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Resources 2019, 8(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010047

Spatially Integrated Social Sciences with Qualitative GIS to Support Impact Assessment in Mining Communities

1
School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Semenyih 43500, Malaysia
2
Regional Water and Land Program, Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072, Australia
3
Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract

Spatially integrated social science is a broad term used to describe the integration of space and place in social science research using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It includes qualitative GIS approaches, such as geo-ethnology and geo-narratives, which combine qualitative social data with GIS and represent an emerging approach with significant potential for facilitating new insights into the dynamic interactions between mining companies and host communities. Mine operations are unique in their complexity, both in terms of the dynamic and diverse nature of issues and the requirement to integrate knowledge, theories, and approaches from a range of disciplines. In this paper we describe the potential for spatially integrated social science using qualitative GIS to understand the social impacts of mining. We review current literature and propose a framework that incorporates quantitative and qualitative knowledge across social and biophysical domains within a multi-user approach. We provide examples to illustrate how our approach could support past, present, and future assessment of socio-environmental systems in large-scale mining. We conclude by discussing the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to support decision makers and local stakeholders in considering complex social and environmental scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: mining; resource extraction; social impact; environmental impacts; qualitative GIS; geo-narrative; geo-ethnography; geographic information systems; spatially integrated social sciences mining; resource extraction; social impact; environmental impacts; qualitative GIS; geo-narrative; geo-ethnography; geographic information systems; spatially integrated social sciences
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lechner, A.M.; Owen, J.; Ang, M.; Kemp, D. Spatially Integrated Social Sciences with Qualitative GIS to Support Impact Assessment in Mining Communities. Resources 2019, 8, 47.

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