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Confronting the Hype: The Use of Crisis Mapping for Community Development

December 06, 2016 by Ana Brandusescu, Renée E. Sieber, Sylvie Jochems

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Crisis mapping has emerged as a method of connecting and empowering citizens during emergencies. This article explores the hyperbole behind crisis mapping as it extends into more long-term or ‘chronic’ community development practices. We critically examined developer issues and participant (i.e. community organization) usage within the context of local communities. We repurposed the predominant crisis mapping platform Crowdmap for three cases of community development in Canadian anglophone and francophone. Our case studies show mixed results about the actual cost of deployment, the results of disintermediation, and local context with the mapping application. Lastly, we discuss the relationship of hype, temporality, and community development as expressed in our cases.