Friday, September 07, 2007

Digital Land Management

Bryan at Infocult made reference to a demographic study of labor by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) which pointed out that presently the majority of human beings are not working in agriculture, something that has not been the case for a long time (10 000 years?). Bryan then proposed the question "How much of the history of information has been shaped by the divide between urban and rural ways of life?"
This could be a great thesis topic. I thought about the way land is an information system in traditional Aboriginal cultures. The urban/rural divide does not apply to Aboriginal socities that are still inhabiting traditional lands and following culture. The concept of agriculture does not apply either as they do not cultivate but follow seasonal patterns of food production. However, information is stored and distributed, created and altered on a vast scale in Aboriginal narrative systems. Three projects that are dealing with the storehouse of knowledge that resides with Aboriginal cultures are:

Digital Songlines
The Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID) is host to an innovative and exciting project aimed at conserving Indigenous heritage using virtual reality technologies. Digital Songlines is an ACID project that is developing protocols, methodologies and toolkits to facilitate the collection, education and sharing of indigenous cultural heritage knowledge. The project explores the effective recording, content management and virtual reality delivery of indigenous cultural knowledge in way that are culturally sensitive and involve the indigenous custodians, leaders and communities.

Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways
Welcome to the Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TKRP) website. The Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways was developed from the aspirations of Indigenous Elders, to preserve and recognise Traditional Indigenous Knowledge. With the guidance and instruction of our Aboriginal Elders, we are supporting them to collect information that will be beneficial for County and Community, both in the present and the future.

Warumungu Community Digital Archive Project
Since December we have made great progress on the archive. Based in community feedback we simplified and streamlined the upload process, we revamped the user interface, and we have made changes to the user profiles and restrictions sections of the archive. We also got a new name for the archive: Mukurtu Wumpurrani-kari Archive. Mukurtu is a Warumungu term meaning “dilly bag.” Dilly bags were used as “safe keeping places” for Warumungu sacred materials in the past. The archive’s name reflects the fact that this is a new type of “safe keeping place” mirroring the cultural protocols for the proper circulation, distribution, and viewing of cultural materials

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