Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Book Publication: Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines: Digging to development or digging to disaster?


Back Cover Information
 "This text provides an exhaustive and engaging review of the literature surrounding issues of development in the Philippines. Holden and Jacobson leave no stone unturned as they uncover some of the most detrimental effects of modern mining practices on the surrounding natural environment and human communities."
- Professor Kathleen Nadeau, California State University, San Bernardino
"This book speaks well of mining disasters that are accelerated and amplified by natural hazards in the Philippines such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I recommend this superb work to the general public and readers of specific interest on mining especially those with similar situations in their own countries."
Dr Emelina Regis, Director of the Institute for Environmental Conservation
and Research, Ateneo de Naga University


"Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Holden and Jacobsen provide a compelling and powerful study of the hazards of neoliberalism and of environmental politics more broadly." — Dr James Tyner, Professor of Geography, Kent State University


The archipelago of the Philippines is well endowed with nonferrous mineral resources, and in recent years the Filipino government, acting under the influence of the dominant and seemingly ubiquitous neoliberal development paradigm, has liberalized its mining laws in order to accelerate economic development. Yet the Philippines is also a country highly prone to a variety of natural hazards - including earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, typhoons and El  Nino-induced droughts - that have the ability to interact adversely with mining's potential for environmental degradation. Thus, there are great dangers inherent in pursuing such a development paradigm: earthquakes can destabilize tailings storage facilities, typhoons can  flood tailings ponds, and mine-pit dewatering can enhance the competition for groundwater resources during droughts. This study explores how these hazards amplify the environmental harm prevalent in mining, and reveals the substantial threat they pose to the livelihoods of the archipelago's poor - who are dependent upon subsistence agriculture and subsistence aquaculture - as well as the inadequacies of the institutions designed to protect their environment.

Supporting Accessibility for Blind and Vision-impaired People With a Localized Gazetteer and Open Source Geotechnology

Rice, M.T., Aburizaiza, A.O, Jacobson,R.D, Shore , B.M., and Paez. F I.  (2012). Supporting Accessibility for Blind and Vision-impaired People With a Localized Gazetteer and Open Source Geotechnology. Transactions in GIS 16 (2):177-190. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9671.2012.01318.x
Disabled people, especially the blind and vision-impaired, are challenged by many transitory hazards in urban environments such as construction barricades, temporary fencing across walkways, and obstacles along curbs. These hazards present a problem for navigation, because they typically appear in an unplanned manner and are seldom included in databases used for accessibility mapping. Tactile maps are a traditional tool used by blind and vision-impaired people for navigation through urban environments, but such maps are not automatically updated with transitory hazards. As an alternative approach to static content on tactile maps, we use volunteered geographic information (VGI) and an Open Source system to provide
updates of local infrastructure. These VGI updates, contributed via voice, text message, and e-mail, use geographic descriptions containing place names to describe changes to the local environment. After they have been contributed and stored in a database, we georeference VGI updates with a detailed gazetteer of local place names including buildings, administrative offices, landmarks, roadways, and dormitories. We publish maps and alerts showing transitory hazards, including location-based alerts delivered to mobile devices. Our system is built with several technologies including PHP, JavaScript, AJAX, Google Maps API, PostgreSQL, an Open Source database, and PostGIS, the PostgreSQL’s spatial extension. This article provides insight into the integration of user-contributed geospatial information into a comprehensive system for use by the blind and vision-impaired, focusing on currently developed methods for geoparsing and georeferencing using a gazetteer.

Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala and the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters the Church of the Poor

Holden, W. N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2011) Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala and the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters the Church of the Poor. In Brunn S. (ed.) Engineering Earth, Volume 3 pp 383-411, Springer Netherlands.


