Where GIS Meets the People
The archaeometry section is crucial to the operation of all the THPO areas. The philosophy of the section is technological inclusivity—providing the tools and support for applications like GIS Portal and the hardware to enable mobile mapping. These solutions can be operationalized both by staff and the Tribal community. This inclusivity has resulted in some dynamic projects that have been the calling card of the THPO within the community and have forged connections that transcend cultural differences. The ability to generate maps and other digital and physical media promotes collaborative dialogue and active engagement between the community and the THPO, allowing active participation by all constituents and informed cultural heritage decision-making. This is perhaps exemplified by the concept of participatory mapping in which stakeholder groups within the Tribal communities actively work together to provide the information that is then geographically realized. The resultant maps often allow Tribal elders the ability to visually communicate cultural information with younger generations accustomed to receiving information in a geographic format.
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