Take Home Messages

Geographers can use a range of innovative and experimental methods to conduct their research. These include:

  • Participatory approaches (including participants in the formulation of the research and making them centre-stage in data collection).
  • Action-orientated approaches (where the researcher becomes involved in the very research they are conducted to evoke social, political or environmental change).
  • Creative approaches (using drawing, poetry, film, theatre and even knitting as a means to collect data and construct knowledge).
  • Mobile methods (in our mobile world we might be able to better capture movement using methods that move with us, for example walking interview, time-space diaries or videocameras/GoPros).
  • Online methods (we might ‘data-mine’ the internet for information or use online tools such a surveys to collect information virtually).

These methods do not replace older methods. Many have developed from more classic methods, and involve the use of long-standing techniques (i.e. mapping may still have a crucial role in participatory work for example). That said, many of these techniques allow us to capture an increasingly complex social world.