Qualitative GIS by Rob Berry @rural_gis

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Rob Berry presents some examples of Qualitative GIS (QGIS) - a relatively new development of GIS where it endeavors to integrate qualitative information rather than the more traditional quantitative …

Rob Berry presents some examples of Qualitative GIS (QGIS) - a relatively new development of GIS where it endeavors to integrate qualitative information rather than the more traditional quantitative data. Rob presents three examples of the practice and also introduces some of his own work.

Kwan (2008)
McDowall (2010)
Gregory et al. (2014)

For more information about Rob follow his Twitter stream @rural_gis or visit his Google Scholar account http://tiny.cc/nukzbx

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  • 1. Qualitative GIS Robert Berry CCRI Seminar Series 27th February 2014
  • 2. Outline • GIS – a quantitative tool • Emergence of qualitative GIS (QGIS) • QGIS Case studies – Re-presenting past experiences using GIS – Mapping interviews using open source GIS – Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS – Other stuff • Conclusions
  • 3. GIS • “Digital technologies for storing, managing, analysing and presenting geographic information” • Firmly associated with collection, classification, analysis, and presentation of numerical data • Geography‟s „high-tech tool‟ based on: – – – – Formal Euclidean geometry Alpha-numeric database principles Cartesian spatial conceptions Quantitative frameworks and analysis
  • 4. Geographic information
  • 5. „Bread & Butter‟ GIS: Visualising Descriptive Stats
  • 6. Map 1- 'Clusters' of Deprivation in Bristol, England Inferential statistical modelling zi  Z-values I -999 - 2 2 - 999 0 1 2 4 6 8 Kilometers Map shows unusual clustering of low-income (<£10,000 pa) households within the administrative boundary of Bristol, SW England. Z statistic calculations produced using circular neighbourhood operations on a point dataset, with parameters of 550m radius and 60 x 60 metre cell size respectively. xi   si ni
  • 7. Complex numerical modelling 0.05 0.46 0.31 0.10
  • 8. Challenging „Traditional‟ GIS • Critiques of GIS in the mid 1990s cast GIS as rooted in positivist epistemologies (Pickles, 1995) – – – Most suited for quantitative techniques Need to incorporate non-cartographic spatial knowledge Exclusive, undemocratic, disempowering • Decade of critical and reflexive engagement with GIS challenges these characterisations (Schuurman, 2000) – – – Feminist geography/GIS and Critical GIS Promotion mixed methods in geographical research Conceptual – questions about how knowledge is produced • Public participation GIS (a set of bottom-up community based-GIS practices) – – – Move academic practices to the local community level Promote local production of geographic knowledge Ultimately encourage positive social change
  • 9. QGIS Emerges • QGIS is a response to critiques of GIS (Critical GIS). QGIS Emerges early 2000s > • Repositioning of GIS away from a solely positivistic framework to employ multiple epistemologies • Extends beyond multi-media data integration. An approach NOT just a collection of standalone techniques • It is about the full INTEGRATION of quantitative and qualitative data – Using maps to improve the understanding of qualitative data – Compliment/triangulate qualitative research • QGIS is therefore arguable a misnomer – more a MIXED METHODS approach
  • 10. QGIS „Pillars‟ • Critical GIS/cartography – Social implications of GIS – Questioning how knowledge is produced – Developing conceptual framework • Mapping/analytic innovations – – – – Traditional proprietary GIS software CAQDAS and Google Earth Open source GIS New approaches • Re-presenting space and place – Geovisualisation (cartesian, non-cartesian, flows, narratives, emotions, time, histories) – Incorporate multiple meanings and to provide context and texture
  • 11. 2009 GIS comes of age, sort of
  • 12. QGIS gets a conference “Qualitative GIS: emerging issues and possible futures” Cardiff University, 2nd – 4th August 2010 GIS Research UK Annual Conference Spatial humanities conference, Lancast er 2015
  • 13. QGIS Case Studies • Kwan (2008) Re-presenting experiences of Muslim Women in post 9/11 USA – Narrative analysis – Oral histories – Sketch maps • McDowall (2010) Mapping interviews using open source GIS – Sketch mapping – Audio • Gregory et al. (2014) Mapping the Lakes: A literary GIS – Narrative analysis
