At the Annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology on March 25 - 29, 2008, Memphis Marriott, USA, there will be a session relating the practice of PGIS and applied anthropology by the title: Participatory Geographic Information Systems: More than maps.
In their Call for Papers the session organisers wrote: "Most activities that we undertake, either as academics or practitioners, require producing tangible outputs as part of the work process. Outputs serve as metrics to evaluate progress and determine future direction. Mention of a Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) invariably elicits numerous requests to see the maps, and fewer questions regarding the process that went into their development. The "P" in PGIS has its roots in the development literature and in Participatory Rural Appraisal and Participatory Learning and Action in particular, which stress the importance of process. The relationship is not one way however, and in this session we would like to draw attention to the contributions that PGIS experiences offer to the larger development community. Our objective is to reflect on a variety of experiences with PGIS and focus the discussion on positive externalities and the intangible benefits that arise through process."
The theme for the Annual Meeri is The Public Sphere and Engaged Scholarship: Opportunities and Challenges for Applied Anthropology. The full description can be found at http://www.sfaa.net/sfaa2008.html .