Community and Regional Planning Program


Date of this Version

Summer 7-15-2013


Liu, T. Internet-Based Public Participation GIS in Environmental Management. MCRP Thesis. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2013.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning, Under the Supervision of Professor Zhenghong Tang. Lincoln, Nebraska: June, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Tiantian Liu


Environmental problems are among the most urgent and significant issues in contemporary society and have attracted increasing attention all around the world. How to deal with the interaction between human and natural environment and achieve sustainable development is the task of environmental management. With the development of the democratic process, participatory management and planning show incomparable advantages in the decision making process. How to facilitate public participation in environmental management is the research endeavor of this thesis. With the development of the Internet and technology, Internet-based PPGIS becomes an affordable and accessible GIS tool for public engagement. This thesis uses case study methodology, focusing on six current computer applications using the PPGIS tool in the environmental management field (Abandoned Developments, CoCoRaHS, eBird, OakMapper, OpenStreetMap, and What’s Invasive!) to evaluate the current conditions. Through the SWOT analysis, a structured planning method to evaluate a project, the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the current use are studied. Although weaknesses and threats like the data quality issue do exist, the strengths and opportunities support the encouragement of this tool not only in environmental management issues but also in other social issues need general public participation in a wider range of time and space. This thesis use the environmental justice issue as an example to provide suggestions based on the analysis results for the future better use of this tool in environmental management field.

Advisor: Zhenghong Tang