Supporting Holistic Understanding of Geographical Problems: Fieldwork and G-Portal
IRGEE Volume 17, Number 4, ISSN 1038-2046
Fieldwork remains the mainstay in the study of geography and in the analysis of the environmental processes. However, an in-depth understanding of the environmental and geographical processes requires extensive as well as intensive fieldwork that involves time and substantial effort, both of which may pose a problem within a given curriculum time. One solution to this could be a collaborative data collection both on extensive temporal and spatial scales and subsequently sharing of this data by all for an in-depth analysis. Having a large data set from extensive areas helps in a more reliable analysis of the given problem, rather than one done with a limited data set for lack of time and scope. Results of such analysis have the potential of providing outcomes beyond mere course grades and may yield results that are useful in solving real life problems. Such an understanding was used for the development and use of an online data resource portal named G-Portal. The portal was used for uploading and later sharing of data collected from extensive, remote sites in a forest (Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore). Several groups of researchers collected the data within a short time, to be subsequently shared among the groups for a very in-depth analysis of the environmental problem of trail degradation. The article analyses the fieldwork-related issues addressed while developing this portal and also describes how the portal was used by several groups of researchers and subsequently how this data were used for analysis. Responses of users regarding the usefulness of this portal in research and analysis are also examined. The portal has been found to support field inquiry through data collection, data sharing, analysing data, synthesising data and presenting results. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.)
Chatterjea, K., Chang, C.H., Lim, E.P., Zhang, J., Theng, Y.L. & Go, D.H.L. (2008). Supporting Holistic Understanding of Geographical Problems: Fieldwork and G-Portal. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 17(4), 330-343.
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Review of International Geographical Education Online Vol. 2, No. 3 (2012) pp. 303–325
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