Producing an Indigenous Knowledge Web GIS for Arctic Alaska Communities: Challenges, Successes, and Lessons Learned

Abstract

A traditional knowledge “Iñupiaq Web GIS”, based on a five-year study and containing observations and environmental knowledge of Iñupiat communities indigenous to Arctic Alaska, was incorporated into a Web-based platform. The website, “Arctic Cultural Cartography,” was created to be an open portal through which the password-protected “Iñupiaq Web GIS” could be accessed. We discuss the process of developing the web GIS including the incorporation of user-friendly features such as links to interactive maps, video clips of interviews, discussion boards, and the integration of popular web interfaces such as Facebook. We also discuss short- and long-term goals for the further development of the GIS, its potential as a sustainable, participatory online database for sharing pertinent ecological knowledge, and challenges in achieving optimal community involvement given constraints imposed by remote locations with limited bandwidth.

Article first published online: 6 FEB 2012

Transactions in GIS Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 17–37, February 2012

Read here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9671.2011.01291.x/full

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Citation: Eisner, W. R., Jelacic, J., Cuomo, C. J., Kim, C., Hinkel, K. M. and Del Alba, D. (2012), Producing an Indigenous Knowledge Web GIS for Arctic Alaska Communities: Challenges, Successes, and Lessons Learned. Transactions in GIS, 16: 17–37. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9671.2011.01291.x

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