IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Empirical PPGIS/PGIS mapping of ecosystem services: A review and evaluation


  • Brown, Greg
  • Fagerholm, Nora


We review public participation GIS (PPGIS) and participatory GIS (PGIS) approaches for ecosystem services to identify current and best practice. PPGIS/PGIS are spatially explicit methods that have evolved over the past decade to identify a range of ecosystem services. Although PPGIS/PGIS methods demonstrate high potential for the identification of ecosystem services, especially cultural services, there has been no review to evaluate the methods to identify best practice. Through examination of peer-reviewed, empirical PPGIS/PGIS studies, we describe the types of ecosystem services mapped, the spatial mapping methods, the sampling approaches and range of participants, the types of spatial analyses performed, and the methodological trade-offs associated with each PPGIS/PGIS mapping approach. We found that multiple methods were implemented in nearly 30 case studies worldwide with the mapping of cultural and provisioning services being most common. There was little evidence that mapped ecosystem data was used for actual decision support in land use planning. Best practice has yet to coalesce in this field that has been dominated by methodological pluralism and case study research. We suggest greater use of experimental design and long-term case studies where the influence of mapped ecosystem services on land use decisions can be assessed.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Greg & Fagerholm, Nora, 2015. "Empirical PPGIS/PGIS mapping of ecosystem services: A review and evaluation," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 119-133.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:13:y:2015:i:c:p:119-133
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.10.007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Palomo, Ignacio & Martín-López, Berta & Potschin, Marion & Haines-Young, Roy & Montes, Carlos, 2013. "National Parks, buffer zones and surrounding lands: Mapping ecosystem service flows," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 104-116.
    2. Gregory Brown & Maggi Kelly & Debra Whitall, 2014. "Which 'public'? Sampling effects in public participation GIS (PPGIS) and volunteered geographic information (VGI) systems for public lands management," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(2), pages 190-214, February.
    3. Christopher Raymond & Gregory Brown, 2011. "Assessing spatial associations between perceptions of landscape value and climate change risk for use in climate change planning," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 653-678, February.
    4. Crossman, Neville D. & Burkhard, Benjamin & Nedkov, Stoyan & Willemen, Louise & Petz, Katalin & Palomo, Ignacio & Drakou, Evangelia G. & Martín-Lopez, Berta & McPhearson, Timon & Boyanova, Kremena & , 2013. "A blueprint for mapping and modelling ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 4-14.
    5. Klain, Sarah C. & Chan, Kai M.A., 2012. "Navigating coastal values: Participatory mapping of ecosystem services for spatial planning," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 104-113.
    6. Schägner, Jan Philipp & Brander, Luke & Maes, Joachim & Hartje, Volkmar, 2013. "Mapping ecosystem services' values: Current practice and future prospects," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 33-46.
    7. Maes, Joachim & Egoh, Benis & Willemen, Louise & Liquete, Camino & Vihervaara, Petteri & Schägner, Jan Philipp & Grizzetti, Bruna & Drakou, Evangelia G. & Notte, Alessandra La & Zulian, Grazia & Bour, 2012. "Mapping ecosystem services for policy support and decision making in the European Union," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 31-39.
    8. Brown, Greg, 2013. "The relationship between social values for ecosystem services and global land cover: An empirical analysis," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 58-68.
    9. Raymond, Christopher M. & Bryan, Brett A. & MacDonald, Darla Hatton & Cast, Andrea & Strathearn, Sarah & Grandgirard, Agnes & Kalivas, Tina, 2009. "Mapping community values for natural capital and ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1301-1315, March.
    10. Chan, Kai M.A. & Satterfield, Terre & Goldstein, Joshua, 2012. "Rethinking ecosystem services to better address and navigate cultural values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 8-18.
    11. Patrick Reed & Gregory Brown, 2003. "Values Suitability Analysis: A Methodology for Identifying and Integrating Public Perceptions of Ecosystem Values in Forest Planning," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 643-658.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne & Weibel, Bettina & Kienast, Felix & Rabe, Sven-Erik & Zulian, Grazia, 2015. "A tiered approach for mapping ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 16-27.
    2. Darvill, Rachel & Lindo, Zoë, 2015. "Quantifying and mapping ecosystem service use across stakeholder groups: Implications for conservation with priorities for cultural values," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 153-161.
