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Apr 25, 2019

Paul Clarke of Esri UK, Graeme McDonald of Solace and Stuart Cole of Oxfordshire County Council explain how crowd-sourced, interactive maps help create active citizens.

Stuart Cole, who is part of the Innovation team at Oxfordshire County Council says that digital maps are enabling a whole new degree of interaction between local authorities and the people who live ‘in their patch’.

Citizens can contribute their local knowledge (eg reporting potholes or problems with footpaths) and their views (eg about local development plans) and councils can share this crowd-sourced data with them in a time and cost-effective way.

Map-based tools are also helping galvanise local volunteers to support local services like libraries and parks and an important consequence of this is that it tends to increase people’s interest in their local area and its publicly available facilities.

These developments have been facilitated by significant improvements in the usability and presentation of digital mapping tools, so that they are much easier for the non-specialist to use than they were even five years ago.