[HOT] Science on the Street Level

Om G om.imap at gmail.com
Tue May 22 08:22:52 BST 2012

Fred, thank you so much for this

> For me, we need to let the people represent their area as they want (and 
> in Cite Soleil it is an area at risk, and they are mapping several 
> object, garbage, most flooded area, school, .... ) and perhaps the 
> scientific world forget something to mention on a Micro Level.

OSM's strength is that users can add what matters to them. People doing 'real' risk modeling have a great deal of resources in comparison with those 'at risk' and might also be quite reluctant to make some of these vulnerable locations public for fear of legal repercussions or giving away information of possible strategic value to an 'enemy' of some sort.

When individuals on the ground have capacity to share what they perceive to be a risk we learn what they care about and quite often will also find things that qualify as "real" risks.

Another important point, being shown again and again, that participatory mapping is not a one shot experience, but rather the beginning of an ongoing conversation. The first step of including self perceived risks will start communication flow in the right direction and quickly identify folks who would provide much higher quality results for a second phase. This also provides a nice progression from basic skills to more advanced work for the citizen mapper.

For both, we need something general enough to manage individual inputs and accurate enough for the risk modelers and researchers to make valid use of.

I think it would be very interesting to see how closely the citizen's risk evaluation matches up with the scientist's.


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