Geovisualisation and communication in participatory decision processes

This project develops a collaborative and discursive spatial planning environment based on virtual globes. It does so by using lab situations that include pupils as developers and later as evaluators of the platform they have been conceiving. Pupils therefore are participating in all aspects of the R&D process in a continuing and ongoing cooperation between researchers and education partners.

The discussion on participative planning environments so far has developed a wide variety of different planning tools. These are partly based on face2face situations, partly on blended learning principles and partly already use Web2.0 technologies. One of these tools supporting planning under the conditions of global change with specific use of scientific data in the decision making process is "Surfing Global Change". Here, a democratic and discursive decision making process will be emphasized. This toolset has been tested in both real world planning situations as well as in interdisciplinary teaching and learning situations at universities and schools. Spatial planning here offers a support for learning processes. This conception follows the idea that collaborative spatial planning can be considered as a learning process by trading participants’ views on a specific problem.

However, as with most other collaborative planning tools, “Surfing Global Change” (SGC) is missing out on (geo-)spatial visualisation. Current thought in spatial visualisation hints at support function for hypotheses generating in discursive processes. GEOKOM-PEP tries to enhance spatial planning by developing and evaluating a geovisualisation for the existing SGC planning tool that can be used by laypersons. At the same time, pupils are involved in developing a specific learning environment. It is supposed that the project helps pupils to use tools of e-participation and e-democracy, as well as developing a sense of spatial citizenship.

This project has been completed.