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Spatial Ethnography: Methods & Applications

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Beth Gravalos

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of Spatial Ethnography: Methods & Applications

Spatial Ethnographies "Benthic Mapping Using Local Aerial Photo Interpretation and Resident Taxa Inventories for Designing Marine Protected Areas" General Methodology: Tufte states that "escaping flatland is the essential task of envisioning information" (1990:12) Spatial Sketch of Property (SSP) Aswani & Lauer 2006 PO & Interviews with fisherfolk
Random stratified sample of initial interviews
Active and experienced fisherfolk identified through snowball sample
Informants made free lists of benthic characteristics and exiting MPAs
Associated obtained indigenous knowledge with locally named biophysical features, which established the spatial foundation for GIS
Informants chosen to interpret map made from GIS In what ways does the Aswani & Lauer study attempt to escape flatland? How is their methodology multivariate? Beth Grávalos "Collecting Sketch Maps to Understand Property Land Use and Land Cover in Large Surveys" D'Antona et al. 2009 Participatory approach to mapping Marine Protected Areas (MPA)
Synthesis of indigenous knowledge, or LEK (Davis & Wagner 2003), and aerial photography to help map benthic environments
Authors tested correspondence between local interpretations of features (interviews) and the actual placements of areas (data collected physically by divers)
Was this methodology successful? Why?
Researchers found this combination of data collection to have a high success rate
LEK was useful because, "in contrast to scientists, local photo interpreters employ more inductive reasoning to assess aerial photographs (2006:270)
Visual interpretations are informed by a highly informed knowledge base, not just the images presented Tufte also mentions that this type of multivariate information display entails some sort of trade-off of virtues (1990:15)
Do you see any trade-off in Aswani & Lauer's methodology? Two goals of paper:
1. Explaining the method of sketch maps presented to informants in order to improve rapport and accuracy of responses through better comprehension of land use
2. Provide comparable spatial data on the organization of land use and infrastructure on survey properties (2003:67) Create sketches from the point of view of the informant as a part of the interview process
increase confidence in information recorded in questionnaires
obtain a spatial representation of agricultural land cover and use infrastructure on the property in relation to previously made maps/grids by larger organizations as a means to control interviewer bias and allow interpretation of SSP
spatially locate different types of land use in a manner consistent with other spatially referenced data as a means to improve satellite image classification through the aid of other perspectives which help differentiate land covers and uses that are normally ambiguous D'Antona et al. describes an intense training process for interviewers in order to ensure consistency in data collection. However, in contrast to Clark-Ibañez's (2004) PEI method, as a result the researcher has more control of the data collected. Both methods incorporate more interaction on the interviewee's part, but according to Tufte (1990) this could be considered a sort of trade-off. Do you think having the interviewee make the the sketch maps would prove more fruitful or just create more confusion and/or skewed data? Of the two spatial ethnographies we read for today, do you think one escapes flatland better than the other? Why? Both of these spatial ethnographies encounter problems in consistency, whether it be in uniformity of language/terminology or in physically creating the sketch maps. Do you foresee other problems rooted in this methodology? Both of these studies deal with conceptualizing geography and the natural/built environment. What other ethnographic uses could sketch maps or LEK interpretation of maps have?
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