2023 journal article
An open-source platform for geospatial participatory modeling in the cloud
ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, 167.
Participatory modeling facilitates the co-production of knowledge and action by engaging stakeholders in research. However, the spatial dimensions of socio-environmental systems and decision-making are challenging to incorporate in participatory models, as developing interactive geospatial models requires specialized knowledge. Yet, many of society’s most pressing and complex socio-environmental problems require participatory modeling that is geospatial. Existing interactive online applications have broadened the audiences who can engage with geospatial models, but often do not provide a robust framework for interactive model development. Here, we develop an open-source platform, OpenPlains, to address barriers to participation in geospatial modeling by enabling researchers to develop interactive models that remove barriers to data aggregation and user engagement. OpenPlains consists of six new open-source libraries: OpenPlains, django-actina, grass-js-client, react-openplains, react-ol, and openplains-cli. We demonstrate OpenPlains through two web applications that work anywhere in the contiguous United States: a spatial–temporal watershed analysis application and an urban growth forecasting application.