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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2(2), 480-506; doi:10.3390/ijgi2020480

A Spatially Intelligent Public Participation System for the Environmental Impact Assessment Process

*  and
School of Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 5 May 2013 / Accepted: 7 May 2013 / Published: 27 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Mapping)
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An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a decision-making process that evaluates the possible significant effects that a proposed project may exert on the environment. The EIA scoping and reviewing stages often involve public participation. Although its importance has long been recognized, public participation in the EIA process is often regarded as ineffective, due to time, budget, resource, technical and procedural constraints, as well as the complexity of environmental information. Geographic Information System (GIS) and Volunteer Geographic Information (VGI) have the potential to contribute to data collection, sharing and presentation, utilize local user-generated content to benefit decision-making and increase public outreach. This research integrated GIS, VGI, social media tools, data mining and mobile technology to design a spatially intelligent framework that presented and shared EIA information effectively to the public. A spatially intelligent public participative system (SIPPS) was also developed as a proof-of-concept of the framework. The research selected the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP) as the pilot study area. Survey questionnaires were designed to collect feedback and conduct evaluation. Results show that SIPPS was able to improve the effectiveness of public participation, promote environmental awareness and achieve good system usability.
Keywords: GIS; VGI; public participation; environmental impact assessment GIS; VGI; public participation; environmental impact assessment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lei, L.; Hilton, B. A Spatially Intelligent Public Participation System for the Environmental Impact Assessment Process. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2, 480-506.

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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert