Digital mapping by pastoralists in Kenya and Tanzania
The 16-page article Participatory digital map-making in dry areas of Kenya and Tanzania, published in Participatory Learning and Action 66 (2013), describes a natural resource management project in which pastoralist communities in Kenya and Tanzania used Google Earth imagery to identify key resources on a global reference grid. The pastoralists were able to navigate the satellite imagery with ease and lead the collection of data to reflect their priorities. This allowed local knowledge to be described precisely, and therefore more useably, in digital maps. Iterative cycles of the mapping process and exploration of satellite imagery encouraged deeper consultation of local knowledge, generating a fuller description of key resources and usage patterns. The local knowledge mapped has been used to design bylaws and inform planning for management of resources central to local livelihoods and the local economy, particularly in a context of increasing climate variability.