How to Map Ocean Uses with Participatory GIS

  1. Workshop Preplanning

    Project scoping, budget planning (for time and money), and staffing are the most important initial considerations. Six months before the workshop is a good time to start. Topics covered include a list of participating staff members and their roles and responsibilities; well-defined project goals and study area boundaries; a list of target uses to be covered; and consultations with stakeholders and resource managers to determine a budget and identify funding.

  2. Design the Workshop

    This phase, which should start as soon as funding has been committed and project planning is nearly complete, usually continues right up to the day of the workshop. Work to be done here includes developing initial outreach products, invitation lists, the workshop agenda, supplemental documents, data, and equipment lists, and making decisions about logistical components such as the venue and catering options.

    • Appendices (Job Aids)
    • 2-1. Sources of Potential Participants
      2-2. Sample Email Invitation
      2-3. Participant Expertise Tracking
  3. Implement the Workshop

    Before the workshop, leaders will confirm staffing, administer staff training as needed, and set up workshop supplies and the facility.

    The actual workshop includes participant registration or check-in, an introductory presentation, mapping exercises in breakout groups, and a wrap-up or debrief. Participants map the targeted ocean uses during the breakout groups.

    • Appendices (Job Aids)
    • 2-8. Workshop Daily Overview
      2-5. Instructions for Workshop Participants
      2-6. Workshop Evaluation Form
      2-9. Instructions for Process Facilitators
      2-10. Instructions for GIS Facilitators
      3-1. Mapping Exercise Overview
  4. Process and Analyze Data

    Once the workshop is complete, the focus shifts toward data processing, analysis, and results. Several options should be considered for post-workshop data processing, some of which can require significant additional time and resource commitments. At a minimum, allow one month for basic data review and aggregation. Additional validation steps, such as public meetings or webinars, map production, and creating custom cartographic products and analyses, can greatly increase that time estimate.

    • Appendices (Job Aids)
    • 2-11. Technical Tutorial for Data Processing
      4-1. Data Processing Guide
  5. Validate and Publish Data

    In this final step, draft data are reviewed and validated by workshop participants. This task includes outreach to project participants for feedback, consideration of comments and refinement of draft data, and final data product development, publication, and distribution.

    Data validation is important. This task can increase confidence in the final products by allowing additional users to contribute input. Several methods may be considered for data validation, including presentations, focus group discussions, and interviews. When determining the final packaging and distribution, work with the intended data users to decide on preferred file formats and distribution vehicles, such as websites, hard copies, and publications.