Software & Tools

The following list is comprised of software, tools, and applications that were designed specifically for participatory mapping or data collection. Not included are other general mapping tools that could well be used for participatory mapping projects or research, such as open source GIS software and other resources.

If there is a tool not currently represented on this list, or if you would like to propose a correction, please submit this information using this form.

Data Collection

Name Type of Application Description of Features Licensing or Cost Affiliated Organization or Institution Contact
Collector for ArcGIS Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Basic data collection functionality; connected to ArcGIS platform and environment Proprietary commercial software Esri
Field Papers Paper-based field mapping Printed maps for participatory mapping exercises in the field, that can be georeferenced using a QR code. Integrated with Mapbox and OSM, custom layers possible as well. Free and open-source Stamen Design
GeoODK Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Application built on top of ODK interface with enhanced geographical capacity Free and open-source GeoMarvel support@geomarvel.com
Geopaparazzi Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Application developed to do very fast qualitative engineering/geologic surveys and GIS data collection; gvSIG compatibility Free and open-source HydroloGIS Google Forum
gvSIG Mobile Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Application built to be used with the open-source gvSIG platform Free and open-source gvSIG gvSIG mailing lists
OpenDataKit (ODK) Mobile online/offline data collection (with geopoint functionality) Custom forms for data collection, and other tools; aggregation system or hosting on service like Google Apps Free and open-source Community of developers ODK Contact page
OpenMapKit (OMK) Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Extension of ODK; OpenStreetMap-powered field data collection tool Free and open-source American Red Cross
KoBoToolbox Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Suite of field data collection tools developed specifically for working in humanitarian crises Free and open-source Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Hannah Torres (hannah.torres@ucf.edu)
Sapelli Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Data collection across language or literacy barriers through highly configurable icon-driven user interfaces Free and open-source Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) Contact form
Survey123 Mobile online/offline spatial data collection Customizable forms for data collection akin to ODK, more sophisticated than ArcGIS Collector; connected to ArcGIS platform and environment Proprietary commercial software Esri

Surveys and Crowdsourcing

Name Type of Application Description of Features Licensing or Cost Affiliated Organization or Institution Contact
Crowdsource Polling and Crowdsource Reporter Map-based tools for submitting feedback to local government Intended to solicit feedback or gauge sentiment on local government plans, submitting problems, and to create dialogue between members of the community; connected to ArcGIS platform and environment Proprietary commercial software Esri Allison Muise (amuise@esri.com)
Emotional Maps Participatory mapping surveys Online web-map surveys focused on emotional mapping of users’ relationship with their lived environment Free (contact the developers) Palacky University Olomouc Jirka Panek (Jirkapanek@gmail.com)
Maptionnaire Participatory mapping surveys User-friendly questionnaire creation; interpretation and insight of results Fee structure depending on type of plan Mapita Timo Hämäläinen (timo.hamalainen@mapita.fi)
SeaSketch Collaborative marine spatial planning platform Using a map interface, stakeholders can generate proposals representing a range of proposals, to help make better management decisions Licensing fee SeaSketch Will McClintock (will@ucsb.edu)
Ushahidi Custom surveys and crowdsourcing tools Set of tools designed to crowdsource, analyze, visualize and respond to timely data about events or crises Pay-as-you-go pricing (with basic free option), source code on GitHub Ushahidi Contact page

Mapping and Data Management

Name Type of Application Description of Features Licensing or Cost Affiliated Organization or Institution Contact
Mapeo Offline map editing software Utilizes editor and flexible data structure from OpenStreetMap to enable offline mapping, collaboration, and data sharing control Free and open-source Digital Democracy Emily Jacobi (ejacobi@digital-democracy.org)
Portable OpenStreetMap (POSM) Hardware device loaded with offline versions of cloud-based software POSM broadcasts a wireless signal that other devices can connect to in order to access tools that ordinarily require an internet connection, making it possible to take all parts of a mapping workflow offline; includes support for ODK, Field Papers, OpenStreetMap, and other tools Software is free and open-source; hardware costs ~$300 American Red Cross contact@posm.org
Terrastories Offline-compatible geostorytelling application Mapping content management system designed to link audiovisual content with a Mapbox-driven vector tile map; equipped with a login system for restricted access stories and mapping content; entirely functional offline, compatible with Mapbox Studio; designed for remote communities Free and open-source Amazon Conservation Team Rudo Kemper (rkemper@amazonteam.org)
Trailmark Mapping content management system for traditional knowledge Web-based software intended for communities to manage land use and traditional knowledge information; application (for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile) for mobile data collection Pay-as-you-go pricing (with basic free option) Trailmark Systems Peter Evans (peter.evans@trailmarksys.com)