The use of Participatory 3D Modelling in managing conflicts
Bridging Communication Barriers By Offering a Shared Perspective and Visual Language
Terrain elevation models virtual and physical have been successfully used in the context of conflict management. Specifically the use of participatory 3D models (P3DM) integrated with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been successfully adopted in the Philippines by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to address inter-tribal territorial disputes. By creating shared vantage points and offering a common visual vocabulary, 3D models and derived maps are instrumental in bridging communication barriers, facilitating dialogue and limiting subjective interpretations, thus setting the basis for fruitful negotiations.
Different opinions are frequently based on different perspectives and the quality of the media used to communicate. When a process is geared towards addressing conflicts bound to the territory, appropriate communication channels are essential to grant all parties equal access to information in order to develop a common understanding of the issues at stake. Case in point is the so-called bird’s eye view offered by a scaled relief model through which a viewer acquires a holistic view of the landscape wherein landmarks and salient features are equally visible to everyone. In addition when language barriers represent a constraint, information exchange best occurs via visual communication means based on colors, shape and texture, like in a 3D model.
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