GIS Mapping Technologies and Media Discourse Analysis: Feedback from Creative Industries and Social Inequality Project Trials

By Susan Luckman and Jessica Pacella.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While mental maps and other geographical tools have for some time been employed in cultural geography, they have not been taken up to any significant degree in cultural studies research. This is especially the case with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) computer programs designed to manipulate and represent spatial data. This paper reports upon the early stages of a research project which explores ways in which the data visualization provided by GIS can be valuably employed in humanities discourse-based research methodologies. It will be argued that this process provides a powerful methodological tool connecting the imagined, social world of cultural research ethnography, to the political, topographic and demographic one; this unifying device is especially useful in interdisciplinary projects. Maps also provide a powerful, common sense communication tool for disseminating research findings to policy-makers and the wider community. Therefore, in the next stage of this project, the findings from discourse analysis will be complemented by qualitative semi-structured interview data and mental maps which will provide baseline data capable, in the long-term, of measuring the impact of media discourse on social attitudes to place.

Keywords: GIS, Methodology, Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Methodologies, Mental Maps, Semi-Structured Interviews, Space, Cultural Geography

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.101-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.219MB).

Dr. Susan Luckman

Senior Lecturer, Research Portfolio Leader, School of Communication and Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Dr. Susan Luckman is a Senior Lecturer and Research Portfolio Leader in the School of Communication and a member of the Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies (HRISS) at the University of South Australia. She has authored numerous publications on new media, creative cultures and cultural policy, digital music cultures, and contemporary cultural studies and is co-editor of: Sonic Synergies: Music, Identity, Technology and Community (Ashgate 2008), and a member of the ARC Cultural Research Network. Current research projects include the ARC Linkage Project: ‘Creative Tropical City: Mapping Darwin’s Creative Industries’; the use of GIS mental mapping digital visualisation tools in cultural research interviews; cultures of use and ‘making do’ around technology in rural, regional and remote areas; and shifting digital media trends: a survey analysis.

Jessica Pacella

The School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, University of South Australia, Australia

Jessica Pacella is currently completing her Honors Thesis at the University of South Australia. Her research interests include contemporary Australian national identities as sites for exploring branding and brand equity, as well as screen and television theory. Jessica has presented an earlier version of this paper at the 2009 ANZCA Conference held at the Qeensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

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