My work is spatial investigation. With a network of professional associates, I work on minimizing unavoidable cultural and geographic conflicts.
Everything on this planet exists and interacts within the boundaries of space and time; hence, every human action leads to a response. Individuals, corporations, and governmental entities engage in spatial conflicts on a daily basis. Their interaction creates unintended consequences in the forms of social, environmental, or political conflict. To minimize their risk of conflict and understand the potential outcomes of their own and others’ actions, I articulate for my customers how making sense of their spatial data will benefit them in the future. This service includes the three following stages:
RESEARCH AND MAPPING
I provide simple yet comprehensive and effective maps with in-depth analysis. Just by mapping something it does not immediately translate into an understanding of the geography of the mapped area. Today, many computer-created maps display too much (confusing) or not enough (inadequate) spatial information. Rather than contributing to a better grasp of existing spatial issues and conflicts, therefore helping users, such products often have an opposite effect. Maps not accompanied with an in-depth interpretation of data have little value. I make sure that the knowledge gap between seeing and understanding remains minimal.
Once aware of spatial issues, customers need to know how to avoid or at least minimize spatial conflict; that is, what outcome to expect based on their decisions. I provide spatial conflict analysis and illustrate different scenarios of the weight of entering someone’s space and changing the status quo. Examples include NGOs assisting communities, urban planning and development, law enforcement, business expansion into different region or cultures, or movement of military units in a warzone. Every decision they make impacts, to different degree, the area in which they operate.
In this stage I articulate for my customers what type of long-term consequences they can expect—direct and indirect—and which conflicts may eventually increase or lessen in intensity. Awareness of long-term impact allows them to allocate resources, prevent unintended consequences ahead of time, and improve performance. Too often, however, the ultimate failures stem from disregarding and not adapting to geographic and cultural changes in an area of operation. Imagine, for example, the outcomes from solely focusing on the financial aspects of an investment in an unstable environment of a multi-ethnic developing country, or just physical security of assets, without truly grasping the local land and people. Or, if you simply want to buy a house in a neighborhood that will eventually undergo revitalization. Instead, look ahead by employing geographic analysis on time.