An article based on FMCC efforts at the CRTC is now published in the Journal of Information Policy. The article is co-authored by FMCC researchers Rob McMahon, Trevor Smith, and Tim Whiteduck.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial data are important advocacy tools adopted by a range of users, including telecommunications policy advocates. However, without the means to actively deconstruct and reshape such platforms, reclaim the geospatial data they utilize, and generate the visualizations they produce, the increasing adoption of these resources threatens to disempower some community-based user groups. In this article, we argue that the processes used to design such tools for policy advocacy must transparently reflect the socially constructed nature of the GIS systems and the geospatial data visualizations they generate, as well as the values and goals of the specific user groups they are designed to support. We ground this argument in a case study of a regulatory hearing on telecommunications infrastructure and services in Canada, and introduce a freely available online resource that documents our GIS design workflow in more detail.
This article is based on research conducted through our CIRA grant in 2015-2016, which supported the research and writing of this report outlining a process of mapping Internet access in remote communities: