05 January 2009

An online map of red dots

Camden's new spatially-enabled online reporting system of complaints has resulted in an easily accessible map that has some people feeling "despondent". Maybe they should consider a new tagline like, Camden: The City of Unresolved Complaints. This is a good example of how VGI and PPGIS can backfire. Being able to complain isn't the same as having your voice heard.

1 comment:

Ken S said...

While on face value the lack of responses on the part of the city is certainly disappointing, I wouldn't say the map is not productive or constructive and the idea from the news article that the map would be wiped clean is rather alarming.

Would this news article have been written and the problem addressed in the media with tangible numbers without the map? Seems like that is a positive outcome if nothing else.

As a GIS person I see this is a data generation tool beyond the use by the city. Over 1000 data points can with the use of GIS be used to create a lot of maps of trends, hot spots, etc and since the data is all there in the page source there is no reason citizen groups cannot grab it and use it to generate maps, tables, and requests without waiting for the city to get off its collective rumps.

I think its a great use of the technology and well done. It is too bad the city has not supported it more, but the data generated by the citizens is a great thing, regardless of what the city does, provided someone scoops it before it is wiped clean.