From felt tip to technology: the challenges of representing traditional knowledge in a GIS platform to create a knowledge surface
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 12:54 by Julie B. Robertson
Traditional knowledge (TK) has been the keystone to survival in the Arctic for thousands of years. Caribou are integral to the society, health and culture of the Inuit, the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic. There is a lack of research regarding caribou on King William Island (KWI), Nunavut. Through a project in Gjoa Haven, located on KWI, Inuit Elders and hunters used maps to help represent their knowledge of caribou in the region. These 32 maps were processed in a GIS to explore the spatial dimensions of TK, and different forms of knowledge representation. Using vector data the features drawn were separated into lines and polygons to show hotspots of caribou knowledge. Using a fuzzy raster methodology, all caribou data was summed to create a collective knowledge surface of the caribou features. These maps refine the data from the vector maps and create a continuous surface that aims to better reflect the collective nature of TK. This research explores the challenges of representing TK using western technologies, and application of fuzzy methodologies for improving the representation.