    3. Raymond, Christopher M. & Kenter, Jasper O. & Plieninger, Tobias & Turner, Nancy J. & Alexander, Karen A., 2014. "Comparing instrumental and deliberative paradigms underpinning the assessment of social values for cultural ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 145-156.
    4. van Oort, Bob & Bhatta, Laxmi Dutt & Baral, Himlal & Rai, Rajesh Kumar & Dhakal, Madhav & Rucevska, Ieva & Adhikari, Ramesh, 2015. "Assessing community values to support mapping of ecosystem services in the Koshi river basin, Nepal," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 70-80.
    5. Léa Tardieu, 2017. "The need for integrated spatial assessments in ecosystem service mapping," Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, Springer, vol. 98(3), pages 173-200, December.
    6. Jacobs, Sander & Burkhard, Benjamin & Van Daele, Toon & Staes, Jan & Schneiders, Anik, 2015. "‘The Matrix Reloaded’: A review of expert knowledge use for mapping ecosystem services," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 295(C), pages 21-30.
    7. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey & Bettina Weibel & Kenneth J Bagstad & Marika Ferrari & Davide Geneletti & Hermann Klug & Uta Schirpke & Ulrike Tappeiner, 2014. "On the Effects of Scale for Ecosystem Services Mapping," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(12), pages 1-26, December.
    8. van den Belt, Marjan & Stevens, Sharon M., 2016. "Transformative agenda, or lost in the translation? A review of top-cited articles in the first four years of Ecosystem Services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 22(PA), pages 60-72.
    9. Valencia Torres, Angélica & Tiwari, Chetan & Atkinson, Samuel F., 2021. "Progress in ecosystem services research: A guide for scholars and practitioners," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    10. Schröter, Matthias & Kraemer, Roland & Mantel, Martin & Kabisch, Nadja & Hecker, Susanne & Richter, Anett & Neumeier, Veronika & Bonn, Aletta, 2017. "Citizen science for assessing ecosystem services: Status, challenges and opportunities," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 28(PA), pages 80-94.
    11. Scholte, Samantha S.K. & van Teeffelen, Astrid J.A. & Verburg, Peter H., 2015. "Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation: A review of concepts and methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 67-78.
    12. García-Nieto, Ana P. & Quintas-Soriano, Cristina & García-Llorente, Marina & Palomo, Ignacio & Montes, Carlos & Martín-López, Berta, 2015. "Collaborative mapping of ecosystem services: The role of stakeholders׳ profiles," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 141-152.
    13. Malinga, Rebecka & Gordon, Line J. & Jewitt, Graham & Lindborg, Regina, 2015. "Mapping ecosystem services across scales and continents – A review," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 57-63.
    14. Kovács, Eszter & Kelemen, Eszter & Kalóczkai, à gnes & Margóczi, Katalin & Pataki, György & Gébert, Judit & Málovics, György & Balázs, Bálint & Roboz, à gnes & Krasznai Kovács, Eszter & MihÃ, 2015. "Understanding the links between ecosystem service trade-offs and conflicts in protected areas," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 117-127.
    15. Clements, Hayley S. & Cumming, Graeme S., 2017. "Manager strategies and user demands: Determinants of cultural ecosystem service bundles on private protected areas," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 28(PB), pages 228-237.
    16. Paudyal, Kiran & Baral, Himlal & Burkhard, Benjamin & Bhandari, Santosh P. & Keenan, Rodney J., 2015. "Participatory assessment and mapping of ecosystem services in a data-poor region: Case study of community-managed forests in central Nepal," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 81-92.
    17. Drakou, E.G. & Crossman, N.D. & Willemen, L. & Burkhard, B. & Palomo, I. & Maes, J. & Peedell, S., 2015. "A visualization and data-sharing tool for ecosystem service maps: Lessons learnt, challenges and the way forward," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 134-140.
    18. Paudyal, Kiran & Baral, Himlal & Keenan, Rodney John, 2018. "Assessing social values of ecosystem services in the Phewa Lake Watershed, Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 67-81.
    19. Chakraborty, Shamik & Gasparatos, Alexandros & Blasiak, Robert, 2020. "Multiple values for the management and sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    20. González-García, Alberto & Palomo, Ignacio & González, José A. & López, César A. & Montes, Carlos, 2020. "Quantifying spatial supply-demand mismatches in ecosystem services provides insights for land-use planning," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:13:y:2015:i:c:p:119-133. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.