The aim of this paper is to understand the social use and the consequences of PGIS in local communities, more specifically in Sierra Nevada, Mexico. In order to investigate the use of ICT by communities, we applied a multilevel and structurationist framework that articulates three dimensions: context, process and content. The results of our study draw attention to the implications of using PGIS not only as a technological tool in the strict sense, but as a process with the potential to achieve commitment across different social groups, even if they have distinct interests and skills. In addition, the consequences of its use for the communities are more likely to be related to the effectiveness of the underlying learning and emancipation processes.