Rahemtulla presentation at GEOIDE 2009 #3
Beyond The Internet ‐ Distributing Voluntary Geographic Information Using Mobile Technology, Hanif Rahemtulla The importance of community participation in local decision making and access to local information has been recognized as fundamental to a thriving local democracy. One of the most common mechanisms to achieve this is the Internet. Web‐based Geographical Information Systems (Web‐GIS) have also gained prominence. However, there is a link between social exclusion and digital exclusion which should not be ignored in this context. This paper gives a technical overview of the EcoTEXT system, designed to address this wikipedia, June 29, 2010: "the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalance both in physical access to technology and the resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen." For us, the digital divide includes access to a range of platforms, from Internet to mobile technologies. It includes the availability of data to make effective use of those technologies (e.g., a coarse resolution digital background on Google Maps may make it difficult to effectively use that technology).">digital divide by means of targeted text messages containing details of local events. Subscribers express a range of preferences as to the type of information and events of interest, and also provide information as to the distance from home they are willing to travel. Text messages are sent to their mobile phones free of charge. Using this mechanism greatly increases the potential audience for digital information held in Web‐GIS.