In recent years, as a result of the prevailing neoliberal development paradigm and the influence of the World Bank, many countries in the developing world have liberalized their mining laws to attract investment into their economies. In both Guatemala and the Philippines, governments have revised mining laws in an attempt to encourage more investment. This chapter discusses the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to the neoliberal policies enacted by the governments of those countries to encourage the extraction of nonferrous metals by multinational corporations. The chapter begins with a discussion of the countries’ mineral
resources (and efforts of the respective governments to encourage mining), and then discusses the ecclesial opposition to mining in the two countries; the chapter concludes with a discussion of how neoliberalism is encountering the church of the poor. This research finds its home within the discipline of geography, as one of
human geography’s core areas is the relationship between people and their environment, and conflicts about mining are conflicts about different understandings of human-nature relationships.


Exemplifying Accumulation By Dispossession: Mining And Indigenous Peoples In The Philippines.

Holden, W., Nadeau, K., and Jacobson, R.D.  (2011) Exemplifying Accumulation By Dispossession: Mining And Indigenous Peoples In The Philippines. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 93 (2), 141-161.


 Using a case study from the Philippines, this article applies David Harvey’s theory of accumulation by dispossession to show how neoliberal policies enable mining corporations to locate, lay claim to, and develop mineral resources in formerly inccessible areas, which for centuries have provided safe haven for indigenous peoples and their cultures. It explains why these factors are leading to an increase in armed conflict between military forces and guerrilla groups, which recruit their members from displaced indigenous people. The article concludes that the theory of accumulation by dispossession offers an appropriate analytical tool for understanding these processes.


Comparing Tactile Maps and Haptic Digital Representations of a Maritime Environment

Simonnet, M., Vieilledent, and Tisseau, J. (2011) Comparing Tactile Maps and Haptic Digital Representations of a Maritime Environment. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 105 (4), 222-234.


A map exploration and representation exercise was conducted with participants who were totally blind. Representations of maritime environments were presented either with a tactile map or with a digital haptic virtual map. We assessed the knowledge of spatial configurations using a triangulation technique. The results revealed that both types of map learning were equivalent.

Non-Visual Geographies

Jacobson, R.D. (2010) Non-Visual Geographies In: Warf, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Geography, Sage: London.


The construction, interpretation, and meaning of non-visual landscapes explores the role of sensory and perceptual modes other than vision in the construction of geographic space. It positions itself at the boundary between social theory and behavioral geography by examining the ways in which non-visual modes of information acquisition and processing reflect geographic environments and in turn shape those same places by structuring the subjective understanding and behavior of people and their symbolic understanding of space.  This understanding and representation of geographic space, occurs from several diverse conceptual perspectives, including behavioral geography and post-structuralism. At the individual level we gather
information in an environment, from all our senses other than vision: including hearing, smell, taste, and touch including kinesthesia (muscle memory). Our spatial behaviour is informed by these other sense modalities facilitating an understanding of space and place.  

Tactile maps

Jacobson, R.D. (2010) Tactile maps, In: Goldstein, B. (ed) Encyclopedia of Perception, pp.950-952. Sage: London


Extracting meaningful information from a tactile map, that is a map elevated in the third dimension, designed to be read by the sense of touch, is far more problematic than reading a conventional map with the use of vision.  Tactile maps are widely used in educational settings and in orientation and mobility training for vision impaired individuals. Maps and graphics are the most fundamental and primary mechanism for communicating spatial arrangements to blind people that is any representation of spatial features their arrangement and intra relationships.  Tactile graphics are used as diagrams in school text books, and portable maps when traveling. Just as Braille is often used as a substitute for the written word, tactile graphics are the equivalent for maps and diagrams. These are an essential tool for providing independence and education to people without vision.

The assessment of non visual maritime cognitive maps of a blind sailor: a case study

Simonnet, M., Vieilledent, S., Jacobson, D. and Tisseau, J. (2010) The assessment of non visual maritime cognitive maps of a blind sailor: a case study, Journal of Maps, v2010, 289-301. 10.4113/jom.2010.1087.


