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Mapping Global Climate Change using PPGIS

 

Global climate change has largely been the domain of scientists and the scientific community. Scientific research is conducted and the results are often displayed on maps showing the location of the landscape changes believed to be associated with climage change. This expert knowledge is very important to advance our understanding of global climate change.

But what if we could also harness the power of millions of observations of ordinary people that also observe landscape changes associated with climate change? Although ordinary people may lack scientific training and skills, they often possess specific knowledge of places in greater depth than many individuals in the scientific community.

The Global Climate Change Mapping Project is designed to engage "citizen science" by offering the ordinary person the opportunity to locate and identify changes that may be due to climate change. The website uses a Google Maps interface that allows individuals to map landscape changes and to describe those changes by annotating the map location.

The Landscape Values Institute has developed a website that uses PPGIS to map climate change observations from people around the world. When sufficient observations are accumulated, the climate change observations will be displayed in a map viewer for comparison with data generated from the scientific community.

The website is located here: Global Climate Change Mapping Project

A lesson plan/study guide for using the website for teaching about climate change in the classroom is available for downloading here: Climate Change Lesson Plan. An actual assignment (as a Word Document so you can edit) used in an introductory environmental studies course at Central Washington University is located here.

For more information about the website, contact Greg Brown.