Research on maps and technology for public benefit

Waterloo Civic Map Lab logo heart and map

The 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, and these instructions to prospective students.


Applications are now being accepted for a postdoctoral research associate to support current research measuring the value and impact of civic technology, with a specific focus on open data, mobile apps, crowdsourcing, and participatory data creation for use in government. The successful candidate will be invited to co-develop a program of research that advances one or more of these themes, and falls within their area of expertise. This position is full-time, based at the University of Waterloo, with an initial appointment of one year, with potential for extension depending on funding and performance. Salary is competitive, with benefits and a travel/conference stipend.

I had the amazing opportunity recently to attend the 2017 Esri User Conference (UC) in San Diego, California. The Esri ‘UC’ as it’s known is an annual event that showcases what’s new and hot in the Esri GIS world, and provides a chance for over 16,000 GIS and map nerds to get together, learn from each other, and generally celebrate everything geospatial.