Using GPS and geo-narratives: a methodological approach for understanding and situating everyday green space encounters
Bell, Sarah L.
© 2015 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Reason for embargo
This methods paper contributes to the recent proliferation of methodological innovation aimed at nurturing research encounters and exchanges that facilitate in-depth insights into people’s everyday practices and routine place encounters. By drawing on the experiences of an interpretive study seeking to situate people’s green space wellbeing practices within their daily lives, we suggest value in using personalised maps – produced using participant accelerometer (physical activity) and Global Positioning System (GPS) data – alongside in-depth and mobile ‘goalong’ qualitative interview approaches. After introducing the study and the methods adopted, the paper discusses three opportunities offered by this mixed method approach to contribute a more nuanced, contextualised understanding of participants’ green space experiences. These include: (a) the benefits of engaging participants in the interpretation of their own practices; (b) the value of using maps to provide a visual aid to discussion about the importance of participants’ routine, often pre-reflective practices; and (c) the production of a layered appreciation of participants’ local green and blue space wellbeing experiences. Used in combination, such methods have the potential to provide a more comprehensive picture of how current green space experiences, be they infrequent and meaningful, or more routine and habitual, are shaped by everyday individual agency, life circumstances and past place experiences
European Social Fund Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
European Regional Development Fund Programme
This is the accepted version of the article, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/area.12152.
Vol 47 (1), p.88-96