An evaluation of the use of points versus polygons in Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) using quasi-experimental design and Monte Carlo simulation

Brown, Greg G. and Pullar, David V. (2012) An evaluation of the use of points versus polygons in Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) using quasi-experimental design and Monte Carlo simulation. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 26 2: 231-246. doi:10.1080/13658816.2011.585139

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Author Brown, Greg G.
Pullar, David V.
Title An evaluation of the use of points versus polygons in Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) using quasi-experimental design and Monte Carlo simulation
Journal name International Journal of Geographical Information Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1362-3087
1365-8816
Publication date 2012-02-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13658816.2011.585139
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 2
Start page 231
End page 246
Total pages 16
Place of publication Essex, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Subject 3305 Geography, Planning and Development
1710 Information Systems
3309 Library and Information Sciences
Abstract The collection of spatial information through public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) is most frequently implemented using either point or polygon spatial features but the research trade-offs between the two methods are not well-understood. In a quasi-experimental PPGIS design, we collected four attributes (aesthetic, recreation, economic, and biological values) as both point and polygon spatial features in the same PPGIS study. We then used Monte Carlo simulation methods to describe the relationship between the quantity of data collected and the degree of spatial convergence in the two methods for each of the four PPGIS attributes. The results demonstrate that the same PPGIS attributes identified by points and polygons will converge on a collective spatial ‘truth’ within the study area provided there are enough observations, however, the degree of spatial convergence varies by PPGIS attribute type and the quantity of data collected. The use of points for mapping PPGIS attributes and aggregating areas through density mapping constitutes a conservative approach to spatial inference about place significance, but the data demands for point collection are considerably higher than for polygon features. Based on our results, we provide heuristic guidelines for future PPGIS research when using point or polygon spatial attributes.We argue that other variables such as the cognitive complexity of the PPGIS mapping process and stronger claims of external validity favor the use of point features, but these advantages must be weighed against the significantly higher sampling effort required.
Keyword Public participation GIS
Geographic information systems
Spatial analysis
Monte Carlo simulation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 21 Ocober 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2012 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 38 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 43 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 20:47:41 EST by Alexandra Simmonds on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management