GIS as a Heuristic Tool: Revisiting Spatial Concepts in the Paiwan Landscape

Author(s): Mu-Chun Wu; Maa-Ling Chen

Year: 2016


This research showcases how Geographic Information System (GIS) serves as a heuristic interface to visualise obscure spatial concepts and further facilitates researchers to explore how these concepts influence people’s perception of and interaction with the landscape. The abandoned slate-stone settlements of Paiwan are one of their most distinct icons. However, their spatial location and their relation with the wider regional landscape were not thoroughly investigated. This research utilises analytical functions, such as site catchment, least-cost path and viewshed, to emulate the experience of an ‘agent’ and examine how past Paiwan people would possibly perceive the inhabited landscape. The results has shown distinct characteristics and regional variations of how settlements were situated in the landscape amongst Paiwan subgroups. These characteristics and variations could have been significant influential factors both in their perception of the landscape and in the construction of their landscape conception. The result not only allows for comparison with the contemporary Paiwan landscape imagination, but can also inspire more discussion themes and directions.

Cite this Record

GIS as a Heuristic Tool: Revisiting Spatial Concepts in the Paiwan Landscape. Mu-Chun Wu, Maa-Ling Chen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403276)


Gis Landscape Paiwan

Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;