GIS = Geographical Information System which can be used when gathering, maintaining, storing, processing and visualizing geografical information

Participative Geographical Information = Local and localized information which is generated through the interaction between environment, individual and community

softGIS = Geographical Information produced by the users of the environment which usually is empirical and can be collected and processed as a part of the GIS

softGIS methods are used in both planning and researching living environment.

With softGIS study the experiences for example safety or the quality of living environment in general can be mapped. Information is gathered mainly for the scientific purposes but also for the support of planning and decision-making.

Participative Geographical Information is also used in Internet based Forums which are used for gathering local knowledge and information produced by different actors from, for example, the area of one city district. Forum can be continuously open Development Forum or Planning Forum which is open only for one land use plan. Forums are supporting mainly the interaction between the different actors in land use developing.