Visualising traditional boundaries in Papua New Guinea using GIS 'zones of uncertainty'

Caudell, Clinton Frank (2010) Visualising traditional boundaries in Papua New Guinea using GIS 'zones of uncertainty'. [USQ Project]


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There is a real and current need in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for accurate landowner maps to facilitate the visualisation of land controlled by ‘incorporated land groups’ (ILG). Disputed areas in these maps are better depicted using GIS ‘zones of uncertainty’ rather than the Western cadastral-style of boundary. PNG’s Land Groups Incorporation
Act 1974 (LGIA) was enacted to enable customary landowning groups to incorporate into ILGs and thus negotiate with all the legal responsibilities and privileges of a corporation. Its implementation since 1974 has elicited a number of problems and challenges. One of these is described as ‘disputed areas’, which occur along shared boundaries of two or more ILGs, and result from either mixed ownership or disputed ownership of common resources.

Current maps of ILG boundaries typically show Western cadastral-style boundaries, with ‘disputed areas’ displayed as a non-spatially defined polygon encompassing the
area. This paper contends that the LGIA does not implicitly or explicitly prescribe a Western cadastral-style depiction of boundaries, and that using GIS ‘zones of uncertainty’ produces a more accurate and relevant map for the purpose of visualising ‘disputed areas’. GIS ‘zones of uncertainty’ are a vector form of the raster fuzzy sets more commonly found in GIS. Fuzziness allows us to capture the multi-valuedness of our thinking (e.g. hot/warm/cold), rather than being restricted to the yes/no, zero/one categories of Boolean logic. It allows us to work with qualitative notions of space, like those found in descriptions of cultural boundaries between indigenous clans. This
contrasts with the quantitative notions of space more commonly depicted by Western cadastral boundaries.

Visualisation using maps is not only important as a communication tool, but also as a means to analyse and understand ownership. Almost all key stakeholders in the ILG
process have been influenced in their thinking by the Western cadastral-style of depicting boundaries. A more accurate visualisation method gives these stakeholders the
opportunity to revisit and possibly revise their thinking on the creation of ILGs. Accurate maps produced using GIS ‘zones of uncertainty’ can meet the current need in
PNG to address issues of ownership in ‘disputed areas’ for the purpose of creating and defining ILGs.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Apan, Armando
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2013 06:07
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2013 06:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: Papua New Guinea; ILG boundaries; GIS zones of uncertainty; disputed areas
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401304 Photogrammetry and remote sensing

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