  • 14. Kwan (2008): Re-presenting post 9/11 experiences of Muslim women in the USA • Address limitations in Qual analysis in GIS by exploring more direct approach to analysing Qual data in GIS – beyond CAQDAS • Conceptualised, designed, and implemented a 3D geovisualization and qualitative analysis component, called 3D-VQGIS, in ArcGIS • Facilitating the interactive exploration, interpretation, and 3D geovisualisation of qualitative data
  • 15. Post-9/11 USA • Hostile to Muslims • Traditional family gender role means many out-of-home activities • Kwan studied the impact on Muslim women in Columbus, Ohio – Daily activities and travel – Access to public spaces – Perception of the environment • Short term and long term impact on activities and trips
  • 16. Data Collection • 37 women in Columbus (2001-2003) in several phases • Activity diary survey – – – – – All activities Start and end times Travel mode Street addresses Purpose • Oral histories via in-depth interviews • Sketch maps of locations frequented and unsafe areas (before and after 9/11)
  • 17. Activity Diary
  • 18. 3D Narrative Analysis • Oral histories analysed by coding: – Qualitative coding – Space-time coding Kwan (2008) Based on the three-dimensional narrative inquiry space proposed by Clandinin and Connelly (2000)
  • 19. Blue – quite safe Green – mod. safe Yellow – not safe Red - dangerous Kwan (2008) Visual Narrative/ Life Path
  • 20. Kwan (2008)
  • 21. Kwan (2008)
  • 22. Kwan (2008)
  • 23. Analysis and Interpretation • 3D life paths useful in temporally and spatially organising narratives, oral histories, emotions, multimedia • Expressive visual narrative that tells the story of post-September 11 experiences • Post 9/11 experiences of Muslims obfuscated by media. Research helped recover and illustrate experiences • Demonstrates expressive power of GIS and potential for creating visual narratives from qualitative data
  • 24. McDowall (2010):Mapping Interviews Using Open Source GIS • Unstructured interviews where discussion is based on place, using maps – Important geographical detail is lost – Audio recordings are hard to search and crossreference against locations on a map • Audio/video can be linked to locations on a map, but does not address the live interview problem • Led to development of innovative GIS solution using a Wii remote control and open source GIS
  • 25. McDowall (2010)
  • 26. Chris demonstrates..
  • 27. Mapping Interviews Using Open Source GIS • Untested in „real‟ research interview (2010) • Technical developments – – – – Interface Searching Assigning names to lines Handling multi-part lines • No indications of development of such rival systems from mainstream GIS vendors • A great potential not yet realised
  • 28. Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS (Lancaster University, 2014) • Can GIS open up new spatial thinking about the geo-specific literature of space and place. • Lake District as a test area • Researchers mapped out two textual accounts of journeys through the landscape of the Lake District – Thomas Gray‟s 1796 Autumn Tour – Samuel Taylor Coleridge‟s “Circumcursion” (1802) • Early exploratory research – Testing the possibilities and problems
  • 29. Mapping the Lakes • three main areas: – the writer-specific • Individual text mappings • Different cartographic versions – the geo-specific (comparative) • Representation across multiple texts – and the broadly conceptual/theoretical • Mapping more abstract, imaginative emotion responses to landscape
  • 30. Stage 1: Writer-Specific • Spatial – – – – – Which places were visited? Can GIS map journeys on specific days? Can GIS map distances travelled? Can GIS replicate 3D experience? How can complex textual histories be outlined in digital space (on screen)?
  • 31. Writer-Specific: Methods 1. Two primary texts digitised 2. Text is geo-tagged 3. Place names transferred to database 4. Coordinates manually attributed using Ordnance Survey gazetteer www.lancaster.ac.uk/mappingthelakes - textual histories - contexts - maps
  • 32. Gray's Base Map • Built environments • Linearity of tour • Gazetteer problems • Non-linear movement • Maps out movement • But not alternative imaginative exploratory cartographies Lancaster University (2014)
  • 33. Gray‟s Tour: Density Maps • • Cannot represent subjective/emotion • No dramatic reconfiguration of understanding • Visual guide to imaginative centre • Actual places visited Opens critical possibilities First step towards further thinking “imaginative spaces” • Lancaster University (2014) More texts may throw up surprising patterns
  • 34. Corpus of Lake District writing Lancaster University (2014)
  • 35. • Cartographical limited • Conceptually limited • Visual shorthand for spatial pattern in text – “circumcirsion” • Western and rural emphasis • More cluttered than Gray‟s Lancaster University (2014)
