Phenomenology and Geographic Information Science: experiencing landscape through geospatial technologies and Higuchi-style indices

The growth of mixed-methods approaches in both Geography and archaeology have reinforced the potential to link qualitative and quantitative approaches to interpreting past landscapes. While GIS has become a mainstay in landscape research, it is often used to crunch the numbers provided by the location, amount, or other measure of field data, but in a way that does not consider the human experience within the landscape. Many phenomenological approaches argue against the use of a priori knowledge that can be gained from geospatial technologies. However, when experiencing a modern landscape to interpret a past culture, is it not best to look at how the landscape may have been before describing the landscape? Isn’t it important to incorporate the experiential description into any geospatial analysis that might be considered? The goal of this research is to develop a structured experiential and phenomenological approach to prehistoric landscapes through the linkage of Higuchi and archaeological indices utilizing geospatial technologies.