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Qualitative GIS: A Mixed Methods Approach Paperback – 9 Jul 2009


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Review

'An important and meaningful, even an innovative, resource in its field of inquiry. It makes a major contribution to geography by describing, presenting and analyzing the way in which qualitative information may be included in geographic information systems. GIS technology in general is not merely a tool for processing quantitative or qualitative spatial data. Qualitative GIS in particular constitutes a knowledge base with philosophical (ontological and epistemological) foundations. The incorporation of qualitative methods into GIS produces a whole that is "greater than the sum of its parts". Moreover, the book contributes to our understanding of the process in the social sciences by giving a visual presentation of social and spatial phenomena, and thus its contribution goes beyond the geographic discipline' -
Geography Research Forum


'Qualitative GIS is coming of age, and this definitive collection explains why it deserves broad attention. These carefully selected essays by leading researchers, organized around a broad conception of qualitative GIS that extends beyond multi-media data integration to embrace new software tools and interpretive, situated epistemologies, will push readers to rethink not only their preconceptions about qualitative GIS, but also about GI science and critical GIS. GIS researchers, practicioners, observers and users will find much to chew on here' - Professor Eric Sheppard, University of Minnesota, USA

About the Author

Dr. Meghan Cope is an urban social geographer. She is mainly interested in the ways that social, economic, political, and environmental processes influence cities and communities, as well as the ways that people's everyday lives create meaningful spaces and places within, or even against, the larger-scale processes operating on them. Her focus has always been on social/spatial processes of marginalization and disempowerment, for example, through gender, race/ethnicity, class, youth, etc. She is especially motivated by issues such as employment, households and neighborhoods, welfare, public space, poverty, discrimination, and identity. She is also a qualitative researcher who uses ethnography and other methods to learn about the geographic meanings and processes that matter to marginalized groups. Over the past 10 years she has developed an associated interest in critical perspectives on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and have explored methods of combining qualitative research with GIS (Cope & Elwood, 2009).

My work intersects critical GIS, and urban and political geography.  I study the social and political impacts of spatial technologies such as GIS, and the changing practices and politics of local activism, community organizing, and other modes of civic engagement.   My current research focuses on emerging geospatial media – an ever-expanding range of interactive web-based technologies that enabling collection, compilation, mapping, and dissemination of spatial data by vast numbers of people.  With colleagues at UC-Santa Barbara and Ohio State University, I am currently studying these new forms of ‘volunteered geographic information’, examining their content and characteristics, methodologies for working with these data, and the social and political practices in which they are implicated. In a parallel project, Katharyne Mitchell and I  are examining the role that interactive geovisualization technologies might play in fostering collaborative learning, critical thinking and civic engagement among young teens. My research and teaching having long been structured around action research and university-community collaboration, further details can be found here.

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