Promote Crowdsourcing Map-Making by Facilitating the Environment for Citizens to Make Their Own Urban-Life Maps. (SEO0003)
Action Plan: Seoul, Korea Action Plan
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Lead Institution: NA
Support Institution(s): All departments within the Seoul Metropolitan Government; Seongbuk sinna, Ewha Womans University and Team Mondrian
Policy AreasCapacity Building, E-Government, Public Participation, Subnational
Issue to be Addressed: The Seoul Metropolitan Government has lacked map services which satisfy the citizens’ needs due to its top-down approach of map-making. It is not easy for citizens to make and share their own maps with others due to financial and technological difficulties. Primary Objective: Citizens make and share crowdsourced maps which contain safety and living information about their community with other citizens, thus raising awareness of their community and encouraging the participation of others on crowdsourced map-making. Maps which show the safety related information are made in collaboration with other citizens based on crowdsourcing. Maps which contain useful information about the community are made and shared with each other. In order to facilitate the collaboration between and with citizens, the Seoul Metropolitan Government needs to provide an environment which enables map-making based on crowdsourcing. Short Description: The Seoul Metropolitan Government(SMG) and its citizens prepare a process to make maps that contain necessary information about urban life together. The process of discovering sites with stories or significance and producing maps based on citizens’ knowledge. The process of involving citizens in making security maps for their neighbourhood and cooperating with the related districts. The SMG improves the Geospatial Information Platform to make it easier for use among its citizens. The SMG reflects citizens’ opinions to improve the functions of the platform from its planning stage. The SMG and its citizens realize useful urban life map services based on citizen participation. OGP Challenge: The citizens who know their neighborhoods can participate in map-making and share their product with others. It will encourage the participation of more people in map-making enriching the contents of the maps. The maps will provide Seoul and the districts clues to resolve urban problems in Seoul. Maps are used as a tool to gather useful geospatial information across Seoul by Seoul citizens and their maps are shared with everyone.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
3. Promote crowdsourcing map-making by facilitating the environment for citizens to make their own urban-life maps.
· The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and its citizens prepare a process to make maps that contain necessary information about urban life together.
- The process of discovering sites with stories or significance and producing maps based on citizens’ knowledge.
- The process of involving citizens in making security maps for their neighborhood and cooperating with the related districts.
· The SMG improves the Geospatial Information Platform to make it easier for use among its citizens.
- The SMG reflects citizens’ opinions to improve the functions of the platform from its planning stage.
· The SMG and its citizens realize useful urban life map services based on citizen participation.
1. Make a guideline for designing the urban life maps.
1.1 Production and dissemination of educational and training materials.
1.2 Setting up a process to select topics and themes for producing crowdsourcing maps.
2. Improve the functions of the map-making system.
2.1 Announcing plans for maintenance and getting feedback from citizens
2.2 Renewing the platform.
3. Promote the production and use of crowdsourcing maps.
Overall Objective & Relevance
This commitment aims to encourage citizens to “make and share crowd-sourced maps which contain safety and living information about their community with other citizens, thus raising awareness of their community,” as stated in Seoul’s action plan. By participating in this process driven by citizens, they could utilize maps that match their needs.
The SMG has been working with a geographic information system (GIS) to produce a series of maps with datasets collected by government institutions, such as public transportation data, city infrastructure (government buildings, hospitals, schools, parks, etc.), among other. Since 2004, Seoul developed a website exclusively for maps created with GIS (gis.seoul.go.kr). Beyond offering government-made maps, it allowed citizens to create their own maps with public datasets. Screenshot of Seoul’s website (gis.seoul.go.kr) in July 2004. The screenshot was recovered using ‘Wayback Machine’. To access: https://web.archive.org/web/20040701161858/http://gis.seoul.go.kr:80/index.jsp Although the city has created approximately 100 maps in the course of the years, citizens have only made two; none of these maps have been widely used. The SMG has determined that a key reason for the lack of use is because the maps do not contain information that citizens need. As such, this commitment was created to expand the use of co-created maps on the city of Seoul. For example, the Government considers that citizens would find it useful to have maps that contain information on the locations of automated external defibrillator in their districts. This commitment tries to create a digital map-making platform that will enable citizens to make maps that match their needs, instead of continuing with the current top-down approach when it comes to the map-making process. In order to achieve this commitment, three milestones have been proposed: (1) making a guideline for designing the urban life maps, (2) improving the map-making system, and (3) promoting the production and use of crowdsourcing maps.
The creation of the digital platform is directly related to the OGP value of technology and innovation for transparency. Additionally, the commitment aims to improve data collection by calling on citizens to proactively participate in the map-making process. This data could be on safety issues, general living information or any other determined as necessary. Because it aims to allow broad consultation as defined by the International Association for Public Participation, the IRM researcher considers the commitment to be relevant to civic participation. In addition, out of five OGP Grand Challenges, this commitment addresses the challenge No. 1 “Improving Public Services” as the milestones and activities were elaborated to crowdsource information that can result useful to citizens in their daily lives and could potentially inform civil servants on urban problems in Seoul that should be tended to.
Specificity and Potential Impact
In terms of specificity, this commitment is coded as medium. It identifies a set of activities to be achieved by a specific timeline, however it is not clear how the deliverables would achieve the expected outcome of the commitment. The action plan does not provide details on what data is to be gathered and under which criteria it would be taken into consideration for further action.
