Middle Ground- Firming up my ideas IV- the connection

Posted on March 25, 2011


I present at the middle ground conference tomorrow (excited).  Lots of things happened in the last week that have kept me from keeping this blog up to-date on my Middle Ground paper. Luckily, I have my presentation all ready to go. Over all, I would say that these blog posts have helped me complete what I set out to do, firm up my ideas.

So last I left, talking about my modeling of human perceptions of landscapes. By including agency (single people over vast groups) I believe I have moved towards the middle ground. Yet, there is more I can do, such as adopt how perspectives(views of the landscape) are interpreted. As any experiential landscape theorists will tell you, ancient people did not see the world in the terms of: 7,000 Acres of direct contact, 34,000 acres of visual contact, 688,000 Acres of exchanged knowledge. This means that we need to have a product that represents the way that people thought about there landscape. Surprisingly, this is not to difficult to do with GIS and representations can be created. For example what if people related to their landscape by waterways-

Figure 1: The highlighted sections represent the waterways the people would have been aware of and its relation to other sites

Here we can see that the people are only aware of the one major waterway. A descriptor of the orange could be: along the water, past the fork, and before the bend to reach the x site of people y.

We could represent the landscape as peaks and valleys. In this scenario the farthest site, that they have contact, with would be described as: through the long valley, over the far hills and into the next valley.

Figure 2: Green is valleys and yellow are hills

There last two examples are geographically-based but there is nothing preventing the use of cultural characteristics (Figure 3). For example the landscape could be divided into language or political groupings.

Figure 3: Cultural divisions

Regardless of how he divisions are set up, the result is a GIS based on agency and multiple descriptors. A program that is very much inline with experiential landscape theory. If experiential landscape theorists see it that way is another story.

next and last post- I built it, but will they come?

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