Geospatial narratives within the context of energy transition; A multiple case study

Organised by Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing

Thu 5 June 2014 13:00 to 13:30

Venue Gaia, gebouwnummer 101
Room 1

By Daphne Bol

Stories are told to shape the world around us. Also when we talk about nowadays planning activities like the planning of renewable energy transition. Stories are not only about the content, The way these stories are communicated is also of interest (Potteiger and Purinton, 1998). In this thesis the focus is on narratives (stories) within the context of renewable energy transition and the use of GIS to communicate these stories. The thesis works towards a Narrative GIS set up where stories about renewable energy transition can be visualized by GIS techniques. The main objective of the thesis is as follows: ‘to set up a Narrative GIS by the use of ‘PDOK data’ within the context of energy transition’. The research makes use of two cases in the Veenkoloniën, a former peatery region in the northeast of the Netherlands, to examine a roadmap of how to come to a Narrative GIS set up for energy transition. The thesis starts with an introduction which focus on the research objectives. Also the question why storytelling is important in the planning of energy transition are discussed. The first part of the research focusses on several concepts which play a role in storytelling, renewable energy transition and GIS are discovered and out of these theories, a theoretical framework of how to establish a Narrative GIS set up is developed. This theoretical framework is applied to examples of Esri’s ‘Storytelling Maps’. The second part of the research elaborates on the development of a Narrative GIS set up. The Narrative GIS set up follows the earlier developed theoretical framework and focusses on the extraction of themes which play a role in the narrative of renewable energy transition; the development of an ordering system for geo data which can be used in a GIS environment; the selection of usable datasets; and the use of telling techniques in the Narrative GIS. At the end this approach leads to a Narrative GIS set up which is applied to two selected cases. The outcome of the second part is a filled in Narrative GIS for the two cases. Also the Narrative GIS set up is judged on its external validity and its contribution to the geo-information science. The research showed a creative solution of using GIS applications to contribute to complex processes like renewable energy transition. However, more research is needed to get a better understanding of the complexity of narratives and its use in GIS applications.

Keywords: renewable energy transition, GIS, narratives, storytelling, Narrative GIS, Veenkoloniën