I-1.”Informatization of Area Studies by Cooperative Fieldworks of Information Scientists and Area Study Researchers”(H22-23 FY2010-2011)

  • Project Leader : Ishikawa Masatoshi (Faculty of Business Administration, Tokyo Seitoku University)
  • Collaborators : Umezaki Masahiro (Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo)
  • : Tomita Shinsuke (Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
  • : Yonezawa Go (Graduate School of Creative Cities, Osaka City University)
  • : Kozan Osamu (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Hoshikawa Keisuke (Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University)

Outline of Research

This project aims to develop field survey support tools such as digital field notes and a database for fieldwork. A field survey will be carried out in Nongkhai Province, Thailand for an in-situ evaluation of these tools. In addition, a workshop for concluding results obtained through the surveys will be held at the CSEAS Bangkok Liaison Office after the survey. The field survey will be for one week in August. A member of this study (Dr. Tomita Shinsuke (University of Tokyo) stayed at the CSEAS Bangkok Liaison Office collected data and prepared for the survey during May to August 2011. Equipment and documents at the liaison office were used for the survey and workshop.

Prior to activities in Thailand, a research meeting was held in Kyoto or Tokyo in July for testing and modification of the tools.


This project aims to present:
(1)More efficient ways of using conventional tools such as GPS and GIS in Area Studies.
(2)Hard/software concepts suitable for Area Studies.
(3)Field data collection system concepts that have a fieldworkerfriendly interface.
(4)Concepts for a three-dimensional (time-space) database system for Area Studies.
(5)Methodologies for sharing/analysis of geographical information with the database mentioned in (4).

Geographical information technologies that are now rapidly developing have quite a high potential to be applied to Area Studies in which geographical data collection through field surveys and analysis of spatial data are commonly conducted. However, there are many technical problems that prevent the use of such technologies from widely spreading among area study researchers. For example, it is often too difficult for researchers to handle the latest geographical information devices in the field because of their weight, fragility, complicated interfaces and so forth. This project will contribute to both the development of Area Studies and information science through in-situ discussions among area study researchers and information scientists.

Fieldwork photo demonstrating digital pen in use in Thailand

Fieldwork data edit system for Area Studies