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Capturing Narratives of Place: Geotools for Citizen Engagement

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Janet Silbernagel

on 22 March 2018

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Transcript of Capturing Narratives of Place: Geotools for Citizen Engagement

Explorer App
Allows members to explore outside and capture place-based observations from the field to share with community
Design & Piloting
user-centered design and pretesting
Capturing Narratives of Place:
Geotools for Citizen Engagement

Janet Silbernagel

6 Sep 2017

Create a real-time platform for communities to build their own spatial narratives from place-based experiences
observations (photos, audio, videos, notes)
invasive species
rare/threatened species
unique geology/landforms
recreational activities
restoration projects
management issues
birds & blooms
Surfer App
for browsing & entering content from home base
piloting workshops with 3 community partners
quantitative and qualitative surveys (n=40)
spatial analysis of user-contributed content
(n=772 observations)
Predesign Phase
User Evaluations
2) promoted greater mindfulness while out in nature for some - a mixed bag
3) users enjoyed learning about new ecosystems, wildlife and places
4) potential for robust spatial analysis,
5) moderation & updates are challenging
10 pretesting workshops with 150+ participants
user & content analysis
99 total observations
technical and methodological challenges
1) most said apps were relatively easy to use

2) the mobile app effectively or very effectively engaged
78% of participants in their surrounding landscapes

3) users more likely to notice plants, animals, or other
natural features while using the mobile app

4) some (40%) plan to continue using the apps after the
project ends

5) 47% experienced 1-2 technical issues
42% experienced several/several significant tech issues
perception of the app's ease of use
app's ability to upload local content of interest to the user
users’ intention to continue using the app outside of the project
prior app/smartphone use
user prefers to interact with landscapes with as
technology as possible
Content Analysis
1) geotools well-received,... with technical modifications
A suite of mobile- and web-based tools for constructing place-based narratives, in ways that enrich the analytical power of GIS with local knowledge.
Pilot the tools in a coastal community to evaluate citizen engagement and spatial capabilities
Telling the story of a place.

NOAA SeaGrant (WI, MN)
Regional award for outstanding programming
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Community groups as authors…

and explorers
ArcGIS.com backbone for authoring
Mobile (explorer) app for iOS
Storymap- like web (surfer) app
community-driven topics & sites
Moving Forward
research & design team:
Applications Prototype Lab, Esri
Patrick Robinson, ERC, UWGB
David Hart, WI SG
Francis Eanes & Matthew Axler, UW-Mad
UW DoIT learning center…
All participants from Green Bay / Northeast Wisconsin

Researcher as author...
Prototype development with Esri APL
prototype development
Integrate spatial narrative concept into supported tools, especially:
Storymap Crowdsource Builder
Survey 123 - App Studio
Green Infrastructure

with F.Eanes, D.Hart, P.Robinson
for WSL Landscape Dynamics Research Unit
Forthcoming Publications:

Eanes ,F. P.Robinson, J.Silbernagel.
Effects of scale and the biophysical environment on sense of place in northeastern Wisconsin's bioregions.
Human Ecology Review.

Eanes, F., J.Silbernagel, et al.
in review.
Participatory mobile- and web-based tools for eliciting landscape knowledge and perspectives: introducing and evaluating the Wisconsin Geotools Project.
J.Coastal Conservation.

Eanes, F., J.Silbernagel, et al.
in revision.
Interactive Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives for Landscape Conservation and Public Engagement.
Landscape Research.
Growth areas:
coastal & species monitoring
citizen science applications
ecosystem services valuation
place-based education

Yet, how do we keep up with technol?

What if we could read places like a good book?
spatial narratives:
bring the qualitative experience of place together with the analytic
geo-science of space.

to engage citizens in place & build spatial literacy of Great Lakes coastal communities.

Every Place has a Story
Workshop Activities:

visit St. Louis River Estuary
explore places in Geotools surfer app
add observations to Swiss Places storymap
discuss benefits & limitations
briefly look at Survey123 sample

Thank you!

open & adaptable
robust spatial analytics
leverages exploding tech
backed by socio-ecol research
Full transcript