Indigenous knowledge and technology activism for citizen science

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Information about Indigenous knowledge and technology activism for citizen science

Published on February 22, 2014

Author: javiercarranzatorres



This proposal is interested in the massive collaboration aspects of citizen science in Mesoamerican countries, specially spotlighting the analysis on collaboration between ethnically representative groups and grassroot technological organizations, where a great deal of knowledge transfer can take place and therefore need to be optimized.

Technology activism and indigenous knowledge in Mesoamerica Javier Carranza Torres GeoCensos NGO

We are GeoCensos , a Mesoamerican Foundation dedicated to the dissemination, development and management of advanced technologies, with special emphasis on those related to space and territory.

Our interest We are interested in the citizen science concept from an intercultural collaborative point of view. Our question: How does citizen technology activism works when used to aid indigenous groups?

Our approach to citizen cyberscience Citizen science is defined as a crowd sourced mechanism conducted partly or totally by amateur scientists in the context of public participation (Hand, E. 2010). We are interested in the concept from a collaborative point of view, meaning how collaboration works when two or more cultural groups are involved within a citizen collective.

Contents 1 2 2 Who we are What we did 3 Apps we developed 4 3 Lessons we learned

Who we are? We are a multidisciplinary community that promotes innovative projects particularly in geospatial disciplines and in Earth Sciences. We are an enthusiastic NGO with outreach and networks in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. We aim our actions mainly to Spanish-speaking countries, making efforts of transfer of global technology to the solution of local problems in the territory.

Some of GeoCensos Experiences 2012 2013 1st GIS e Seminar for social applications e Science demostration lecture Chile 20062007 2009 – 2011 2008 Crowdsourced geo information DB in cadastre Argentina & SDI in Dominican Republic Cascales e Government project represented Ecuador in OSM. Census Geoinformation certification module for Statistical Office Honduras Space Apps Challenge NASA GC Road Show Mapps Hackathon.

What we did We run a series of events for developers, students and members of the main universities and organizations in cities of Mesoamérica - from Colombia to Guatemala – in order to capitalize the use of the geoinformation for public purposes

Some of our events We organized 4 Space Apps Challenge locations : Bogotá, Panamá, Santa Marta (Colombia) and Valencia (Venezuela) , also sponsored locations of Guatemala and Santiago de Chile

Some of our events

Some of our events

Some of our events

Our results •4 locations organized for Space Apps Challenge 2013: Bogotá, Panamá, Santa Marta and Valencia. Gathered 234 participants. • 12 cities summoned for Mapps Hackathon with + 800 registered developers. • Managed around 60 volunteers in both events. •29 projects created around 16 challenges. •8th place among all 83 locations in Space Apps Challenge promoted by NASA. •Raised awareness of local authorities on massive collaboration.

Mission Report NASA Space Apps Challenge 2013

Apps we helped to develop Panama Several applications to follow the migration process of Ngabe etnic groups aiding pregnant women of different groups UNFPA Guatemala Geo app to map touristic destinations of Laguna de Solola community of Rija'tzuul Na'ooj USAC Colombia Crowdsourcing geographical information to warn amazonian communities in the south of Colombia in flood incidents

Some insights In the development of the Ngabe group app, some students from the group where present in the hackathon summoned by UNFPA Panamá, although their problem knowledge was partial. Participatory mapping was already a practice used by the Rija'tzuul Na'ooj community in Laguna de Solola in Guatemala. This practice, together with a greater participation of interested members was used in the app development The location of sacred sites and communal places where valued in all three app development and the common value was that indigenous knowledge is needed for economic and cultural purposes.

Lesson we learned 1 1 Vast territorial knowledge is available 2 2 Language barriers need to be addresed 3 3 Indigenous people wish to develop own apps and geo information systems

Indigenous groups in Mesoamerica can greatly benefit from crowdsourcing geo information and developing technologies in a CC fashion. Citizen cyberscience can have a crucial role to solve many territorial and cultural issues of indigenous people.

Good Questions? 1 How can local authorities summon technological activists for the development of territorial apps? 2 Which other global technology activists and communities can help and aid indigenous efforts? 3 Other relevant experiences and good practices?

¡Gracias! ( Thanks!) @geocensos

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