The Gwich'in Atlas: Place Names, Maps, and Narratives

The Gwich'in Atlas: Place Names, Maps, and Narratives
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"The Gwich'in Atlas: Place Names, Maps, and Narratives."
Aporta,Claudio, Ingrid Kritsch, Alestine Andre, Kristi Benson, Sharon Snowshoe, William Firth, and Del Carry
In: Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography, Second Edition, pp 229-244. Edited by D.R.Fraser Taylor.

Published by Mercury Series. Canadian Ethnology Service Paper 136, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2001, 290 pages
ISBN 0-660-17841-9

The full dimensions of Indigenous place names cannot be captured by any representational technique outside of the original context of use. Many limitations presented by traditional cartography, however, have been overcome by new mapping and documenting techniques and technologies. While traditional paper maps could only render geographic location and spelling of an orally transmitted place name, new technologies allow for the recording and presentation of the stories and other information connected to the name.

The Cybercartographic approach goes a step further, creating a digital environment for data integration. The Gwich'in Cybercartographic Atlas can be understood as a framework within which the user is able to build his/her own narrative through the seamless use and connection of different datasets. This paper discusses the potential and limitations of this approach in the documenting of oral spatial and environmental narratives..