Mapping Heritage: A Participatory Technique for Identifying Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage

By Jeff La Frenierre.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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

Community participation is increasingly considered a key to success in many conservation and development related projects. Among the advantages are the ability to obtain a more accurate understanding of the needs of the community, an improved ability to adapt the project to meet local conditions, and an improved spirit of cooperation both within the community itself and between the community and outside stakeholders. Participatory mapping is a relatively new technique that provides an especially effective method for a community to identify and communicate the resources and values they deem important. While participatory mapping has thus far been used most frequently in natural resource management and indigenous land rights applications, it has clear applicability to cultural heritage management applications as well. This paper describes the process of participatory mapping and its potential role in improving the inclusivity of heritage management. An overview of a recently completed project in Fiji and a description of forthcoming research at the Luang Prabang World Heritage Site in Laos are provided.

Keywords: Participatory Mapping, Cultural Heritage Management, Community Development, World Heritage, Participatory 3-Dimensional Modeling

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.97-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 552.978KB).

Jeff La Frenierre

Graduate Student, Department of Geography, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA

Jeff La Frenierre is currently a graduate student in the Department of Geography at the University of Denver. His research centers on the use of maps and mapping techniques in rural community development in Southeast Asia. Jeff has provided GIS (Geographic Information Systems) analysis for the UNESCO Office of the Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand, in support for a proposed World Heritage Site at the Plain of Jars, Lao PDR and, as a member of Engineers Without Borders, has participated in community water development projects in Lao PDR, Thailand, and Ecuador. He is currently investigating the burden of fetching water and ways of mapping the human energy expenditure associated with fetching water in order to better define whether a community has reasonable access to improved water sources.

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