GPS tracking of some Northern Ireland students - patterns of shared and separated space: Divided We Stand?

Stephen Roulston, Orna Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Northern Ireland is a fundamentally divided society and there is evidence of the two main communities there, Protestant and Catholic, leading essentially separate lives. These divisions are reflected in the largely segregated residential patterns for the communities and in the separate schooling that most of them experience. This paper examines these divisions and the young people’s perceptions of their impact. GPS tracking devices are used to explore the patterns of movement of some young people, and the effectiveness of this method of recording spatial mobility is examined. These devices seem only recently to be becoming a technology that Geography teachers would consider using in their classrooms and in the field to support learning and to develop an interest in GPS and other spatial technologies. It is argued that there are many potential uses of the devices by Geography teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-258
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Akenson, D.H. (1970) The Irish Education Experiment: The National System of Education in the Nineteenth Century. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Andrews,T. (2012) On the map Teaching Geography 37.2 Summer 2012 76-77

Barritt, D.P. & Carter, C.F. (1972) The Northern Ireland Problem: A study in Group Relations. London: Oxford University Press

Beeson,P.A. (2006) Uncovering the Secrets behind the Successful Integration of GIS into the Core Curriculum. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 15.3, 274-277

Belfast Interface Project (2012) Belfast Interfaces. Security Barriers and Defensive Use of Space. Available from Accessed 20.6.12

Bell. J, Jarman, N, Harvey, B (2010) Beyond Belfast – Contested Spaces in Urban, Rural and Cross-Border settings RCN & CRC

Boal, F.W. (1969). Territoriality on the Shankill-Falls Divide, Belfast. Irish Geography, 6, (1): 30-50.

Boal, F.W. (2008) Territoriality on the Shankill-Falls divide: being wise after the event. Irish Geography, 41.3, 329-335

Cairns, E. (1987) Caught in Crossfire. Children and the Northern Ireland Conflict. Belfast: Appletree Press

Clarke, L. (2006) A Single Transferable Geography? Teaching Geography in a Contested Landscape. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 15.1, 77-91

Community Relations Council (2011) About Us Available from Accessed 29.11.11

Elliot, M. (2007) The Long Road to Peace in Northern Ireland: Peace Lectures from the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. University of Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies, Liverpool University Press

Geographical Association (nd) Making my place in the world Available from Accessed 13.6.12

Graham,B. And Nash,C. (2006) A shared future; territoriality, pluralism and public policy in Northern Ireland Political Geography 25.3 253-278

Hamilton, J., Bell, J. and Hansson, U. (2005) Segregation and Sectarianism: Impact on Everyday Life, Shared Space Issue 1 Available from Accessed 31.10.11

Hamilton, J., Hansson, U., Bell, J. And Toucas, S. (2008) Segregated Lives: Social Division, Sectarianism and Everyday Life in Northern Ireland. Institute for Conflict research

Harris, R. (1972) Prejudice and Tolerance in Ulster: A Study of Neighbours and Strangers in a Border Community. Manchester University Press

Harris, R. (1979) Community Relations in Northern and Southern Ireland: a comparison and paradox. Sociological Review 27 41-53

Jarman,N. (2005) Mapping Interface Barriers: BIP Interface Mapping Project Available at Accessed 29.11.11

Kanjo, E., Benford, S., Paxton, M., Chamberlain, A., Stanton Fraser, D., Woodgate, D., Crellin, D. and Woolard, A. (2007) MobGeoSen: Facilitating Personal GeoSensor Data Collection and Visualization using Mobile Phones. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Springer

Komarova, M. (2008) Shared Space in Belfast and the Limits of a Shared Future’, Divided Cities/Contested States Working Paper No.3. Available from Accessed 18.5.11

Konečný, M. and Staněk, K. (2010): Adaptive cartography and geographical
Education. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19.1, 75-78

Leonard, M. and McKnight, M. (2010) Teenagers’ Perceptions of Belfast as a Divided and/or Shared City Shared Space Issue 10, November 2010 Available from Accessed 18.5.11

Magill, C. , Smith, A. and Hamber, B. (2009) The role of education in reconciliation. The perspectives of Children and Young People in Bosnia Herzegovina and Northern Ireland. Available from Accessed 29.11.11

NISRA (undated) Super Output Areas Available from Accessed 10.5.11

OFMDFM (2005) A Shared Future. Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland Available from Accessed 13.6.12

Poole, M.A. and Doherty, P. (1996) Ethnic Residential Segregation in Northern Ireland. Centre for the Study of Conflict Available from Accessed 13.5.11

Robinson, P. (1982) Plantation and Colonisation: The Historical Background. In Boal, F.W. and Douglas, J.H.N. (eds) (1982) Integration and Division: Geographical Perspectives in the Northern Ireland Problem, London: Academic Press

Papadimitriou, F. (2010) Introduction to the complex Geospatial Web in geographical education International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19:1, pp.53-56

Schonfelder, S., Axhausen, K.W., Antille, N. And Bierlaire, M. (2002) Exploring the potentials of automatically collected GPS data for travel behaviour analysis – A Swedish data source. Available from Accessed 5.4.11

Smith, A. (2011) Education and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Education and Reconciliation. Exploring Conflict and Post-conflict Situations. (ed: Paulson, J.) Continuum Books, pp. 55-80

Wheeler, P., Gordon-Brown, L., Peterson, J. and Ward, M. (2010) Geographical Information Systems in Victorian secondary schools: current constraints and opportunities Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19.2, pp.155-170

Wolf, J. (2000) Using GPS Data Loggers To Replace Travel Diaries In the Collection of Travel Data. PhD Thesis GIT Available from Accessed 5.4.11

Yeung, S.P. (2010): IT and geography teaching in Hong Kong secondary schools: a critical review of possibilities, trends and implications. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19.3, 173-189


  • GPS
  • education
  • Northern Ireland
  • sectarianism
  • segregation
  • technology
  • tracking


Dive into the research topics of 'GPS tracking of some Northern Ireland students - patterns of shared and separated space: Divided We Stand?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this