Spatial awareness in web 2.0 era: An evaluation framework using mobile devices on a web-based GIS

Project Number
RI 2/13 WBS

Project Duration
May 2014 - May 2017

Status
In-Progress (Extended)

Abstract
Spatial awareness is one of the fundamental capabilities in construct spatial cognition. It has been emphasized in geography initiatives by The National Academy of Sciences of the United States. A conventional approach to develop the ability of spatial awareness is through static maps, which have been long adopted as the media to help human recognize the world. Due to the invention of computers, Geographic Information System (GIS) is developed and improves the way of spatial representation by digital data and models. The bloom of Internet provides a web-based platform to the public for easy access of spatial information. The revolution of web 2.0 and rapid growth of smart mobile devices further make people more sensitive to places and locations. However, researchers rarely pay attention the influence of mobile devices and web GIS on spatial awareness and explore how people develop their understanding of space. Spatial awareness of the public may be improved when people share and read volunteered geographic information (VGI) from various web platforms. With the improvement of VGI, the shared information can be used as referenced spatial data and benefit people in spatial decision making and pattern recognition. Thus the major objectives in there are two-fold: 1) to evaluate the degree of spatial awareness of the public when they can access dynamic spatial information based on mobile devices; 2) to explore how the public construct spatial awareness and recognize spatial patterns through public participation. To reach the above goals, this research will develop a web-based GIS platform to receive spatial information and feedbacks from mobile devices. All records sent to the platform will be analyzed by tag-cloud technology and GIS analyses for the evaluation of spatial awareness. Through the evaluation framework, this research will contribute to geography research in three aspects: 1) the understanding of spatial awareness of the public under the cutting-edge technologies, 2) a portal to share and represent spatial information by volunteers, and 3) the improvement of spatial cyber-infrastructure based on user-generated context.

Funding Source
NIE

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