Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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CANCELLED: Participatory Three-Dimensional Modeling (P3DM) as a tool for biodiversity mapping: Application of Indigenous Knowledge and GIS Technology
Silas Mulehi Osinde

Last modified: 2016-12-08


This presentation will describe a participatory process by which indigenous people in the protected forest areas in Kenya translated their spatial memories during the making of a georeferenced three dimensional model covering their settlement areas. The 3D map making process proved to be a catalyst in stimulating memory, articulating tacit knowledge and creating visible and tangible representations of the physical, biological and cultural landscapes of the project area. Elaborate elements of the map legend allowed participants in the community to gain greater clarity on meanings and relationships between natural and cultural features. This model selectively displayed both the tangible and the intangible heritage of the indigenous people. The composition of the legend and the making of the model stimulated collegial learning and community cohesion. The process has been perceived as a milestone for indigenous knowledge in terms of working together towards a common goal, and in realizing the value and potential authority of their spatial knowledge once it was collated, georeferenced, documented and visualized.

GIS facilities have been and still remain a privilege of elite scholars at the community level. GIS applications are difficult to manage and strongly depend on outsiders’ skills and facilities. This presentation focuses on Participatory Three-Dimensional Modeling (P3DM), which may effectively be considered as a bridge between the public and GIS. P3DM merges GIS-generated data and people’s knowledge to produce stand-alone relief models. These provide stakeholders with an efficient, user-friendly and relatively accurate spatial research, analysis and decision making tool, the information from which can be extracted and further elaborated by the GIS. The 3D modeling process and its output (the scaled relief model) are the foundations upon which Public Participation GIS (PGIS) can release its full potential. P3D Models provide local stakeholders and official policy makers with a powerful medium for interactions, by easing communication and language barriers.