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Who owns the legend? Presentation by Giacomo Rambaldi CTA, Wageningen NL GISDECO 2004, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Malaysia, 10-12 May 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Who owns the legend? Presentation by Giacomo Rambaldi CTA, Wageningen NL GISDECO 2004, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Malaysia, 10-12 May 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who owns the legend? Presentation by Giacomo Rambaldi CTA, Wageningen NL GISDECO 2004, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Malaysia, May 2004

2 Flow of the presentation Maps and mapmaking Pros and Cons Maps as media Visual language: building blocks and ownership Lessons learned Food for thoughts …

3 Maps and mapmaking Describe discoveries Navigate space Define boundaries Locate resources Register ownership Plan and strategise

4 Maps and mapmaking Educate Inform and misinform Raise awareness Advertise Re/deterritorialize Nationalize Make political propaganda

5 The power of maps “Maps communicate information immediately and convey a sense of authority” (Alcorn, 2000:11) “By ignoring indigenous names, and barely alluding to the presence of local settlements, maps produced by European explorers in effect declared the land to be empty and available” (Poole, 1998).

6 Maps as media Humans communicate via maps For centuries and increasingly with the advent of new Spatial Information Technologies (SIT), graphic representations of Earth in cartographic, electronic, two or three dimensional formats have been playing significant roles as media

7 Towards 2-way communication Spatial data, previously controlled by government institutions increasingly available to and mastered by civil society; Increased availability and opportunities for integrating SIT in support to Information & Communication Management (ICM); SIT integrated into community-centred initiatives through e.g. PGIS, P-GIS, PPGIS, CiGIS, MiGIS, counter mapping, etc.

8 From pebbles to keyboards … Participatory approaches Solid terrain models (P3DM) 2 D scale maps Sketch maps Ephemeral maps

9 From pebbles to keyboards …

10 Participatory approaches P-RS Orto-photomapping Tablet computers GPS

11 What is what? The symbols used to depict real world features reflect through their choice, variation and definition a selected interpretation of reality made by the mapmakers. This combination produces the visual language through which mapmakers communicate. The language has to be a “common property” in order for communication to take place.

12 Visual language symbols (points, lines, polygons and volumes) variables (colour, orientation, shading value, shape, size, and texture) Scales (horizontal and vertical) interpretation keys Building blocks

13 What is what? Choosing symbols and their variables. Visually linked to real world features Culturally significant Culturally acceptable Sufficiently assorted Readily available Consistently applied

14 What is what? Defining the attributes Clear and unambiguous Objectively understandable

15 Questions of ownership … Who decides on what is “important”? Who defines the attribute of single features in objectively understandable terms ? Who selects symbol and variable to depict given feature ? If made public, who decides on what to display on the map and its legend ?

16 … ultimately Who owns the pictorial language, its graphic vocabulary and the resulting message? Who owns the Legend?

17 In the field In/off the field Community consultation and/or raw data collection Data collection & non- digital mapmaking Data analysis, editing, manipulation, etc. Tentative list of features Textual description and definition customary associations b/w “features” and “their display” Draft legend Revise draft legend items; Include new items Redefine items and list Exclude Identify sensitive features Produce final makeshift legend Content matching Polishing Matching of symbols and variables with available software graphics Display of layers (public and restricted access) Legends (2)

18 Towards improved practice … Be aware of diversity Your logic is not necessarily theirs Be inclusive Do not assume: ask or discretely verify Be open to change Listen and learn Do nor preach or teach Reconcile rather than correct

19 Thank you

20 Useful links electronic discussion forum (forthcoming) reference site on P3DM, PGIS, PPGIS, P-GIS, GiGIS and more … support to ICT & ICM development in ACP member countries


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