Nowadays, thanks to the accessibility of GPS, sighted people widely use electronic charts to navigate through different kinds of environments. In the maritime domain, it has considerably improved the precision of course control. In this domain, blind sailors can not make a compass bearing, however they are able to interact with multimodal electronic charts. Indeed, we conceived SeaTouch, a haptic (tactile-kinesthetic) and auditory virtual environment that allows users to perform virtual maritime navigation without vision. In this study we attempt to assess if heading or northing “haptic” views during virtual navigation training influences non-visual spatial knowledge. After simulating a navigation session in each condition, a blind sailor truly navigated on the sea and estimated seamark bearings. We used the triangulation technique to compare the efficiency of northing and heading virtual training. The results are congruent with current knowledge about spatial frames of reference and suggest that getting lost in heading mode forces the blind sailor to coordinate his current “view” with a more global and stable representation.

Map - data Publication

Simonnet, M., Vieilledent, S., Jacobson, D. and Tisseau, J. (2010) Published Map. In Simonnet, M., Vieilledent, S., Jacobson, D. and Tisseau, J. (2010) The assessment of non visual maritime cognitive maps of a blind sailor: a case study, Journal of Maps, v2010, 289-301. 10.4113/jom.2010.1087.


A Haptic and Auditory Maritime Environment for Non Visual Cognitive Mapping of Blind Sailors

M. Simonnet, R.D. Jacobson, S. Vieilledent and J. Tisseau. (2009) SeaTouch: A Haptic and Auditory Maritime Environment for Non Visual Cognitive Mapping of Blind Sailors. In K. Stewart Hornsby et al. (Eds.): COSIT 2009, LNCS 5756, pp. 212–226, 2009. Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg.


Navigating consists of coordinating egocentric and allocentric spatial frames of reference. Virtual environments have afforded researchers in the spatial community with tools to investigate the learning of space. The issue of the transfer between virtual and real situations is not trivial. A central question is the role of frames of reference in mediating spatial knowledge transfer to external surroundings, as is the effect of different sensory modalities accessed in simulated and real worlds. This challenges the capacity of blind people to use virtual reality to explore a scene without graphics. The present experiment involves a haptic and auditory maritime virtual environment. In triangulation tasks, we measure systematic errors and preliminary results show an ability to learn configurational knowledge and to navigate through it without vision. Subjects appeared to take advantage of getting lost in an egocentric “haptic” view in the virtual environment to improve performances in the real environment.

Haptic or Touch-Based Knowledge

Jacobson R. D. (2009) Haptic or Touch-Based Knowledge. In Kitchin R, Thrift N (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 5, pp. 13–18. Oxford Elsevier

Haptics is a term relating to touch, and active touch in its widest context, and how we are able to gain information about objects by manipulating them. Haptic perception involves the sensing of the movement and position of joints, limbs, and fingers, and also the sensing of information through the skin. The word ‘haptics’ is derived from the Greek term haptikos, from haptesthai, meaning ‘to grasp, touch, or perceive’, which is equivalent to hap(tein) to grasp, sense, or perceive.

Naturalistic Testing

Jacobson, R.D.  (2009) Naturalistic Testing, In: In: Kitchin, R., Thrift, N (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 7, pp. 269-274. Oxford: Elsevier.


Naturalistic inquiry or testing aims to leverage the benefits of conducting research in a natural setting in order to provide a rigorous contextual evaluation of the problem or phenomena under research scrutiny. It therefore is a predominantly qualitative research methodology. This is in contrast with controlled experiment inquiry in which the researcher manipulates the independent variables with some explicit control over other factors in order to observe the effects on the dependent variables.

Is there an association between spatial access to parks/green space and childhood overweight/obesity in Calgary, Canada?

