USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


The role of crowdsourced data, participatory decision-making and mapping of flood related events

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Barnali Dixon

Rebecca K. Johns

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This study examines the effectiveness of a crowdsourced participatory Geoweb data reporting application, known as SeeClickFix, related to flood events in the context of socioeconomic and biophysical vulnerabilities. Empirical data analysis to determine the socio-spatial characteristics of flood-related reporting trends between 2013 and 2017 from four diverse neighborhoods highlights two important capabilities of crowdsourced data i) identify unique problems experienced by diverse communities and thus address marginalization in managing flood related problems and ii) identify the patterns in types of problems experienced by neighborhoods characterized by divergent socioeconomic and biophysical vulnerabilities. Further, analysis of adoption rates of SeeClickFix in the context of neighborhood characteristics provides valuable insights into the scope of voluntary geographic information (VGI) and its potential role in participatory decision-making. Results indicate that problems of standing water/mosquito complaints are the majority of flood related reports in a high socioeconomic status and biophysically vulnerable neighborhoods, while stormwater infrastructure dominates repeated reports in socioeconomically vulnerable area, suggesting inadequate maintenance of critical infrastructures. Finally, the early adoption of the app and steady increase of reports in poorer neighborhoods during the study period indicates that crowdsourcing of data through a participatory Geoweb has the potential to give voice to marginalized communities and foster transparency.