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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

Introduction

from Part III - GIS Analysis in Broad-Scale Space

Summary

Primatologists take it for granted that it is important to study primates. We rarely consider the unique quality of the information that we uncover, because we expect to be intrigued and surprised by what we find; we expect to be able to put together more of the puzzle pieces as well as to identify additional parts of the puzzle. The individual primates we observe and test, and the groups, populations, and species to which they belong, teach us about their day-to-day lives and the distinctive ways they survive, and help us uncover their specific past and the shared past of our common ancestors. Geospatial technology is critical to aiding primatologists in these efforts. Compared to previous technologies (e.g., a Brunton compass, tripod, a 50 m tape measure, onion paper, ruler and a good pencil with an eraser to hand-draw maps and paths), it is much easier, collects more accurate data and allows more accurate analyses using geographic information systems (GIS), and allows greater flexibility in terms of how to effectively implement these data for multiple types of analyses.