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The Lindbergh Foundation Believes that Innovative Science and Technology Hold the Key to Addressing Humanity’s Environmental and Productivity Challenges

Shalini P. Vajjhala

Shalini P. Vajjhala
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Facilitating Environmental Decision Making by Integrating Local Hand-Drawn Maps and GIS Technology"

Category: Intercultural Communication: 2003

Worldwide, approximately 10 million people each year over the last 10 years have been displaced by major development projects such as dam construction, urban development, railways, and roads. This figure increases dramatically when displacements due to violence, war and natural disaster are included. Ms. Vajjhala plans to build a new interface for the GIS tool that would connect traditional hand-drawn mapping methods and symbols, familiar to unique people, communities or cultures, to existing GIS maps. The resulting new maps will help overcome both language and technology barriers to local participation in large-scale development planning. This new tool shows information in a format that is familiar to people and communities affected by development, which in turn will improve the ease, speed, and effectiveness of communication between local stakeholders and project decision-makers. This new tool can be used for many projects around the world including neighborhood mapping, larger plans for refugee and re-settlement projects, and for planning the location of major facilities such as electricity generation plants.

This Lindbergh/Hallward grant in intercultural communication has been made possible by a gift from Clare Hallward.

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Learn more about Shalini P. Vajjhala work at Resources for the Future.

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