Chapter 19: Cybercartography and Traditional Knowledge: Responding to Legal and Ethical Challenges
Teresa Scassa¹, Tracey P. Lauriault², D. R. Fraser Taylor³
¹The Centre for Law, Technology and Society, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
²National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), National University of Ireland at Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland; Member of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC), Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
³Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC), Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Cybercartography offers rich potential for the mapping of traditional knowledge (TK). At the same time, the particular characteristics of TK pose significant challenges for cybercartographers. TK is more than a collection of informational ‘artefacts’ that can be placed on a map; it forms part of a knowledge system that is often fundamentally different from dominant Western systems. These differences require new paradigms for thinking about maps and their objectives generally, and for thinking more specifically about how information is represented and disseminated through cybercartography.
In this chapter, the authors examine the nature of TK and the potential of cybercartography for its representation. The authors consider the role of law (defined as explicit and enforceable rules) and normativity (defined as ‘ought’ statements that guide social relations) in shaping relationships between cartographers and the contributors of TK. They consider how those involved in such projects can use both technological and legal tools to define the terms of their collaboration and to articulate their expectations in sharing their information with a global community.
Keywords: Ethics; Information sharing; Informed consent; Intellectual property; Law; Local and traditional knowledge (LTK); Normativity; Soft law; Traditional knowledge.