Enhancing World Heritage Maps using Indigenous Toponyms, Stories, and Interpretive Attributes
View the Presentation from Mark Palmer,
University of Missouri.
Maps and GIS used for the nomination and subsequent management of UNESCO World Heritage sites are used primarily for bureaucratic resource management purposes. However, bureaucratic maps lack the richness to represent associative cultural landscapes, intangible cultural elements, and the geographies of Indigenous peoples. Indigenous toponyms can be found on many World Heritage maps at sites located with settler societies like New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Currently, bureaucratic heritage maps do not emphasis or even have a method for representing the meaning and significance of Indigenous toponyms. The names are represented as static, inanimate objects void of meaning. This presentation proposes a simple conceptual story mapping model that supports a type of rights-based and Indigital GIS. The conceptual model includes Indigenous toponyms, stories, interpretive attributes, and requires indigitization.
Mark H. Palmer is a cultural geographer interested in the co-construction of geographic information systems (GIS) and society. Palmer’s research is positioned at the intersection of research on GIS and society, indigenous geographies, and American Indian Studies. The goal of his research is to describe and explain the sociotechnical history of institutional GIS development and explore alternative ways in which indigenous peoples can participate in the development of institutional geographic information constructs. The methods he uses include archival research, ethnography, and geographic information systems (GIS) informed by actor-network theory (ANT) and postcolonial theory.
Contributions: Palmer’s publishing record includes fifteen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Of the fifteen articles, ten are single author and five are co-authored. This includes publications in peer-reviewed journals like the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Sustainability Science, Current Anthropology, Futures, Cartographica, and American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Palmer participated in thirty-one conference paper and panel sessions, and has co-authored two peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter with graduate students.
Intellectual Merit: Palmer’s data driven historical, constructivist, and postcolonial research advances geography’s understanding of the social and bureaucratic implications of GIS. It advances research on the alternative representations in GIS and society through the incorporation of American Indian perspectives, language, and discourses into the literature. This involves the bridging of indigenous and geographic knowledge systems through cross-disciplinary research on curriculum, fieldwork, and network building.