Navigation in the Information Age:
An Exploration of the Potential Use
of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
for Sustainability and Self-Determination in Hawai`i
Cogswell and Schiøtz, 1996
The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by indigenous peoples forself-determination, sustainable resource management, and assertion of landclaims is increasing worldwide. GIS can be described as a powerfulcomputerized version of the Western written map, with the ability to store,analyze, and display large amounts of diverse spatial data. This researchundertook to explore the GIS initiative of the sovereignty group "Nationof Hawai`i," and to study recent literature and the larger context of GIS usein Hawai`i, for the purpose of better understanding if and how GIS can assistthe Nation of Hawai`i in its struggle for self-determination and eventually,for sustainable managment of the Hawaiian archipelago. For this research, acollaborative approach to participant observation was chosen to create astronger sense of anthropological reflection, and to enable a more ambitiousproject to be undertaken.
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