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Harnessing the Chaotic: Using the Participatory Geoweb to Make Sense of Forest Fires

Harnessing the Chaotic: Using the Participatory Geoweb to Make Sense of Forest Fires
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Author(s): Jon M. Corbett (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada), Samantha Brennan (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada) and Aidan Whitely (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)
Copyright: 2019
Pages: 17
Source title: Environmental Information Systems: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7033-2.ch044

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Abstract

Communities in the Okanagan Valley, Canada are increasingly under threat from forest fires due to climate change and expanding urban development into fire interface zones. The effects of forest fires are not always quantifiable ‘hard' impacts. The fluid and chaotic ‘soft' impacts can have a profound effect on the collective consciousness of the people living close to the fires. To make sense of these impacts and understand where and when these forest fires have taken place, the authors have developed and implemented a Geoweb tool to support citizen-to-citizen dialogue and tell the stories of these impacts. This article will explore the interlinked ‘chaos' that exists between forest fires, GIS and volunteered geographic information, using a Geoweb focused case study from the Okanagan Valley, and argue that the Geoweb offers an unprecedented opportunity for citizen-citizen interaction and combines many types of dissimilar and unstructured data into a unified whole.

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