Part C Activity Prompt #2


In this activity participants will be able to understand the need for ethical GIS in their projects. Participants will be presented with core concepts and then will be asked to contextualize their learnings by forming a human likert scale.


  • At least two good and two bad maps for examples
  • List of contextualized Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for examples
  • List of contextualized data for examples
  • List of at least three contextualized statements and or map examples


  • Five minutes for instruction on core concepts
  • Five minutes for the activity
  • Five minutes for discussion


Concepts to be covered should include:

1. Importance of ethical GIS:

a. Trust
b. Relationships
c. Reliability
d. Responsibility
e. Integrity

2. Practice of ethical GIS:

a. Give an example of a product that is misleading such as maps of misinformation and/or disinformation or maps that shows only a piece of the whole.

b. Give an example of a product that is not misleading such as maps that show the whole picture.

3. Using data ethically:

a. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – When to use and not use certain information on a map.

b. Incorrect application of data – Using data for a purpose it was not intended for that could negatively affect people, their communities, and so forth.

c. Correct application of data – Using data for a purpose it was intended for that could positively affect people, their communities, and so forth.

Ethical GIS likert scale creation using participant bodies

1. Have participants stand in the middle of the available space.

2. Tell them that one side is “agree” while the other is “disagree.” Note that they can place themselves anywhere in between to show moderate agreement, disagreement or neutral.

3. Read a statement or show a map and have the participants move from one side to the other depending on whether they agree or disagree.

4. Ask a few of the participants why they situated themselves along the likert scale as they did.

5. Repeat as time allows.

Participant discussion on ethical GIS

Ask participants to discuss what they learned and how they might think of applying this knowledge in their projects going forward.


Good Map Examples

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Source link | Additional information

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Source link | Additional information

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Source link | Additional information

Bad Map Example

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Examples of PII

  • Full name
  • Identification number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Exact location of individual’s home

Examples of Data

  • Generalized location
  • Exact location
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Personal views
  • Political views
  • Income

Statement Examples

The project uses the exact location of community members homes on public-facing materials.

  • Disagree: If the community has not agreed and consented.
  • Agree: If the community has agreed and consented.

The project collects age and gender.

  • Either/or

The project map shows political or personal views on public-facing materials.

  • Either/or

The project normalizes statistical information based on the known population of the community in question.

  • Agree: This is the most responsible way to not manipulate the data collected.

Map Examples

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Source link

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Source link