Potestio M.L., Patel A.B., Powell C.D., McNeil D.A. Jacobson R.D. and McLaren L. (2009) Is there an association between spatial access to parks/green space and childhood overweight/obesity in Calgary, Canada? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6:77 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-6-77


Background: The recent increase in childhood obesity is expected to add significantly to the prevalence of chronic diseases. We used multivariate multilevel analysis to examine associations between parks/green space and childhood overweight/obesity across communities in Calgary, Canada, a city characterized by intensified urban sprawl and high car use.
Methods: Body Mass Index was calculated from measured height and weight data obtained from  6,772 children (mean age = 4.95 years) attending public health clinics for pre-school vaccinations. Each child's home postal code was geocoded using ESRI ArcGIS 9.2. We examined four measures of spatial access to parks/green space (based onGeographic Information Systems): 1) the number of parks/green spaces per 10,000 residents, 2) the area of parks/green space as a proportion of the total area within a community, 3) average distance to a park/green space, and 4) the proportion of  parks/green space service area as a proportion ofthe total area within a community. Analyses were adjusted for dissemination area median family income (as a proxy for an individual child's family income) community-level education, and community-level proportion of visible minorities.
Results: In general, parks/green space at the community level was not associated with overweight/ obesity in Calgary, with the exception of a marginally significant effect whereby a moderate number of parks/green spaces per 10,000 residents was associated with lower odds of overweight/obesity. This effect was non-significant in adjusted analyses.
Conclusion: Our null findings may reflect the popularity of car travel in Calgary, Canada and suggest that the role built environment characteristics play in explaining health outcomes may differ depending on the type of urban environment being studied. 


Can Virtual Reality Provide Digital Maps To Blind Sailors? A Case Study

Jacobson, R.D., Simonnet, M., Vieilledent, S. and Tisseau, J. (2009) Can Virtual Reality Provide Digital Maps To Blind Sailors? A Case Study. Proceedings of the International Cartographic Congress, 15-21 November 2009, Santiago, Chile. 10pp.

This paper presents information about “SeaTouch” a virtual haptic and auditory interface to digital Maritime Charts to facilitate blind sailors to prepare for ocean voyages, and ultimately to navigate autonomously while at sea. It has been shown that blind people mainly encode space relative to their body. But mastering space consists of coordinating body and environmental reference points. Tactile maps are powerful tools to help them to encode spatial information. However only digital charts an be updated during an ocean voyageand they very often the only alternative is through conventional printed media. Virtual reality can present information using auditory and haptic interfaces. Previous work has shown that virtual navigation facilitates the ability to acquire spatial knowledge. The construction of spatial representations from physical contact of individuals with their environment, the use of Euclidean geometry seems to facilitate mental processing about space. However, navigation takes great advantage of matching ego- and allo-centered spatial frames of
reference to move and locate in surroundings. Blindness does not indicate a lack of comprehension of spatial concepts, but it leads people to encounter difficulties in perceiving and updating information about the environment. Without access to distant landmarks that are available to people with sight, blind people tend to encode spatial relations in an ego-centered spatial frame of reference. On the contrary, tactile maps and appropriate exploration strategies allow them to build holistic configural representations in an allo-centered spatial frame of reference. However,  position updating during navigation remains particularly complicated without vision. Virtual reality techniques can provide a virtual environment to manage and explore their surroundings. Haptic and auditory interfaces provide blind people with an immersive virtual navigation experience. In order to help blind sailors to coordinate ego- and allo-centered spatial frames of reference, we conceived SeaTouch. This haptic and auditory software is adapted so that blind sailors are able to
set up and simulate their itineraries before sailing navigation. In our first experimental condition, we compare spatial representations built by six blind sailors during the exploration of a tactile map and the virtual map of SeaTouch. Results show that these two conditions were equivalent. In our second experimental condition, we focused on the conditions which favour the transfer of spatial knowledge from a virtual to a real environment. In this respect, blind sailors performed a virtual navigation in‘Northing mode’, where the ship moves on the map, and in‘Heading mode’, where the map shifts around the sailboat. No significant difference appears. This reveals that the most important factor for the blind sailors to locate themselves in the real environment is the orientation of the maps during the initial encoding time. However, we noticed that the subjects who got lost in the virtual environment in northing condition slightly improved their performances in the real environment. The analysis of the exploratory movements on the map are congruent with a previous model of coordination of spatial frames of reference. Moreover, beyond the direct benefits of SeaTouch for the navigation of blind sailors, this study offers some new insight to facilitate understanding of non visual spatial cognition. More specifically the cognitively complex task of the coordination and integration of ego and allocentered spatial frames of reference. In summary the research aims at measuring if a blind sailor can learn a maritime environment with a virtual map as well as with a tactile map. The results tend to confirm this, and suggest pursuing investigations with non visual virtual navigation. Here we present the initial results with
one participant.


