ME07
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Ethnography and GIS

Convenors:
Anthony Pickles (University of Cambridge)
Stream:
Methodology
Start time:
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0

Short abstract:

This panel explores the ways that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programs and ethnographic expertise can be combined. We welcome experimental forays into GIS by ethnographers and by GIS users into ethnographic fieldwork, data and outputs, and thoughts about the limits of their complementarity.

Long abstract:

This panel explores the ways that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programs and ethnographic expertise have been and can be combined. GIS can be (for instance) used to plot data gleaned through a researcher's ethnography, or from secondary sources to uncover a new spatial understanding of the ethnographic subjects, or spatial data can prompt new ethnographic areas of inquiry. GIS can enable new perspectives and new questions through spatializing data while ethnography usually leads to rich, often textually dense, qualitatively oriented narrative forms. How do these unlikely bedfellows come together? What have researchers' experiences been? This may include experiments, rabbit holes and flirtations. We welcome experimental forays into GIS by ethnographers and by GIS users into ethnographic fieldwork, data and outputs, and thoughts about the limits of their complementarity. What worked? What failed? What never went anywhere? We would like to see the results, but equally the experience, the compromises and the cut-off points.

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