is also a great example of the analytical function of GIS, making it easy to identify correlated data layers.


Figure 1 Two of my favorite responses to my Maptionnaire Survey

Figure 1 Two of my favorite responses to my Maptionnaire Survey

My presentation addressed the capabilities and uses of GIS more broadly, focusing on Maptionnaire as a practical example of how GIS can be usefully employed. I created a rudimentary Maptionnaire software to collect qualitative, voluntary data on people’s well-being related experiences around the University of Melbourne campus. It was very similar to the questionnaire used in ‘Maptionnaire Analysis Tool Basics’ tutorial available in the User Guide. I asked for participants to identify locations they had had a positive or negative experience on campus, to describe that experience and to rate the intensity of that experience. By doing so, I was able to demonstrate to my class one means of sourcing data for GIS studies; through voluntary participants. A discussion ensued around the logistics of this form of data collection; one of its strengths is the acquiring clear qualitative data from a community. It has limitations in the accuracy of the public’s mapping abilities. The ethics concerning confidentiality and privacy of that information.

Figure 2 Responses from the Maptionnaire survey of my Health Geography class

Figure 2 Responses from the Maptionnaire survey of my Health Geography class

I found the correlation between Health Geography and GIS like Maptionnaire to be astoundingly evident. GIS has the capacity to clearly communicate patterns and correlations in data, and by doing so has an important role in shaping public policy, urban planning and decisions that affect wider communities. I could envision technology like Maptionnaire being used to identify unsafe or unfriendly parts of a city, to identify a popular place for the site of a health care service or to gauge the effectiveness of parks and public spaces in the well-being of the public. I think many companies, councils or institutions emphasize the importance of wider community input in decision making, but few act effectively on this. Maptionnaire is the perfect program to facilitate this. Although the example study I conducted in the class had relatively few participants and data points (24 respondents and 137 map responses), it would be a very easy process for the University administration to conduct the same survey on a wider scale. At a University with 42,000 students, our individual voice is rarely heard or considered, but each data tag on Maptionnaire is an indication of one of those voices. Programs like this would allow the University to gain important insights into students’ interactions with the campus. My survey, though small already showed clear commonly shared sites of negative or positive experiences; the Student Help Service: all negative experiences, the South Lawn: very positive experiences.  My professor was impressed by my small-scale study and has taken up the suggestion for the Geography faculty to conduct a wider survey of the student body to continue to teach and use geospatial technologies in a collaborative, interactive way. Maptionnaire is one of the most user-friendly, effective and informative platforms to collect Geospatial data so I’m sure they will be seeing more use from the University of Melbourne in the future.