Beyond Tactile Maps: Towards ontologies for future research

Jacobson, R.D. (2009) Beyond Tactile Maps: Towards ontologies for future research. Published Abstract Proceedings of the International Cartographic Congress, 15-21 November 2009, Santiago, Chile.
Tactile maps have traditionally been the representation media of choice for cartographers when attempting to convey spatial information to people with limited or no vision.  The production of tactile maps provide an exaggerated example of classic cartographic issues, such as, classification, abstraction, symbolization, generalization and standardization due to their production methods and their necessity to be read at a scale of
fingertip resolution.  Map reading problems are most acutely felt when a user has to extract contextual information, due to disrupted interpretation when linking legend information to other components of the cartographic display. 

The Roman Catholic Church: committed to the poor in Guatemala

Jacobson, R.D and Holden, W.N.  (2010) The Roman Catholic Church: committed to the poor in Guatemala. The Canadian Geographer / Le G´eographe canadien, 54 (3), 378-380. DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-0064.2009.00295_2.x
The coexistence of conservative and liberation perspectives within the Roman Catholic Church still causes disagreements. However, since Vatican II, the Catholic Church in Guatemala has established a commitment to act as a church of the poor. There is tension between Guatemala’s elite and the Church, which has led to the murders of Church members and the issuance of death threats to others. Although the growth of evangelical movements has caused the Church to lose influence, the Church remains committed to the poor, which places it in sharp contradistinction to neoliberalism.

Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Mining in Guatemala

Holden, W.N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2009) Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Mining in Guatemala” Neoliberalism Meets the Church of the Poor in a Shattered Society. The Canadian Geographer / Le G´eographe canadien, 53 (2), 145-164.


Guatemala, a nation plagued by the legacy of its brutal 36-year civil war, has, in recent years liberalized its mining law to encourage the entry of multinational mining corporations. These mining companies have included two Canadian companies, which have developed the two most prominent, and controversial, mining projects in Guatemala. Using the lens of political ecology to demonstrate how environmental analysis and policy can be reframed towards addressing the problems of the socially vulnerable, this article analyses the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to mining in Guatemala. The article reviews the development of liberation theology in Latin America and how this has imparted empathy for the poor into the pastoral praxis of the church.The church is opposed to mining largely because of the potential implications of mining’s environmental effects upon the livelihoods of the poor. The article postulates that the opposition of the church to mining is an example of an environmental issue connecting groups of people across class and ethnic lines to offset powerful global political and economic forces. The article concludes with a discussion of how this opposition to mining is a demonstration of the  opposition of the progressive church to neoliberalism in general.


Public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS): challenges of implementation in Churchill, Manitoba

Stewart, E. Jacobson, R.D. and Draper D.  (2008) Public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS): challenges of implementation in Churchill, Manitoba. The Canadian Geographer / Le G´eographe canadien, 52(3), 351–366.