  • 36. Coleridge‟s Density Maps • Consistency in intensity and depth of accounts • Hot spot confirms encounters with high fells is at imaginative core of his textual mappings of LD Lancaster University (2014)
  • 37. Comparative Maps • • Neither writer visits or mentions far north • Possible cultural marginalisation of particular areas • Longitudinal division of the region • Physical and imaginative separation of space • Coleridge‟s more prolific naming of places • Lancaster University (2014) What patterns emerge? Highlights linearity and circularity of the two routes
  • 38. The Naming of Places: A Smooth Surface Comparison • • Lancaster University (2014) GIS highlights potential of cartographical and critical thinking offered by mapping geo-specific textual data Draws attention to spaces of heightened intertextuality highlighting locations which have been the subject of multiple writings
  • 39. Mean centres map • Spots highlight geographical centres of both tours • Ellipses indicate standard deviation (66% and 95%) • Reinforces notion that Coleridge's experiences concentrate on small delimited section of LD while Gray covers a wider geographical area Lancaster University (2014)
  • 40. Exploratory: Gray‟s „Mood Map‟ • Attempt at critical possibilities of „mood mapping‟ • Potential for subtleties of accounts to be reduced to rigidity of quant data • But this is exploratory research • Raises cartographic problems Lancaster University (2014)
  • 41. Interactive Maps • Tours with 1815 map • Tours with standard GE map
  • 42. Mapping the Lakes: Outcomes • Exploratory: New ways of thinking about the potential use of GIS technology in literary studies • Advancing methods of textual digitisation and encoding • Need to offer a way of representing the imagined, as well as the actual, experience of place • How can GIS technology map out specific, non-linear, routes through space? • Movement towards the more exploratory qualitative mappings rather than the quantitative cartographies traditionally associated with historical GIS projects
  • 43. GIS for Quantitative Landscape Appraisal
  • 44. GIS for qualitative landscape Assessment in mixed-methods research 46
  • 45. Virtual Landscape Theatre (James Hutton Institute) James Hutton Institute (2014) James Hutton Institute (2014) GIS-based landscape visualisations in mixed-methods research
  • 46. Dockerty et al (2005)
  • 47. Climate Change Dockerty et al (2002) 49
  • 48. Climate Change Dockerty et al (2002) 50
  • 49. 51 Rothwell (2005)
  • 50. QGIS - Conclusions • Early research is showing potential of QGIS – Exploring/visualising qualitative data within a spatial framework – Exploratory tool that helps generate questions and guide research – Opening up GIS and geographic knowledge and information production to new users and audiences • A truly qualitative GIS may not be possible – GIS is an excellent tool for asking what happened, when and where but it still has little ability to explain why–which is something that the researcher must examine by returning to his/her sources • Moving forward – Research agenda not well defined – Beware of technology for its own sake – Further theoretical development
  • 51. References • • • • • • • • • Clandinin and Connelly (2000) Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. John Wiley & Sons. Dockerty, T.L, A. A.Lovett, G.Sünnenberg, K.J.Appleton, M.Parry (2005). Visualising the potential impacts of climate change on rural landscapes. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 29, 297-320. James Hutton Institute. (2014). Virtual Landscape Theatre. http://www.hutton.ac.uk/learning/exhibits/vlt. Accessed 24th February 2014. Kwan, M-P. (2008) From oral histories to visual narratives: representing the post-September 11 experiences of the Muslim women in the USA. Social & Cultural Geography, 9(6): 653-669 Lancaster University (2014). Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/mappingthelakes/. Accessed 24th February 2014. McDowall, C. (2010). Mapping interviews with open source GIS. Presented at the “Qualitative GIS: emerging issues and possible futures” Conference, Cardiff University, 2nd – 4th August 2010. Pickles, J. (2005). Ground Truth: The Social Implications of Geographic Information Systems (Mappings: Society/theory/space). Guildford Press. Rothwell, J. (2005). “Across the ridge”. http://www.3dnworld.com/users/96/images/Acrosstheridge.jpg. Accessed 27th February 2014. Schuurman, N. (2000). Trouble in the Heartland: GIS and its critics in the 1990s. Progress in Human Geography 24(4): 569-590.