To explore the process through which people develop knowledge about socioecological change, this article describes a mixed-methods toolkit containing a technique for making maps in real time while moving through landscapes. The quantitative component of the toolkit is grounded in ethnobiologists’ embeddedness in place-based communities and harnesses the power of global positioning systems (GPS). As GPS-wielding ethnobiologists engage in participatory mapping by moving through landscapes with their research collaborators, we can use handheld devices and simultaneously communicate with satellites in outer space to produce maps in real time. Within the existing, large inventory of ethnobiological methods, using handheld GPS devices can be combined with other types of data-collecting techniques to enhance studies of interactions in more-than-human landscapes. Moreover, mapmaking implements movement trace, a tactic for interpreting space-time cultures and documenting grounded experiences with socioecological change. By bringing together interests in the disciplines of ethnobiology and qualitative geographic information systems (GIS), this article describes methods that make it possible to explain the space-time culture that guides people to move through their homelands and to communicate about their experiences even as they work toward integrating and directing the changing circumstances of their lives.
Fowler, Cynthia T. 2023. Real-Time Mapping With Global Positioning Systems Devices in a Mixed Methods Toolkit for Studying Social and Environmental Change. Journal of Ethnobiology, 43(1), 31–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/02780771231162188