Item: Clpa – reflection on the quality of the testimonies collected during a field investigation
Title: Clpa – reflection on the quality of the testimonies collected during a field investigation
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: R. Gaucher1, M. Bonnefoy1, X. Pasquier1 1 ETNA, Cemagref, 2 rue de la Papeterie, 38402 Saint Martin d'Hères Cedex
Abstract: A catastrophic avalanche occurred in 1970, and killed 39 people in a tourist centre located in the ski resort Val d’Isère, Savoie, France. As a response, the French government gave Cemagref named at this time CERAFER (Grenoble, Isère) the responsibility of developing avalanche mapping in the whole French mountains (Alps and Pyrénées), which is the CLPA (localization map of avalanches phenomena). The scope of the project is based on two distinct methods. The first one consists in an expert approach with photo interpretations and observations on sites to find avalanche signs in landscapes. The second is based on historical background. Information is taken from archives and memories witnesses. We find our information by interviewing people who live and who work in mountains (forest office, ski resorts managers, inhabitants…). Data collected are often very ancient, variable or conflicting. Therefore, we are now considering the question of the quality of testimonies, and trying to find unbiased criteria to value it. For example, we try to test the precision of the information in asking the same question several times in different ways. We also consider the fact that the witness may have an interest to minimize or emphasize information. This problem is now in the centre of our reflections in order to improve the quality of our product.
Keywords: avalanche, testimony, witness, uncertainties, interview
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