Tags

, , , , , , , ,

A neat summary of the sort of problem that often arises in the interface between the sciences and the humanities.

How do we balance supporting novice spatial users alongside experts? Or, is geospatial analysis necessarily GIS?:

By focusing simply on technology training, there is the danger that, as well as being seen as irrelevant, too difficult or simply just boring for users (academics or students), the data gets overlooked or is made to fit a ‘system’ of analysis. For example, one problem of using GIS in humanities is the issue of ‘fuzzy’ data. This isn’t just a case of the system failing to cope with fuzziness: it also betrays an underlying assumption that data can, and should be, disambiguated and clear. For humanists, however, the questions driving research are often precisely those that look to nuance or complicate the material. We like messy results. Humanists need worry less about producing an accurate and/or truthful representation and more about how maps can be used as entry points to explore the data—this is seeing maps as   part of the investigative process rather than as an end in and of themselves.

(Via PELAGIOS)