The Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) belongs to a group of Brazilian universities, which have developed the project Morar.TS, aiming to develop Social Technologies for social interest housing. In this context, Social Technologies are understood as a group of technologies focused on social inclusion, trying to involve the user in all housing production stages.

The research invests on the search of Information Technologies that enable the Social Technologies, increasing the interaction between the academic community and the society. Among the ITs, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) stand out due to their capacity of organization, analysis and visualization of spatially referenced data. Besides this, the use of GIS has become popular through online free solutions, such as the tools developed by Google (Earth, Maps and StreetView). Its use in collaborative environments also stands out, where the users of the mapped space may complete and correct available information.

These characteristics provide a great potential to the use of GIS as a tool of social inclusion. Through the mapping of social interest areas and the distribution of information to the population in a simple and broad way, it is possible to promote the auto recognition of the community, with positive consequences in its social organization.

This work invests on the possibility of integrating the technical knowledge of the University with the empirical knowledge of the local population, through collaborative GIS technology. The purpose is to provide survey information and make them available online, motivating its use among the population as well as providing means to receive the collaboration of users to correct and complete the information.

To begin, surveys were performed in two categories: a) social economical data, obtained from the Census 2010 carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE); b) physical data, obtained from remote sensing and physical survey at the site.

The social-economical data from IBGE were collected in the site institute, elaborated in spreadsheets to derive new statistical information, organized in database and spatialized in GIS. The physical data was collected on site, with differentiated level of detail according to the characteristics of each area and availability of the research staff.

From the initial data collection and its organization in GIS, the next step consists in making this data available via Internet. Several successful cases of online collaborative maps can be found, but the challenge is to transpose this technology for low-income users. The use of the Internet has spread among the communities in the research area, through the presence of small providers in the neighborhood or via low cost smartphones. It is necessary to focus on the convenience and ease to use.

The experience reported in this work is relevant for two reasons: a) reinforcing the sense of community in poorer neighborhoods, engaging people to update their neighborhood information; b) for later researches, which can rely on a complete, reliable and updated set of information.