A clever Argooment

Rinner et al. explore the capabilities of participatory GIS in a case study involving an application that uses geographic arguments in collaborative decision-making processes. The application, called ArgooMap, uses a combination of time-stamped thread conversation “mashed-up” with a map API (in this case Google Maps API), and appears to present significant benefits over decision-making without a GIS. The article is written clearly and effectively outlines first the theory/technology behind the process and then uses the Ryerson University case study to showcase the capabilities of the application.

Using Google Maps API in conjunction with user-generated content (whether volunteered or not) poses nearly infinite possibilities in myriad fields. ArgooMap is particularly interesting in its ability to add an entire dimension to normal conversation. So much of what we say, especially when we are making decisions, has geographic ramifications. Many markets and advertisers are trying, and in many ways succeeding, in parsing our monitored conversations to extract geographic content to better target products. This is largely out of our hands, but normal conversation and decision-making is not. ArgooMap seems to implement the concept of cognitive maps, which drives the conversation in alternative directions. This rings especially true in the reference to mentioning geographic content at varying scales depending on the presence of the visible map. If all interlocutors are seeing the same map simultaneously, they can refer to specific places or directions that previously only existed in the mind of the speaker alone.

As an aside, it would be incredibly interesting to see Twitter, where users are constantly tweeting back and forth, implement a map similar to ArgooMap. Perhaps when programmers solve the geotagging puzzle…

– JMonterey

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