Mapping can be a powerful tool for communities to use to better manage their resources, plan for the future, record and utilize local knowledge, raise awareness about areas of concern in their environmental and social landscape, and communicate their priorities and concerns to external agencies or governmental officials.
This course explores theories, ethics, applications, and methods of community-based mapping and its role in participatory learning and action as well as larger processes of integrated community-based development. While drawing on many of the recent case studies, academic writings, and reports from the field, the course is highly interactive and emphasizes sharing experiences, ideas and insights from course participants. All required reading materials for the course are available online.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Understand the basic principles, theories, and ethics of community-based mapping and its role in community-based development.
- Identify which mapping methods and tools are most appropriate to achieve the desired objectives.
- Understand some of the political, cultural, and social organizational factors in community-based mapping projects.
- Collect and map geographic information through local knowledge and participation of community members.
- Locate and utilize existing geographic information datasets for specific project areas.
- Understand the basic features of Geographic Position Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications.
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.
Due to the condensed time frame for this course, students cannot withdraw and receive a refund once the course begins.
John Straw has an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, focused on social justice education, and his bachelors from the University of Michigan with a degree in Spanish and Education. John has spent five years working in Honduras and Guatemala on community-based health and development projects, and the past 15 years working with Concern America, an international development and refugee aid organization, based in southern California, with health, water, and income-generation projects in Latin America and Africa. He has been the Executive Director of Concern America since 2012.