An integrated WebGIS framework for volunteered geographic information and social media in soil and water conservation

Environ Manage. 2012 Apr;49(4):816-32. doi: 10.1007/s00267-012-9818-5. Epub 2012 Feb 28.


Volunteered geographic information and social networking in a WebGIS has the potential to increase public participation in soil and water conservation, promote environmental awareness and change, and provide timely data that may be otherwise unavailable to policymakers in soil and water conservation management. The objectives of this study were: (1) to develop a framework for combining current technologies, computing advances, data sources, and social media; and (2) develop and test an online web mapping interface. The mapping interface integrates Microsoft Silverlight, Bing Maps, ArcGIS Server, Google Picasa Web Albums Data API, RSS, Google Analytics, and Facebook to create a rich user experience. The website allows the public to upload photos and attributes of their own subdivisions or sites they have identified and explore other submissions. The website was made available to the public in early February 2011 at and evaluated for its potential long-term success in a pilot study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Internet
  • Pilot Projects
  • Social Media*
  • Software*
  • Soil
  • South Carolina
  • Water


  • Soil
  • Water