How knowing the purpose of mapping impacts the map and the mappers themselves

Authors: Patricia SolĂ­s*, Arizona State University, Pat DeLucia, Rice University
Topics: Geography Education, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Development
Keywords: Humanitarian Mapping, Data Quality, Volunteered Geographic Information, Global Citizenship, Empathy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The opportunity to engage university students in authentic, open humanitarian mapping raises important questions about how to guide the quality and productivity of volunteer spatial contributions while providing a valuable learning experience. It presents the unique chance to peak new mappers’ interest, satisfaction, and confidence in spatial technologies in particular, and technology in general, as well as pique their interest in the people and places that are served by the humanitarian mapping projects. This article shares the findings of a study that explores the importance of sharing authentic contextual information about the humanitarian purpose of spatial data collection. Two groups of beginner mappers were given mapping tasks, with only one group being provided details on the purpose. Comparisons were made on their respective performance and changes in affective response to series of questions about technology, education, and empathy. Measures of the quantity and quality of spatial data produced, of their respective levels of interest, satisfaction, and confidence in geospatial technology, and affective responses before and after mapping show the relative effects of contextual knowledge. Gender differences reveal additional insights. Results inform about the effectiveness of authentic instruction on the performance of mapping as well as the potential affect on mappers themselves. This presentation is based upon an article that has been submitted and accepted with revision to the Professional Geographer. It is based upon work supported through the YouthMappers program, which receives funding support from the US Agency for International Development.

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