Papers

A list of Papers and Journal Articles related to Aboriginal Mapping. Please contact us if you know of, or would like to submit, a paper.

PLEASE NOTE: The Aboriginal Mapping Network is not promoting any of the following authors or their work.The intent of this page is to provide an overview of some of the available written materials.

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Through the Eyes of Hunter-Gatherers: participatory 3D modelling among Ogiek indigenous peoples in Kenya

Giacomo Rambaldi, Julius Muchemi, Nigel Crawhall and  Laura Monaci

Abstract

Describes a participatory process by which Ogiek indigenous people in the Mau Forest Complex in Kenya rendered their spatial memories through the making of a georeferenced three dimensional model covering part of their ancestral territory. The paper focuses on the course of action and related human dynamics which led to the production of the map legend via deep reflections and intense negotiations among elders of different clans. The 3D mapmaking process proved to be a catalyst in stimulating memory, articulating tacit knowledge and creating visible and tangible representations of the physical, biological and cultural landscapes of the area in the 1920s. Elaborating and negotiating agreement on the elements of the map legend allowed the participants to gain greater clarity on meanings and relationships between natural and cultural features. Once completed, the model selectively displayed both the tangible and the intangible heritage of the Ogiek people. The composition of the legend and the making of the model stimulated collegial learning and community cohesion. The process has been perceived as a milestone for Ogiek clans in terms of working together towards a common goal, and in realizing the value and potential authority of their spatial knowledge once it was collated, georeferenced, documented and visualized.

Information Development, Vol. 23, No. 2-3, 113-128 (2007)

Please visit the following website for more information:

http://idv.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/2-3/113 

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(Re) Defining Peri-Urban Residential Space Using Participatory GIS in Kenya

Francis Koti, Daniel Weiner

Abstract

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for African urban planning and research is now becoming a reality. But there is limited technical expertise and the necessary infrastructure to support local government efforts in data-poor environments. As a result, the creation of urban geo-spatial databases have tended to reside in the central government, large municipalities, research institutions, donor funded projects and individual research initiatives. To date, such applications have focused on observable and quantifiable aspects of the urban built environment while experiential information has remained peripheral. This paper employs a participatory GIS approach to integrate community local knowledge with traditional urban spatial data. Our objective is to populate urban-based geo-spatial databases for a more robust understanding of quality of life in Athi River town, Kenya. The Athi River GIS includes formal data and local knowledge on land cover, land use, hydrology, topography, infrastructure, industry, service provision, and housing. Community data was obtained through mental mapping, focus group discussions, GPS-based transect walks, social histories of exclusion, oral narratives of land use, and relevant archival material. The study concludes that GIS in Kenya is being introduced within an empiricist and positivist epistemological and methodological framework. With more focus on the visual and quantifiable aspects of the built environment, the perceptions of disenfranchised peri-urban communities are being excluded. In the paper, a place-based (re) definition of residential quality of life is achieved by integrating community local knowledge into a GIS as an information layer. In the study, local knowledge and expert GIS data are thus found to be complementary.

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Using PGIS to Conduct Community Safety Audits

Gerbrand G. Mans

Abstract

Crime is one of the major factors influencing the quality of life of all South Africans and it is therefore a priority to reduce it. To reduce crime, crime prevention is important. Crime prevention is where the focus shifts from the traditional way of the police fighting crime, to the active participation of the community in preventing crime. Doing a safety audit is the first step in implementing a local crime prevention strategy.

The hypothesis of this paper is that using Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) is a very competent method for conducting safety audits. The hypothesis will further be developed by looking at the importance of community participation and the spatial aspect of crime when conducting safety audits. Attention will also be given to the best methods and tools to be used when conducting these audits. To conclude, the effectiveness of the use of PGIS will be discussed utilizing results from a case study.

Preliminary results indicate that PGIS is very efficient in this context. Firstly, participation allows the community to take ownership of the local crime prevention strategy. Secondly, because the spatial component of the information is not lost, crime prevention hot spots can be identified. Accompanying GIS systems allow different datasets to be integrated. This provides a platform for collaborative planning between the community and local authorities. Methods applied involve integrating the P-Index technique with existing PGIS techniques to facilitate participation. Useful tools in the process of linking PGIS and Spatial analyses of crime hotspots were aerial photographs and the Schutte Scale.

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Participatory Mapping for Local Management of Natural Resources in Villages of the Rufiji District (Tanzania)

Stephanie Duvail, Olivier Hamerlynck, Revocatus X. L. Nandi, Pili Mwambeso, Richard Elibariki

Abstract

Tanzania has introduced legislation that allows communities to locally manage their natural resources. From 1998 to 2003, the Rufiji Environmental Management Project (REMP) promoted such a transfer of authority, from the central government to 4 pilot villages of the Rufiji District in southern Tanzania, mainly for forest resources. These communities developed Village Environmental Management Plans (VEMP). Land-use maps have been produced by multi-institutional teams using Landsat images, aerial photographs, detailed landscape analysis, ground-truthing and incorporation of the results in to a GIS.

Cartography and Environmental Management, carried out in a participatory way, were shown to be effective tools for the improvement of communication and information sharing between local populations, government institutions and researchers. The mapping of land use in the Rufiji District can potentially clarify a fuzzy land-tenure situation, especially in the floodplain. This area, considered as under-utilised by the local authorities, is in fact extensively cultivated by the Warufiji populations who have abandoned the Ujamaa village scheme. The mapping of the 4 areas, by the villagers themselves, equipped with GPS, was instrumental in their official recognition as Village Forest Reserves. Mechanisms still need to be put in place for the resolution of land-use conflicts between villages and for the mediating role that local government should play.

For improved planning, this participatory mapping exercise has to be complemented by a detailed analysis of the economic and spiritual values of the different landscape components, and by a description of the local rules of resource sharing. The drive towards increased local management of natural resources still needs to be supported by a strong Government with the will to empower and to secure the local benefits of the decentralisation process.

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