The WUN MAP Project
Enhancing Citizen Participation With Mobile GIS Technology

A Collaborative Project Between The West University Neighbors and The University of Oregon

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The WUN MAP Project (pronounced: "One Map") is a collaborative effort
between residents of Eugene's West University Neighborhood and the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) at the University of Oregon.  The main goals of the project are to use community-based mapping to: 1) improve the quality of life in the neighborhood; and 2) provide a real world setting for students to learn and apply new GIS mapping skills.
Eric (left), a student in the GIS class, and Dan (right) from the neighborhood, collect neighbrohood asset data with a GIS-enabled PDA.

The centerpiece of the project was to collect neighborhood data, based on what the neighborhood wanted, utilizing ArcPad mobile GIS technology. Choose one of the following to learn more about specific elements of this effort::

This project follows an action research, service-learning, and collaborative approach to community development and learning GIS.  That is:

  • The planning and carrying out of community mapping activities is a joint process
  • Residents largely control the agenda on what is to be mapped and become more equal partners in other aspects of the project
  • Students largely carry out the more advanced technical aspects of the mapping, but balance their interpretations and assumptions with community input
  • Students apply new skills beyond the classroom in a way that brings benefit to the world
  • Residents and students jointly interpret the resulting data, each applying their own expertise and filters

We believe this approach has benefits beyond the actual data collection, mapping, and interpretation.  We believe that bringing students and residents together builds relationships among the individuals involved and trust between their larger organizations.  Students learn about the complexities of neighborhood decision making and are challenged to confront preconceived notions of the residents.  Likewise, neighborhood residents also confront stereotypes and biases toward the University and its students.  In the end, we are hoping that not only is the quality of life in the neighborhood improved and students gain valuable new skills, but that trust, understanding, and relationships will be built that will transcend the specific work of this project.

Related project components:

  Main Community-Based GIS with ArcPad Page  
Neighborhood GIS Walkability GIS Housing Condition GIS Teaching GIS



   For more information:
   Marc Schlossberg


Last edited on: December 07, 2004