Environmental Management

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 816–832 | Cite as

An Integrated WebGIS Framework for Volunteered Geographic Information and Social Media in Soil and Water Conservation

  • Joshua D. Werts
  • Elena A. MikhailovaEmail author
  • Christopher J. Post
  • Julia L. Sharp


Volunteered geographic information and social networking in a WebGIS has the potential to increase public participation in soil and water conservation, promote environmental awareness and change, and provide timely data that may be otherwise unavailable to policymakers in soil and water conservation management. The objectives of this study were: (1) to develop a framework for combining current technologies, computing advances, data sources, and social media; and (2) develop and test an online web mapping interface. The mapping interface integrates Microsoft Silverlight, Bing Maps, ArcGIS Server, Google Picasa Web Albums Data API, RSS, Google Analytics, and Facebook to create a rich user experience. The website allows the public to upload photos and attributes of their own subdivisions or sites they have identified and explore other submissions. The website was made available to the public in early February 2011 at and evaluated for its potential long-term success in a pilot study.


Construction Internet Land use Silverlight Public participation GIS (PPGIS) Volunteered geographic information (VGI) 



Application programming interface


Best management practice


Environmental systems research institute


Geographic information system


Global positioning system


Hypertext markup language


Internet information services


Really simple syndication


Volunteered geographic information



Authors wish to thank and acknowledge the Greenville, Pickens, and Spartanburg county GIS departments for providing aerial photos and GIS data. Financial support for this project was provided by South Carolina Water Resources Center and the Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture Next Generation Graduate Fellowship (PSA-NGGF). Technical Contribution no. 5902 of the Clemson University Experiment Station.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua D. Werts
    • 1
  • Elena A. Mikhailova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher J. Post
    • 1
  • Julia L. Sharp
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Natural ResourcesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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