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Burning questions : examining the role of the Geoweb in understanding the human impacts of the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire

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dc.contributor.author Brennan, Samantha Sarah
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-30T22:36:17Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-30T22:36:17Z
dc.date.copyright 2012 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-07-30
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2429/42836
dc.description.abstract As online technologies evolve, the potential of the Geospatial Web (or Geoweb) to harness the collective knowledge of the general public is beginning to be realized. Using the Geoweb, people can volunteer their geographic information related to their own experiences to enable increased knowledge dissemination and give their fading memory some permanence. In the case of the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, a 25,000-hectare forest fire that burned 238 homes and led to the evacuation of almost 30,000 people, these memories need to be captured soon or they will be forgotten. Collaborating with the Kelowna Fire Museum and Education Centre, this project follows the creation of an online participatory map capable of displaying each day of the fire in a stimulating and interactive way. It allows participants to better understand both the fire itself and the wide range of experiences and impacts by allowing participants to contribute their own information, whether photographs, videos, or text, and to comment on the contributions of others. Aside from the practical application of the tool, this community-based participatory research examines influences on an individual‘s willingness to volunteer geographic experiences related to the Okanagan Mountain Park fire through participant observation and six unstructured interview-workshops. Results examine participant engagement in terms of passive or active map use, perspectives of participants-as-experts and broader themes of whether the tool can educate and preserve information about this event for the museum. Results demonstrate that while the mapping tool allows users to engage with the spatial and cultural implications of the fire in an interactive way, it is difficult to encourage passive users to actively add points or discussions to the map. Although designed to be highly case-specific, the research raises broader questions about 'expert-ness' in participatory mapping and participation, which are applicable at a much broader level. Ultimately, this research considers the future of this tool and similar tools and whether volunteered geographic information works. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of British Columbia en
dc.title Burning questions : examining the role of the Geoweb in understanding the human impacts of the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire en_US
dc.type Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en
dc.degree.name Master of Arts - MA en_US
dc.degree.discipline Interdisciplinary Studies en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of British Columbia en
dc.date.graduation 2012-11 en_US
dc.degree.campus UBCO en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en


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