Indigenous G.I.S.

This was definitely the first time I have been exposed to the idea of Indigenous G.I.S and the author raised some thought-provoking points. I found, however, that it was a little challenging to follow some of the arguments that he was attempting to make, but that was most probably due to my bias coming from a technoscientist background. To wit, the author argued that there were positive aspects of not inscribing or writing down knowledge, an idea that is fairly unfamiliar to me. After reading the article and understanding where the author is coming from I can see his point of view but since “we are steeped in the ways of the society that produced them”, I’m not sure if I’m 100% convinced of his rationale.

Another curious point that was raised was how G.I.S. could potentially be toxic to human diversity. G.I.S. traditionally follows Western standards about geographical space and knowledge and the author argues that this can be subversive towards indigenous cultures. The author also argues that the way in which geographic data is represented (using maps, G.I.S., etc.) is inherently destabilizing towards indigenous culture. This is not a point that is often raised so it was fascinating to read. Whether it is destabilizing or not (I’m not fully convinced), I feel that it is important that this debate takes place since protecting the cultural integrity of minorities should be an important goal for everybody.



One Response to “Indigenous G.I.S.”

  1. site admin says:

    Woops, a little late. Glad you’re trying to grapple with the impact of GIS on cultural diversity. Any changes since the actual presentation?