Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Participatory Ethics - Special Thematic Issue of ACME

Vol 6 (3) of ACME (an International E-Journal for Critical Geographies) is dedicated to Participatory ethics. The 10 papers making up the issue are of interest to PGIS/PPGIS practitioners and researchers.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Launch of the Participatory Mapping Training Kit announced

Participatory mapping and development practitioners, activists and researchers identified the lack of training materials as a major constraint in the spread of good participatory mapping / PGIS practice. An initiative launched by CTA and other development partners will lead to the production of a modular, multimedia and multilingual training kit for trainers. The kit will ensure that participatory mapping and communication practices evolve and spread in an ethically conscious manner, ensuring that indigenous and other marginalised communities are effective in documenting, representing, and communicating their spatial knowledge, while taking a high degree of control over the process. It is understood that good practice would add value and authority to local knowledge, facilitate inter-generational knowledge exchange, contribute to building and supporting a cohesive community identity, and support sustainable planning through collaborative decision-making.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Participatory 3D Modelling among Ogiek Indigenous Peoples in Kenya

In their article "Through the Eyes of Hunter-gatherers: Participatory 3D Modelling among Ogiek Indigenous Peoples in Kenya" publlished on Information Development and now freely available for download, Giacomo Rambaldi and his colleagues describe a participatory process by which Ogiek Indigenous Peoples 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.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Google Maps and San Diego wildfires

When wildfires broke out in San Diego, broadcast station KPBS used the My Maps feature in Google Maps to easily create and share a map that provided real-time updates on the location of the fires and the status of evacuation shelters. The map received millions of views in just a few days.

Giving Voice to the Unspoken: Video on Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM)

"Giving Voice to the Unspoken" is a 20-minute video production showing the hands-on aspects of Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM). P3DM is a PGIS/PPGIS method. The video supports all practical aspects of P3DM described in the resource book "Participatory 3-Dimensional Modelling: Guiding Principles and Applications" and documents in detail an exercise conducted within the Pu Mat National Park, a protected area in Vietnam.