Monday, December 22, 2008

Video documentary "Giving Voice to the Unspoken: now available with subtitles in Arabic, Fijian, Italian, Swahili and Turkish.

20-minute video production showing the hands-on aspects of Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM). The video supports all practical aspects of P3DM described in the resource book "Participatory 3-Dimensional Modelling: Guiding Principles and Applications" and documents in detail an exercise conducted within the Pu Mat National Park, a protected area in Vietnam.

Thanks to voluntary translations :-) the video is now available with subtitles in Arabic, Fijian, Italian, Swahili and Turkish. More languages to come soon.

If you are interested to embed this video on your web site or blog, follow this link.

PGIS/PPGIS Global Forum - Year's end summary and greetings

The PGIS/PPGIS Global Forum [ppgis] has steadily grown, reaching a total of 1346 members as of today. Approximately 560 messages have been posted this year. The Spanish [ppgis-sp] chapter launched in 2007 has grown to a total of 113 members, while the French [ppgis-fr] and Portuguese [ppgis-pt]-speaking communities have been languishing (sorry!). Each chapter operates independently and is managed by groups of 4-6 moderators. All chapters can be reached and joined via the PGIS/PPGIS gateway

On the PGIS/PPGIS Global forum [ppgis] postings and debates have been rich in terms of content and innovation. Year 2008 started with a debate on PGIS / PPGIS practice for conflict management. Amidst announcements and postings for sharing information or seeking advice, debates focused the use of PGIS practice in the development sector, understanding of PGIS vs. PPGIS, partnerships and success in PGIS, PPGIS and Vulnerability, PGIS/PPGIS indicators, fundraising for PGIS projects, P-mapping certification, PGIS for disaster response, measuring the appropriateness of PGIS, free and open source desktop GIS, land tenure before and after disasters, confidentiality of data, climate change & Google Earth, mapping with Mobile Indigenous Peoples, using P3DM, community-based mapping courses, participative methods for SDI construction, PPGIS as a participatory health promotion strategy, and CyberTracker, amongst others.

In 2008, CTA initiated a project entitled “Support the spread of good practice in generating, managing, analysing and communication spatial information”. The project is financially supported by CTA, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), IKM Emergent and the Ford Foundation Brazil. The project The project’s overall objective is to increase the capacity of indigenous and other marginalised peoples to engage in effective policy dialogue and advocacy. The output of the initiative will consist in a freely available Multilingual, Modular, Multimedia Training Kit to be used in face to face capacity building events. The kit will be published in English and Spanish. Brazilian-Portuguese and French versions will follow. In the context of this project, CTA will soon launch a Photo Competition. More information on the project and the competition will soon be published on

Here are a some other initiatives where members of this list are invited to participate and contribute:

  • PPGIS/PGIS Group on LinkedIn (LinkedIn is a social- networking site used by professionals);
  • : a highly specialized Custom Search Engine reflecting knowledge and interests in PGIS/PPGIS practice and science;
  • P3DM Where? is an interactive world map based on Google Map technology operated collaboratively by participatory mapping practitioners and serves for locating "participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) exercises" worldwide;
  • A Participatory Translation Initiative has been launched among members of this list last October for translating the subtitles of a video on P3DM. So far translations have been completed by volunteers for the following languages: Arabic, Fijian, Italian, Swahili and Turkish. Other 18 languages are currently being translated. The video with subtitles can be embedded on any blog of website using a code which can be obtained on the video page under the heading “share”;
  • Palawan Endangered” this recently launched initiative consists in a campaign aimed at raising awareness on the in the ongoing and planned mining activities in Palawan (and the whole of the Philippines). The campaign will make use of web 2.0 tools including Google Earth, Google Docs and Video Sharing sites and seeks volunteer contributions. Interested parties should contact palawan.endangered[at];
  • On PPgis.Net there is a regularly updated collection of books dealing with PGIS/PPGIS practice. If you would like to recommend additional titles you should write to ppgis[at]
  • The PGIS/PPGIS Web Ring is a “ring of websites” sharing common interests in collaborative geospatial information management practice aimed at supporting conservation and development, sustainable natural resource management, customary property rights and peer-to-peer communication. If you run a site dealing with PGIS/PPGIS practice and are interested in joining the ring, please follow this link (for webmasters).

Please note that DGroups, the platform hosting this list, is in the process of being transferred to a more up-to-date environment (Dgroups 2.0). This may cause some temporary disruption in the service. At present all postings are found here . (This may change when this list will be migrated on the new platform).

Selected collections of annotated links are found on You can use all features of this community platform after login (join) by entering your e-mail address and password. In case you forgot your password, you can retrieve it via this link.

The [ppgis] forum and related web site are run and moderated on a voluntary basis with no external financial support. Many thanks to all contributors and moderators. Thanks again for all contributions, messages behind the scene, encouragements and suggestions for improvement. Best regards and best wishes to all of you for a successful and exciting year 2009.

Giacomo Rambaldi
Moderator and List Administrator

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Digital Mapping Advocacy Project - Call for Volunteers

The Philippines is one of the 17 countries in the world with the richest biodiversity. In March 2006, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called for a revitalization of mining nation-wide. As of the present, approved mining claims already cover almost half a million of hectares of land. Open-pit and strip mining for nickel results in the flattening of mountain tops, in the plundering of forest and in the production of vast amounts of tailings that contaminate freshwater sources and the sea.

Recently, from a premiere tourist destination, Palawan - the richest biodiversity hot spot in the country - has become one of the most attractive mining investments destinations.

The island is part of the "Man and Biosphere Reserve" program of UNESCO and hosts 49 animals and 56 botanical species found in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. As of now, there are more than 300 mining applications also covering forested watersheds and protected areas customarily managed by indigenous communities belonging to three main ethnic groups: Pälawan, Tagbanua and Batak. The other communities affected are fisher folks and farmers. A mission of the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBCD) of the University of Kent (UK) with the support of the Christensen Fund (TCF) and of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) visited Palawan between July and September 2008. Audiovisual documentation on the impact of mining, including interviews and discussions with indigenous people, farmers, NGOs representatives and politicians was acquired.

Initial plans were discussed with relevant stakeholders on how to bring the case of Palawan to international attention. As a result of these discussions, a request has been made to Peoples and Plants International (PPI) -- a US based non-profit organization - to provide additional expertise and institutional backing to this project, while establishing linkages with Google Earth Outreach .
We are now inviting volunteers experienced in working with Google Earth and interfacing it with Google Docs to help us developing an awareness raising layer. Geo-coded data compiled on the ground in the form of multimedia, images and reports and other data like the boundaries of mining applications, protected areas, and other should be visualized on Google Earth.

The resulting mashup would serve to raise awareness among a wider international audience, on the impact of mining on the forest environment and 'traditional' communities of Palawan Island.

This is to facilitate connections and networking between global advocacy initiatives and locally grounded efforts. It is expected that this project will ultimately lead to more effective strategies for opposing irresponsible mining, while amplifying the impact of Palawan grass-root and indigenous people's voices both nationally and internationally.

Interested volunteers should send an e-mail to:

Source: PPgis.Net list