We applied the technique of GIS (Geographic Information System) at an overseas regional investigation to Indian rural village investigation. We analyzed details of the data we have got in fieldwork with the aid of GIS, then we came to acknowledge the validity of GIS utilization at an overseas regional investigation.
We investigated, as an example, one rural village that is adjacent to Noida, a new industrial city near Delhi. At some departments of the federal government, we obtained the information about digitized statistical data. Further, we obtained prefectural population data of the whole of India.
In India, a population census (Census of India) has been continually conducted, and the latest result of 1991 can be obtained through a floppy-disk. By this, we were enabled to treat nation-wide population data on a computer, and to analyze the regional characteristics of a study area quantitatively. And we obtained Primary Census Abstract data of the whole of India, and, using these data, we have mapped the fundamental data on population of each district, we were easily able to grasp a state of the population of India, such as scheduled castes / scheduled tribes population, literacy rate and workers according to industrial categories. Thus, a site investigation to extend over a wide range was able to point out a validity of GIS utilization at a difficult overseas regional investigation.
Next, we mention how we have constructed GIS database of the resident data on R village gained by our field research. Our investigation party conducted the hearing investigations into all households within the village. And we also made a map of village. After returning to Japan with the result of the field investigation, we inputted the result of the hearing investigation to a computer, and we also digitizes the map we made on the spot. Then we took these in GIS software and constructed GIS database on all the households of the village. This makes it possible to map a household and a personal attribute immediately. Moreover, can call up individual data while seeing a map screen.
For example, we mapped household distribution according to Jati category and mapped the distribution of the locals and the new residents. By this , we were able to grasp segregation of the colony clearly. As the example shows, it becomes to powerful support for researchers to be able to make a map of various household attributes momentarily. It can be said that a large effect is brought about for overseas regional investigation research.
We also took in the data about farm land surrounding the settlement for GIS. We obtained Khasra (land ledger) of R village and its cadastral map, and digitized them. For this cadastral map, it was thought of as inaccurate. There, we tried a verification of a precision of the cadastral map, by making use of a function of GIS We were able to judge that we had the successful result, such precision as to be able to bear using our research and as to be able to estimate a reduced scale of the cadastral map, further. As we have seen above, we can point out that GIS can play an important role in assessing the precision of the data compiled by field works, and in modifying the inconsistency of the data.
We should say, however, that we have many problems to be solved in applying GIS to overseas regional investigations. Therefore, in order to make the most of GIS and to purse our researches after this, it is necessary to understand what we should do before and during the investigations for GIS analysis. It is also necessary to recognize GIS not independently as a data management and analytic tool, but as a synthetic one that can be used for manipulating and analyzing data. We expect, by doing this, to establish new methods for overseas regional investigations.