Some useful links

Link chain

Web-based PPGIS

Here is an infographic-style overview I made of 8 popular commercial web-based PPGIS used in urban planning and community mapping. Together, the tools cover applications in the following countries: France, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Sweden, Czech Republic, and Finland.

Participatory mapping

The international and multilingual network is a great resource for participatory mapping (PGIS and PPGIS) in development contexts. It provides guidelines for effective participatory mapping, and a community to share experiences, get free training with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in GIS (e.g. QGIS), and ask questions. Do suscribe to their community mailing list to get help, share, and find out about job positions, projects, and new datasets and tools.

The network also hosts a live map of projects adopting the P3DM technology – participatory 3D modelling, based on topographical data, and easily deployable in many rural contexts. You can download the guidelines for participatory 3D modelling here.

The network is led by Giacomo Rambaldi, Jon Corbett, Michael K. McCall and Daniel Weiner.


This is the blog of Muki Haklay, a leading figure and researcher in Voluntary Geographic Information, Citizen Science, Extreme Science, and active with OpenStreetMap. He is Professor of Geographic Information Science in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic EngineeringUniversity College London, and Director of the UCL Extreme Citizen Science group.

GIS Software: Free and Open Source

QGIS (formerly Quantum GIS) is probably the most popular open source GIS software, developed and augmented by volunteers.

Check my blog for a concise list of free other mapping software

Past conferences in Geocollaboration, GIS and Participatory Mapping

Modern Methods and Tools for Public Participation in Urban Planning 2017, workshop held in Poznan, Poland 22-23 June 2017

For comprehensive notes of the workshop, check out the generous post by Muki Haklay: Day 1, and Day 2. The workshop was kindly organised and hosted by Piotr Jankowski, Geography Professor and Head of Department at San Diego State University.

The first part focused on different notions and tools of public participation GIS, and the second part of the workshop addressed geodesign, applications and discussions.

The Ordnace Survey Cambridge Conference 2017

This conference is held every four years by the UK  national mapping agency Ordnance Survey. See Muki Haklay’s notes on the event, which focused on “the Willing volunteer”, or the growing trend in volunteered geographic information (VGI).

Urban Planning Blogs & Websites

There is a flurry of blogs and websites that discuss all aspects of urban planning. Here is a selective list (do share your own favourite planning sites too)

Planetizen.  A US perspective to all aspects of sustainable spatial planning, featuring a lot of material/case studies on sustainable transport and reducing sprawl. A very well known and regarded source of information and experience-sharing.  Many resources for urban planning/urban design students as well. Their list of the Top Ten Urban Planning Websites.

The LSE Cities international research and educational centre is at the forefront of research on urban development and urban changes, based at the London School of Economics. 

LSE Cities’ Urban Age is an online repository of research and experience about all aspects of planning around the world.

CASA is the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the Bartlett School of Planning and Architecture, University College London.

Situated Ecologies looks at urban ecology from a social/ political ecological perspective:  ” [It] is a platform for research projects and activities that relate to situated and contested ecologies, in particular when viewed through the processes of urbanisation”. The platform is led by Henrik Ernstson from KTH (Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment). Here is the list of researchers involved in the different projects.

LinkedIn discussion groups

Relevant discussion groups on LinkedIn include:

  • Green Cities
  • 3D City Models
  • Urban Planning Group
  • Community Engagement
  • Smart Urbanism
  • City and Town Planning

Public Participation & Engagement

The UK Participation Compass provides lots of resources about all manner of public engagement. It provides a useful and informative list of available methods for public participation,  including ranges of financial costs typically associated withe each method.

The Participation Compass is produced by Involve, a UK…

think tank and charity specialising in public participation. Our mission is to inspire, innovate and embed effective citizen engagement, so that members of the public are able to take and influence the decisions that affect their lives.

Positive news

When the world is wearing you down (e.g. bad news on the mass media, personal difficulties, loss of motivation), straighten yourself and click Positive News for a magic potion of bright and inspiring news about ordinary people making the world a better place to live. Check their sections on Democracy, Innovation, or Sustainable Development, among many others.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s