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Old meets new at Digital Mapping Waananga

Old meets new at Digital Mapping Waananga

Some of the newest technology will be used to tell some of the oldest stories at next week’s Indigenous Mapping Waananga in Hamilton.

Participants in the workshop-based event will be learning how to master the latest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies to add a new dimension to whaanau, hapuu and iwi histories.

Organiser Moka Apiti says GIS can help bring to life the visual storytelling of our ancestors.

“At the waananga participants will learn to use geospatial tools enabling us to tell our stories and explain our ties to the land in a dynamic and interactive way,” he says.

“Many Maaori organisations are using GIS to provide accurate, interactive and dynamic mapping of whaanau, hapuu or iwi assets. The Indigenous Mapping Waananga provides the opportunity to learn from some of the best experts in the world, including representatives from technology companies such as Google, Esri, Mapbox and others.”

Mr Apiti is an experienced indigenous cartographer and director of Digital Navigators, which provides digital mapping advice and training to indigenous communities. He says the waananga is aimed at increasing the expertise and numbers of Māori working in the GIS field.

“We are seeing and participating in a worldwide geospatial technologies revolution, incorporating mapping to support localised internet searching, 3D mapping and augmented realities using mobile phones. Maaori think spatially and it is only now that the technology is in a position to cater for our realities. It is about integrating digital technologies within a Maaori framework and being at the front of these new developments.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn digital methodologies from leading mapping exponents such as experts from Google, MapBox and Eagle Technologies by bringing the mountain to the people,” he says.

Raleigh Seamster from Google Earth Outreach is leading a team of six Google experts from the United States, Australia and Canada who are teaching digital mapping skills at the Waananga

“Mastering digital mapping is an important digital skill for indigenous people all over the world who are seeking to maintain and reassert their cultures. We’re here to equip people with these tools to use as they see fit in the future. Digital mapping technologies have many potential uses for Maaori and Pasifika people - from connecting their whanau virtually to their land and their ancestral stories to monitoring and protecting their land,” she says. The Indigenous Mapping Waananga is being held at Claudelands in Hamilton from September 11-13. To find out more, go to www.imw.nz

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