The City of Seoul has often used geographic information systems for the display of government-held data. Considering that they have discovered that these are not frequently used, this commitment could help close the gap between citizens’ data needs and government data supply, potentially increasing the use of maps. For this reason, providing citizens with a platform to decide on what these maps should include and what not could be a step towards improving access to data and gathering useful information. However, the lack of specificity limits this commitment’s potential impact, considering it is unclear what is the meaning of ‘urban life maps’ and how this could actually ensure better quality of useful information to improve policy making and improve services. Therefore, this commitment is considered to have a minor potential impact.
The status of completion for commitment #3 is overall substantial.
Milestone #1, “Make a guideline for designing the urban life maps,” was completed by October 2017. The Geospatial Information Division created a guide that was published in the Seoul Map-Tagging website. Seoul Map-Tagging website, http://map.seoul.go.kr/smgis/webs/main/main.do This guide to tagging in Seoul is in PDF format and is displayed next to a section with frequently asked questions to support users in map tagging. The PDF guide to map tagging can be downloaded here: http://map.seoul.go.kr/smgis/webs/main/main.do?mode=division¬ice_id=286&menutype=1#
Milestone #2, “Improve the functions of the map-making system,” was completed. The SMG used the consultative group to announce, discuss and get feedback from CSO groups. The main meeting took place on 7 November 2017, where the geospatial information platform was introduced and it was discussed on how to improve the Seoul Map-Tagging website. Please refer to the file [Seoul_Commitment3_Milestone2.pdf] in the IRM repository: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1QMeyvOaBmmK4tAtU5MBVwXQpVUDp2Zc-
Milestone #3, “Promote the production and use of crowdsourcing maps,” was completed. The Government promoted the information on map production at OGP Consultative Group meetings. Also, the Geospatial Information Division ran and continues to carry-out an ‘Online Citizen Participatory Group’ for this commitment consisting of ten citizens that participate in map-making and online promotional activities. Finally, the SMG identified during the implementation of this commitment that the organizational structure and mandate of the government at the city level limited access to citizens. Therefore, they decided to collaborate with district offices and universities to engage with residents and nongovernmental organizations. They worked with the Nowon and Geumcheon District Offices, with the University of Seoul and Kookim University, the Western Seoul Police Agency and a Korean startup called Connectus. Citizens from these districts and students of the universities mentioned participated in the creation of maps. One example is the Nowon District’s “Maps made with citizens”, which are available online. http://www.nowon.kr/map/map_main.jsp?map_id=MAP_02
However, the IRM researcher considers that the implementation of this commitment lacked coordination between government and CSO members of the consultative group during the development of the system itself. According to interviews with the IRM researcher, CSO had higher expectations for the fulfillment of this commitment, especially regarding the target goal for milestones 2 (improving the functions of the map-making system). Civil society groups have set a higher target, to enable citizens to freely use the citizen-created maps by the end 2017 and for the system to reach a much wider audience not restricted to the Consultative Group and the Online Citizen Participatory group.
Early Results: did it open government?
Access to information: Marginal
Civic Participation: Marginal
This commitment started under the context in which citizens should be able to create a user-friendly and citizen-created maps that display the information they choose to see. In terms of potential impact, as mentioned above, the citizens who own the best information when it comes to their neighborhood and its livability will be able to produce the most useful maps that will allow themselves and fellow citizens to make the maximum use out of. Although the commitment was completed by the December 2017 deadline, it only contributed to opening government in a marginal way.
Citizens now have a system to create their own maps, and it was used to do so. A number of actual digital maps have been produced, for example, one created with respect to the children’s safety (Seocho District), snow removal status information (Nowon District) and locations of automated external defibrillators (Nowon District). However, throughout the process, the CSOs consider the government did not meet the expectation to collaborate with CSOs and citizens in the development of the system itself. The spaces created for feedback from stakeholders were not considered open and conducive. According to a survey conducted by the IRM researcher, stakeholders in the sub group in charge to implement this commitment did not consider the process to be inclusive.
Additionally, the promotion of the system was limited to those in the consultative group and the citizens in the participatory group. Therefore, even though the system functioned well and allowed for the participation of citizens in map creation (crowdsourcing information), it was not yet available for widespread use by December 2017.
1. Promote the map-making platform more widely and effectively, in collaboration with CSO.
This initiative is very creative and SMG has invested a substantial amount of regular budget by outsourcing the production of the platform, yet the usage by citizens is very low as of November 2017. As mentioned in the Online Citizen Participatory Group meeting on 7 November 2017, SMG could attract more users through diverse means including using popular Korean portal sites such as Naver and Daum to show the map-making platform and various maps on the main page. It could also actively use social media such as Facebook to promote the initiative to the young generation.
2. Strengthen participation from civil society.
In addition to the three groups, namely Gov/CSO consultation group for the general OGP process, sub-group for this commitment and additional Online Citizen Participatory Group, a wider civil society should participate in the endeavor.
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SEO0001, 2017, Open Data
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SEO0002, 2017, E-Government
Promote Crowdsourcing Map-Making by Facilitating the Environment for Citizens to Make Their Own Urban-Life Maps.
SEO0003, 2017, Capacity Building
Provide More Transparent Meeting Information and Minutes.
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