When brought at community level, Geographic Information System (GIS) applications are hardly manageable and replicable and strongly depend on outsiders¿ skills and facilities. As pointed out by Peter van Treffelen at the last GISDECO 2000 Conference held in Los Baños, Philippines, GIS facilities have been and still remain ¿islands of privilege¿. This paper focuses on Participatory Three-Dimensional Modeling (P3DM), which may effectively be considered as a bridge between the public and GIS. P3DM merges GISgenerated data and peoples¿ knowledge to produce stand-alone relief models. These provide stakeholders with an efficient, user-friendly and relatively accurate spatial research, analysis and decision making tool, the information from which can be extracted and further elaborated by the GIS. The 3D modeling process and its output (the scaled relief model) are the foundations upon which Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) can release its full potential increasing, among others, the capacity of local stakeholders to interact with national and international institutions. P3D Models provide local stakeholders and official policy makers with a powerful medium for negotiation, by easing communication and language barriers.