‘Share’ term has turned into a key issue of many successful initiatives in recent times. Following the advent of Web 2.0, such positive experiences based on mass collaboration generated “Wikinomics” have become “Socialnomics”, where “Citizens are voluntary sensors”.

During the past decades, the main issue in GIS implementation has been the availability of sound spatial information. Nowadays, the wide diffusion of electronic devices providing geo-referenced information have resulted in the production of extensive spatial information datasets. This trend has led to “GIS wikification”, where mass collaboration plays a key role in main components of spatial information frameworks (hardware, software, data, and people). Some authors (Goodchild, 2007) talk about “Volunteered Geographic Information” (VGI), as the harnessing of tools to create, assemble, and disseminate geographic information provided by individuals voluntarily creating their own contents by marking the locations of occurred events or by labeling certain existing features. not already been shown on map.

The term “neogeography” is often adopted to describe people activities when using and creating their own maps, geo-tagging pictures, movies, websites, etc. It could be defined as a new bottom – up approach to geography prompted by users, therefore introducing changes in the roles of ‘traditional’ geographers and ‘consumers’ of geographical contents themselves. The volunteered approach has been adopted by important organizations.

Whilst technologies (e.g. GPS, remote sensing, etc.) can be useful in producing new spatial data, volunteered activities are the only way to update and describe such data. If, on one hand, spatial data have been produced in various ways, on the other hand remote sensing, sensor networks and other electronic devices generate a great flow of relevant spatial information concerning several aspects of human activities or of environmental phenomena monitoring. Further, during natural calamitous events (e.g. earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.), a crucial contribution to the response planning and emergency management derive really from data created by amateur citizens, who report the status of disaster-hit areas by using mobile devices or ad hoc Web-GIS services.

This “Information-Explosion Era” is characterised by a large amount of information produced both by human activities and by automated systems; the capturing and the manipulation of this information leads to” urban computing” and represents a sort of bridge between computers and the real world, accounting for the social dimension of human environments. This technological evolution produced a new Paradigm of Urban Development, called “u-City”, mainly rooted in Korea. Its transposition outside Asian contexts has led to the smart cities concept.

Such phenomena offer new challenges to scholars (geographers, engineers, planners, economists, sociologists, etc.) as well as to spatial planners in addressing spatial issues and a wealth of brand-new, updated data, generally created by people who are interested in geographically related phenomena. As attention is to-date dedicated to visualization and content creation, little has still been done from the spatial analytical point of view and in involving users – as citizens – in participatory geographical activities.

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Workshop Description


"Cities, Technologies and Planning" (CTP 15)

in conjunction with

The 2015 International Conference on Computational Science and its Applications (ICCSA 2015) June 22th - June 25th, 2015, University of Calgary, Banff, Canada