Geographic Information Systems are an essential tool for analyzing and representing quantitative spatial data.
"Qualitative GIS" explains the recent integration of qualitative research with Geographical Information Systems. With a detailed contextualising introduction, the text is organised in three sections: Representation which examines how researchers are using software techniques to create new types of representations - either 'quantifying qualitative data' or using non-numerical data in GIS to provide texture and context; Analysis which discusses the new techniques of analysis that are emerging at the margins between qualitative research and GIS, this in the wider context of a critical review of mixed-methods in geographical research; and, Theory which questions how knowledge is produced, showing how ideas of 'science' and 'truth' inform research, and demonstrates how qualitative GIS can be used to interrogate discussions of power, community, and social action.
Making reference to representation, analysis, and theory throughout, the text shows how to frame questions, collect data, analyze results, and represent findings in a truly integrated way. An important addition to the mixed methods literature, "Qualitative GIS" will be the standard reference for upper-level students and researchers using qualitative methods and Geographic Information Systems.
'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
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