Management of Spatial Cultural Asset Data and the Quest for Greater Accuracy; Alternatives and Options

Tuesday, 2 July 2019
Fiona McConachie

The collection of spatial cultural data is rapidly changing both in volume of data and in the accuracy of location collected. Locations of sensitive areas are now mapped and placed in online data repositories and also used in land planning and development processes. Some of this sensitive location data inevitably finds its way into the public domain. 
Managing sensitive information has been an ongoing concern in other fields of research including health, social and financial data but there have been limited examples of data desensitisation use in cultural asset information management. 

This presentation explores data desensitisation, where and how it can be incorporated into presenting cultural asset data. It will also look at the range of different options for spatial data desensitisation and explore how Indigenous communities have and can utilise these different techniques to assist in the representation of sensitive cultural asset data. Data desensitisation is also a widely recognised issue for Indigenous communities who are seeking greater influence in information management. It is important given the demand for greater informational accuracy to discuss how information can be usable, useful and significantly reduce the potential for harm to cultural assets. Cultural asset information in this context includes archaeological, ethnographic and environmental elements.