Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mapping With The Maasai’

22.06.2007
Project At University Of Leicester: Traditional Maasai songs, dance, sketch maps and mental maps incorporated in pioneering project

Traditional Maasai songs, dance, sketch maps and mental maps are to be incorporated with digital video recordings, photography and satellite imagery in a pioneering new project at the University of Leicester.

The aim is to develop a new cultural mapping to help the Maasai represent their deep understanding of their land through ‘virtual eyes’.

The innovative research aims to draw on the environmental knowledge and pastoralist practices of the Maasai and combine it with the latest geographical information technology in order to inform community conservation and development initiatives and ecosystem management policies.

The study in the Department of Geography is relevant to indigenous peoples around the world who are being empowered with GPS and Geographical Information Systems to record their knowledge of wildlife and natural resources so that their lands, lifestyles and cultural values are respected whilst endangered environments are protected.

The research aims to incorporate alternative forms of spatial knowledge and representation into GIS in order that it can form the basis for a postcolonial GIS.

Postgraduate researcher Kate Moore, who is conducting the research, said her study would look for new ways for indigenous people, such as the Maasai, to communicate an understanding and fuller picture of how they see and use their environment.

She said: “The image of a tall, red-robed Maasai warrior herding cattle across the plains is an enigmatic symbol of East Africa. However, go to Kenya today and you might find the Maasai herder carrying a GPS, to record his wandering over the grasslands, as well as his spear.

“Conservation organisations and local communities are endeavouring to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with local livelihoods and are designing new means for effective ecosystem management.

“This research attempts to identify new ways in which indigenous knowledge of the environment can be recorded, understood and exchanged.

“Mapping technologies from sketch maps drawn in the soil, songs and performance to digital multimedia maps and virtual reality systems will be used together with satellite images and GPS tracks of wildlife movement to link concepts from different cultures.

“This will help researchers gain a deeper understanding of biologically and culturally sensitive areas through the expertise and awareness of indigenous people. In the future, conservationists, government officials and even ecotourists, will be able to experience and understand the practical, cultural and spiritual meanings of nature to the Maasai ‘through virtual eyes’. “

“Developed through generations of living with, and using, natural resources in their homelands, indigenous peoples, such as the Maasai, have their own deep understanding of their environment. This includes biological, geographical and spiritual knowledge about the plants and animals that share their lands and how to manage those resources for maintaining their survival.

“However, the traditional nomadic life of the Maasai, together with the future of the wildlife that shares the land is at risk from many factors including exclusion from conservation areas, enforced settlement, population growth and climate change.”

Kate believes her research will enhance the protection and monitoring of wildlife and natural resources by applying indigenous knowledge in a culturally appropriate manner.

The research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on June 29.

The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.

More information on the Festival of Postgraduate Research at: www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>