Map-Me Introduction

Map-Me ("Mapping Meanings") is an online Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) for the creation of online surveys for the collection of 'vague' spatial data. Based upon a "spray and say" approach, Map-Me uses an 'airbrush' interface (the "Spraycan") to allow participant's to "spray-paint" on to a Google Map, in order to answer vague spatial questions (e.g. "Where you think...?") without being required to artificially enforce precise boundaries onto their data.

Click here to log in to the Map-Me Manager

Map-Me is a software project developed by Jonny Huck, Stephen Carver and Alan E. Watson, product of the collaboration between four institutions of the UK and the USA:

[Institution Logos]

Use of Map-Me is free at point of use with acknowledgement of the authors (Jonny Huck, Steve Carver, Alan Watson) and the US Forest Service.

Map-Me Data

Map-Me uses a custom "Multi-Point-and-Attribute" data format, whereby each individual dot of paint is stored independently in the database, and is linked to several attributes. Please see the Huck et al. (2014) paper (below) for more information.

[Map-Me Data]

These data can be used to explore a wide variety of personal geographical information, such as in the below figure, which shows areas that are perceived as safety and unsafe around the city of Lancaster, UK according to a survey of 100 people:

[Map-Me Data]

Map-Me Resources




Map-Me Team

Jonny Huck


Jonny is a Lecturer in Geographical Information Science at the University of Manchester. He has extensive experience in geospatial software development and cartographic design, and his interests include the representation of vague geographical entities and novel approaches to cartography. He is the lead software developer for Map-Me.

Stephen Carver


Steve is a Geographer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds. He has 25 years' experience in the field of GIS and multi-criteria evaluation with special interests in wild land, landscape evaluation and public participation. He has worked extensively on the development of wild land mapping and evaluation methodologies and has tested and applied these across a variety of locations and spatial scales including Scotland, England, Britain, Europe, and the USA.

Alan Watson


Alan joined Forest Service Research in 1988 and has directed the social science program both before and since transformation of the US Forest Service Wilderness Research Work Unit to the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. Alan has represented the Leopold Institute three times on Fulbright appointments (Finland, Russia and Brazil), serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Wilderness, and he represents the Leopold Institute and partner agencies on the Executive Committee of the World Wilderness Congress.

Fernando Sanchez-Trigueros


Fernando is a Research Assistant in the Department of Geography at the University of Leeds. He specializes in providing software functionality for the synthesis, retrieval, mapping and analysis of vague information out of Public Participation GIS data, focusing on the processing of data collected by the Map-Me PPGIS tool. In so doing he is combining theoretical, methodological and technical principles of computational linguistics, GIScience and fuzziness for the implementation of multimodal geodata structures equipped with text, image and geospatial attributes.


Grateful thanks to Dave Gullick and Dan Burnett for their invaluable help in the development of this software.


If you would like more information about Map-Me, need assistance with its use, or would like to request new features, please contact .

© 2016 Jonny Huck