Article in Applied Geography - Novel methodology to map stakeholder perceptions of complex environmental problems

Posted on 5 January 2015

Using PGIS and Q to understand and map stakeholder knowledge.

A new journal article has been published in Applied Geography, 'Combining participatory mapping with Q-methodology to map stakeholder perceptions of complex environmental problems' by John Forrester and Steve Cinderby from SEI in which they explores the development of a GIS-based methodology and its application to understand and map stakeholder knowledge. They find that combining Q-methodology (a research method used to study people's "subjectivity"or viewpoint) with participatory mapping (gathering data using traditional methods such as interviews, questions, focus groups, all using some form of paper maps to allow participants to record spatial details) helps to overcome a significant problem in social engagement: representing the unclear connection between what people say or do and their underlying attitudes, values or beliefs.

The paper is based on a reflexive engagement with flood management and natural adaptive capacity in the Scottish-English Borderlands. The paper confirms how such topics can benefit from an appreciation of the wide range of stakeholders' positions, as well as the underlying beliefs informing those positions and provides a template for others interested in unpacking complex socio-environmental issues.


Combining participatory mapping with Q-methodology to map stakeholder perceptions of complex environmental problems

by Forrester, J., Cook, B., Bracken, L., Cinderby, S. and A. Donaldson  in Applied Geography, Volume 56, January 2015, Pages 199–208

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.11.019