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Digital human-environment interaction

Development of a participatory geographical information system (PGIS) to analyze local land-use-conflicts

Term: August 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016

Financed by: Freie Universität Berlin (E-Club)

Principal Investigator: Jun.- Prof. Dr. Bettina Engels; Dr. Daniel Knitter

Project Investigators: Tina Gerl; Christian Sonntag

The project investigates how changes in the physical environment are interrelated with perceptions of them by the respective resource users, and develops a model that captures this relationship conceptually and methodologically by incorporating spatial data based on both physical space and social and subjective perceptions.

More broadly, the project engages research questions concerned with ecological and societal changes due to large-scale mining operations.

This project aims to:

  • develop a theoretical-conceptual and methodological approach that links transformation processes to the perceptions of resource users in a comprehensive and systematic way;
  • develop and test a participatory geographical information system (PGIS), an innovative methodological tool which associates numerical and qualitative data;
  • connect geocodable spatial information with “unreliable” spatial attribution;
  • generate and evaluate empirically founded statements about the ecological and socio-economic impacts of industrial mining projects, in particular on the livelihoodsof the local population in the respective mining areas.