Neogeography and the democratization of GIS: a metasynthesis of qualitative research

Byrne, Denise and Pickard, Alison (2016) Neogeography and the democratization of GIS: a metasynthesis of qualitative research. Information Communication and Society, 19 (11). pp. 1505-1522. ISSN 1369-118X

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Neogeography is the name given to the phenomenon of the vastly expanded Geographic Information Systems (GIS) user base. It consists of a collection of practices, tools and users generally found outside of traditional, authoritative GIS. GIS are computer applications that allow users to contribute geotagged data and to access and utilize geospatial data sets in combination with attribute information for a variety of purposes. This paper investigates questions of whether neogeography furthers the democratization of GIS and if increased access translates to empowerment or, conversely, to further marginalization. The research is interpretative and involves a literature review of the topic and a metasynthesis of recent qualitative research. Metasynthesis involves critical evaluation of data to identify an appropriate research sample and synthesis of findings by a compare-and-contrast exercise followed by reciprocal translation of each study into the other studies to reveal overarching metaphors. This is followed by conclusions and recommendations. The findings show that, depending on circumstances, neogeography can result in the democratization of GIS and geospatial data but may also constitute new methods of exclusion depending on technological and societal barriers. Neogeography can also result in empowerment, but this is difficult to define and is often highly contingent on local context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online first 4-1-16 PB
Uncontrolled Keywords: Neogeography; geoweb; geographic information science; volunteered geographic information; metasynthesis
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2016 13:24
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 22:50

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