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Karl Atzmanstorfer holds a MSc in Applied Geoinformatics and a MSc in Geography, History and Political/Social Sciences from Salzburg University. Additionally he has successfully completed classes in law, regional management and spanish.
His scientific interests focus on the use of GIS in Latin America. He worked on the application of GIS in Public Health Planning (internship at UNAN Leon, Nicaragua) and on the development of a GIS-model for environmental niche detection that was designed to support the diversification of tropical smallholder agriculture with high-value crops (master thesis at the International Center of Tropical Agriculture, CIAT, Colombia). Between 2007 and 2012 he was coordinating the postgraduate distance learning program UNIGIS in Latin America (www.unigis.net/quito). Futhermore he is giving support to the participatory capacity building initiativeAmazonGISnet, an indigenous-lead initiative for the local and regional planning of the Ecuadorian Amazon Provinces, and other community based (GIS-)projects in Ecuador.
These initiatives clearly showed the urgent need for developing new tools and methods for participatory urban and regional planning and the efficient management of spatially-related conflicts. Based on these experiences, the proposed PHD aims to merge geo-web technologies for building a common, interactive platform (the so-called GeoCitizen/GeoCiudadano) linking information on a neighborhood scale (= citizens' observations and perceptions on their living space) in order to provide the framework for individuals and communities to identify conflicts and offer solutions to themselves or other communities.
Research Cluster: Time and Process / Spatialization, Media and Society
PhD Thesis Topic: Community-based spatial planning with social geo-web platforms
Especially (but not exclusively) in Latin America, there is an urgent need for a new and innovative way to structure information and communication processes regarding spatial planning processes with a high level of usability for citizens at a neighborhood scale. Conflicts that have to be aimed with new participatory planning methodologies and tools tend to occur in following areas:
1. Territorial management and public comunitarian services
Recently there have been developed participatory geo-portals that involucrate citizen in such processes, like www.fixmystreet.com that may be considered as best practice cases for this PHD.
The proposed methodology will be operationalized with the geo-web tool GeoCiudadano (GeoCitizen), that is currently developed for its applications in different pilot projects in Latin America. The GeoCitizen is a geo-web platform for:
Especially in ‘developing’ countries there is a lack of e.g. health- and security services provided by governments, transparent information policy about infrastructure projects, extraction and conservation of environmental resources, land tenure, etc. This widespread information deficit which cannot - or sometimes is not requested on purpose - by public institutions, can only be satisfied by sharing information directly between the affected citizens/communities. Therefore, the tool provides the context for local knowledge-sharing through integrated communicational tools that constitute a social network for citizens and their initiatives in order to participate in local development in an organized and structured way. With the help of the GeoCitizen, people and communities can exchange their everyday experiences, based on geographical features located on a map. This geofeatures are related to pre-structured topics in different discussion forums, where working groups try to identify sound and sustainable solutions. In their solution finding process they are linked to all other neighborhoods having the same necessities and maybe already providing solutions for the same type of problem. Upon request, each topic/discussion process can be guided by a moderator (that may be an expert, but not necessarily is), that designs questionnaires in order to collect specific information about the discussed topic within the discussion group, at public authorities, scientific institutions or others. The platform may include – if it is desired by the affected community - all conflict stakeholders from governments, municipalities, local organizations and the citizen itself which can feed the system with information that simultaneously can be compared and analyzed by GIS-tools and visualized on thematic layers on the platform. This encourages ongoing discussions and the solution finding process.
Eitzinger, A., Atzmanstorfer, K. and R. Resl (2013): The Geo-Citizen approach: implementation of a participation framework for citizen collaboration. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Environmental Information and Communication (CEGeoIC), 2013. Bogotá, Colombia.
Atzmanstorfer, K. and T. Blaschke (2013): Geospatial web: A tool to support the empowerment of citizens through e-participation? In: NUNES SILVA, C. (ed.). Handbook of Research on E-Planning: ICTs for Urban Development and Monitoring. Hershey (PA): IGI-Global, 546 pp.
Resl R., A. Eitzinger and K. Atzmanstorfer (2012): Platform for Collaborative Problem Solving within the Citizen´s Spatial Context. In: Proceedings of the ESRI User Conference, 2012. San Diego, USA.
Atzmanstorfer K. and R. Resl (2010): Diseño de Curriculum de SIG para la Demanda Professional en Latinoamérica. In: Proceedings of the ESRI User Conference Latin America, 2010. México D.F., México.
Atzmanstorfer K. and R. Resl (2009): UNIGIS in Latin America 1999-2009: Experiences of a Distance Education Program for GIS in Latin America. In: Proceedings of the International Cartographic Conference (ICC), 2009. Santiago de Chile, Chile.
Atzmanstorfer, K. (2007): GIS-based analysis of cowpea adaptation to Colombian hillside environment - exploring opportunities for high value crops. Magisterarbeit. Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität Salzburg.
Atzmanstorfer, K., T. Oberthur et al. (2006): Probability Modelling to Reduce Decision Uncertainty in Environmental Niche Identification and Driving Factor Analysis: CaNaSTA Case Studies. In: P. Zeil & S. Kienberger, Geoinformation for Development. Conference Proceedings. University of Salzburg, Austria.
PPGIS (Public Participatory GIS), Spatial Planning in Latin America, VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information), Geo-Web Tools, GIS in Higher Education