Public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) increasingly are utilized in geographic research, yet researchers rarely are provided with guidance on how to implement PPGIS in an appropriate and effective manner. This article reports on the process of research that explores responses to current and future local tourism development offered by a sample of residents using a modified PPGIS approach called ‘community action geographic information system’ (CAGIS). The conceptual development of CAGIS is reported and the challenges encountered during its implementation in Churchill, Manitoba during 2005–2007 are reviewed. It is suggested that researchers wishing to conduct similar research should undertake thorough preliminary fieldwork to assess the likelihood of finding agreement on a common problem; acquiring adequate resources; establishing collective responsibility for the project’s outcome; attaining stakeholder support; developing trust and meaningful relationships; and incorporating indigenous knowledge appropriately. Feedback of results to community members also should be an integral part of the research process. A number of feedback mechanisms are reported, including an interactive weblog, which helped facilitate communication between heterogeneous groups in Churchill. Although ambitions for a truly participatory GIS approach to this project have been set aside, it is held that PPGIS can yield positive outcomes for communities and academia. Sharing this research experience will be useful to others who venture into PPGIS research, especially in northern communities.



Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala

Holden, W.N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2008). “Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala.” Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 19 (4): 325-350. 


Drawing on a range of fieldwork interviews, this paper discusses the opposition of civil society to nonferrous metals mining in Guatemala. Guatemala’s mineral resources, and government efforts to encourage their extraction, are discussed, as is the emergent civil society of that nation. Guatemalan civil society has opposed mining due to the impacts of its environmental effects upon the poor engaged in subsistence agriculture. This opposition has involved protests, community consultations against mining, and networking with the forces of global civil society. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this opposition to mining is a manifestation of the opposition to neoliberalism currently underway in Latin America. 


The future of tactile cartography

Jacobson, R.D. (2007) The future of tactile cartography: from static raised lines to multimodal dynamic portable computer interfaces, International Cartographic Conference, Moscow 


While still not considered a large component of mainstream cartographic research, the map-related research focusing on the blind and partially sighted map user population continues to grow.  Currently, several groups of researchers housed in universities in North America and internationally are conducting and pursuing research that focuses on identifying the needs, creating new innovative delivery methods, assessing strategies and spatial and geospatial performance, improving access, and developing potential educational resources for blind and partially sighted map users.  


Monday, 20 May 2013

Press Comment: Scientific American

Scientific American, Getting in Touch: Virtual Maps for the Blind (2007)

Permanent Address: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=getting-in-touch-virtual


Comments by Dan Jacobson

Mining Amid Armed Conflict: Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines

Holden, W. N. and Jacobson, R.D. (2007) Mining Amid Armed Conflict: Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines, The Canadian Geographer / Le G´eographe canadien, 51(4), 475-500.


In recent years the government of the Philippines has attempted to accelerate the growth of the nation’s economy by encouraging the extraction of its mineral resources by multinational corporations. The Philippines is also a nation beset by armed violence carried out by anti-state groups. This article discusses how the presence, and activities, of these groups generate problems for a mining-based development paradigm. The article examines: the literature on the topic of natural resource abundance and conflict, how there have been attacks upon mines by armed groups, how mining companies have served as a target of extortion, how grievances related to mining can act as a source of conflict, how mining could disrupt the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and how mines are accompanied by a militarization of the area in their vicinity. Ultimately, violence is a manifestation of poverty and social exclusion inherent in Philippine society. Mining may not diminish, and indeed may increase, this poverty and social exclusion. Unless poverty and social exclusion is alleviated the violence will continue and alternative efforts to develop the Philippine economy will be precluded.


Civil Society opposition to nonferrous metals mining in Montana

Holden, W. N., Jacobson, R.D, and Moran, K, (2007) Civil Society opposition to nonferrous metals mining in Montana, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 18(3) 266-292.


This paper discusses the opposition of civil society to nonferrous metals mining in Montana. The mineral resources and mining history of Montana are discussed, as is the vibrant civil society of that state. Montana’s civil society has opposed mining due to its environmental effects, particularly upon areas of high conservation value. This opposition has involved litigation and the implementation of a ban on the use of cyanide by the mining industry. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether this opposition to mining has damaged the economy of the state and Montana’s future as an example of the ‘‘New West,’’ wherein amenities
based growth act as the principal agent of economic activity.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Implementing Auditory Icons in Raster GIS

MacVeigh, R. and Jacobson, R.D. (2007) Implementing Auditory Icons in Raster GIS, Proceedings of the 13th InternationalConference on Auditory Display, Montréal, Québec, Canada, 530-535.


