The use of Geographic Information systems (GIS) by indigenous communities is a growing research field in Australia and overseas. The potential use of GIS by an indigenous community in central Arnhem Land was investigated during this research project. Focus of use for the GIS was resource management of saltwater crocodile eggs. Involvement of the Maningrida community, during development of the GIS, ensured that cultural needs of the community were considered. Hardcopy map output is designed to represent 'country' in a way that is appropriate to the end users of the GIS. Hypothetical clan boundaries were mapped in relation to saltwater crocodile nesting sites using GIS methods to demonstrate the advantages of integrating indigenous knowledge in a GIS. A saltwater crocodile habitat map was derived from Landsat TM imagery by integrating GIS and digital image processing techniques. The resultant map has an estimated accuracy of 93% and identifies potential saltwater crocodile habitat in the study area. In conclusion, results indicate that a GIS can be designed to meet the cultural needs of an indigenous community in central Arnhem Land There is potential for the GIS to be used successfully at community level for resource management of saltwater crocodile eggs. 1be GIS is designed so that incorporation of other environmental and cultural information for future management of resources is possible. Furthermore, guidelines have been suggested for the development of GIS for other Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory of Australia.
|Date of Award||Jan 1998|
|Supervisor||Greg Hill (Supervisor)|