Course Leader: Dr Stephen Burgess, WISERD Cardiff
Qualitative GIS is an emerging, mixed-method and interdisciplinary research approach that is attracting interest across a range of disciplines. The early literature has highlighted the innovative nature of the Qualitative GIS approach to combining ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ spatial data and encouraging multiple epistemological approaches to spatial research. This includes an engagement with the social processes that help create places and the history of these processes as well as people’s perceptions of these processes and, consequently, of the places they inhabit.
Qualitative GIS may be of interest to those working in a broad range of fields, where it is important to understand what people feel about the places in which they live and work. This session introduced the concept of Qualitative GIS, and outlined its relationship to GIS (Geographical Information Systems). Examples drawn from the literature, and from our own work were used alongside discussion and practical activities. The aim was to provide an overview of Qualitative GIS and no prior knowledge was assumed so participants did not need to have had any experience of GIS.