I have been playing around with a diagram of the issues I have been thinking about in relationship to the future of qualitative research. Here is the really messy drawing that I made in my journal.
I think I have come to the same conclusion that Tim Berners-Lee did--it's all about data. Big data, little data, data displayed visually, tracked geographically, understood on a visceral body level through probes that provide feedback on every sense. We can do all this--at the broadest and finest levels.
These worlds of expanding data are bringing together the virtual and the non-virtual...in ways we could not have imagined even a few years ago.
So what will qualitative research look like in the near future? How will it be practiced?
When I think about the people and movements that point us forward in these areas, these names come to mind:
Numerical--Big Data--Nathan Eagle
Cultural Geography--Mei Po Kwan, Marilyn Cope
The sensory and qualitative research: Walter Gershon, Alex Ruthmann
These are random names in a sea of much activitiy that is emerging within and around qualitative research.
This is the picture I will be thinking with--what is that future going to look like?