This paper describes a way to incorporate sound into a raster based classified image. Methods for determining the sound location, amplitude, type and how to create a layer to store the information are described. Hurdles are discussed and suggestions of how to overcome them are presented. As humans we rely on our senses to help us navigate the world. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell; they all help us perceive our environment. Although we sometimes take vision for granted, all our other senses play as important of a role in our daily lives. Even with all these senses at our disposal, the conventional GIS very
uncommonly do much more than convey their information visually. We demonstrate an auditory display with a sample implementation using a classified raster image, commonly used in a GIS analysis. This was achieved using a spatial sonification algorithm initially created in a Java environment. The ultimate aim of this work  is to develop an interactive mapping technology that fully incorporates auditory display, over a variety of platforms and applications. Such a tool would have the potential be of great benefit for displaying multivariate
information in complex information displays.


Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters Liberation Theology

Holden, W. N. Jacobson, R.D (2007) Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters Liberation Theology. Asian Studies Review, 31(2), 133-154.


This paper discusses the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines to the efforts of that nation’s government to attract foreign investment by mining corporations into the Philippines. The paper follows previous investigations, in examining the conflict between state-sponsored neoliberal economic policies and Christian liberation theology. Drawing on fieldwork interviews with members of the Church engaged in anti-mining advocacy, the paper employs a political ecology framework, to argue for seeing environmental conflict in a developing country as predominantly livelihood based.



Ecclesial Opposition to Mining on Mindanao: Neoliberalism Encounters the Church of the Poor in the Land of Promise

Holden, W. N. Jacobson, R.D. (2007) , Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion, 11(2), 155-202.
In the developing world, environmental issues are often livelihood issues as the poor try to protect resources necessary for their subsistence. Th  is paper examines the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church, on the Island of Mindanao, to neoliberal policies designed by the Philippine government to encourage nonferrous metals mining by multinational corporations. Mining is an activity with substantial potential for environmental degradation that can deprive the poor of their livelihood. Th  e Church, demonstrating the influence of liberation theology and its preferential option for the poor, has taken a stance opposing mining as an activity that may harm the poor by degrading the environment upon which they depend for their livelihood and further impoverish them. Th  e paper examines the Church’s efforts to provide alternative development programs for the poor and discusses the potential for more conflict between neoliberalism, and its “top down”
methods of implementing policies, and liberation theology with its “bottom up” perspective on achieving development.


Jacobson, R. D. (2006) Cartography. In: Warf, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Sage: London. pp 28-29. Invited


Cartography can be concisely and classically defined as “the art science and technology of making maps”. The popular associations of the word, with techniques of map making are a reflection of its lexical routes in cart (French for map) and graffiti (Greek for writing). More specifically cartography is a unique set of transformations for the creation and manipulation of visual or virtual representations of spatial information, most commonly maps, to facilitate the exploration, analysis, understanding and communication of
information about that space. Maps are a symbolized representation of a spatial reality designed for use when spatial relationships are of primary interest. 

Behavioral Geography

Jacobson, R. D. (2006) Behavioral Geography. In: Warf, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Sage: London. pp 17-18. Invited

Behavioral geography investigates human action in geographic space as mediated through the cognitive processing of environmental information.  Its emphasis is upon spatial behavior and the psychology that lies beneath it at an individual level.  Behavioral geography deals with the environment defined by human behavior, with people central and integral to every problem. Its major focus has been upon the relations between a multi-dimensional environment and the multi-faceted process of human action, mediated through perception and cognition as active processes of learning about places, with the mind mediating between the environment and behavior in it.