Datadiversity and Visual Knowledge: Exploring the Emergent Models for Indigenous Databases in Australia
This paper analyzes a project to compile a range of related resources into a digital repository and (hyper) linked to relevant points in a key text, "Journey to Horseshoe Bend" by TGH Strehlow. These will explicitly be mapped into a range of visual representations and then supplemented with (hyper) links to relevant images, documents, media resources, and other online collections.The project engages with modeling Indigenous knowledge and draws on the oral histories and input from Arrernte people (Central Australia) as content providers. Questions remain as to the best form through which the database should operate to provide best practice for Indigenous access to knowledge databases. For comparative purposes, the paper will interrogate the emergence of Indigenous Knowledge Database projects (Paradisec, IKDS, ara Erritja) in Australia and will position our own project among them as a means of critically evaluating the emergence of these systems as repositories and ontologies for Indigenous knowledge maintenance and documentation. The paper will focus its examination on “alternative ontologies” (Christie: 1993) in Aboriginal databases and the implications for an ethos of cultural diversity in this field.
Keywords: Datadiversity, Aboriginal, Ontology, Diversity, Database, Digital
Prof. Hart Cohen
Associate Head, School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney