Research on maps and technology for public benefit


Waterloo Civic Map Lab logo heart and mapThe Waterloo Civic Map Lab is a research team focused on how geospatial technologies and data are used to meet the needs of community, government, and civic organizations. Student researchers at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral) work to create applied and theoretical research that matters - understanding the challenges, benefits, and issues created by civic technologies.

The Waterloo Civic Map Lab is led by Dr. Peter Johnson, in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM). Recent projects focus on understanding the value of government open data, the integration of volunteered geographic information in government, and citizen participation in smart city projects.

If you are interested in joining us, please take a look at the topics we research, recent blog posts, our Instagram, and these instructions to prospective students.

  1. Oct. 1, 2020New Special Issue in The Canadian Geographer: Smart citizens creating smart cities

    Congratulations to lab members and colleagues for the recent publication of an entire special issue in The Canadian Geographer on Smart Citizens creating Smart Cities! This special issue had its beginning in a special session at the 2019 AAG in Washington. With the editorship of Dr. Rina Ghose and myself "..the six papers collected in this special section aim to open a discourse to address these questions, presenting conceptual and applied perspectives.

  2. May 8, 2019New Publication: Challenges in the adoption of crisis crowdsourcing and social media in Canadian emergency management

    Congrats to former GEM masters student Sara Harrison (now pursuing a PhD at Massey University, NZ) for her recent publication of a chapter of her MES thesis in the leading international journal of government/information studies - Government Information Quarterly.

  3. Apr. 23, 2019New Publication: Analysis of a below-water aggregate mining case study in Ontario, Canada using values-centric online citizen participation

    Congrats to PhD Candidate Simone Philpot for her latest publication in The Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

View all blog posts

Meet our people

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Associate Professor

I am an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM) at the University of Waterloo. My research seeks to understand how governments, citizens, and private companies share information through geospatial technology, including open data, the geoweb, social media, mobile devices, and the process of crowdsourcing.

University Website | CV