New Publication: Searching for Social Justice in GIScience

Article is available here, from Cartography and Geographic Information Science. Abstract:

  • Maps are explicitly positioned within the realms of power, representation, and epistemology; this article sets out to explore how these ideas are manifest in the academic Geographic Information Science (GIScience) literature. We analyze 10 years of literature (2005–2014) from top tier GIScience journals specific to the geoweb and geographic crowdsourcing. We then broaden our search to include three additional journals outside the technical GIScience journals and contrast them to the initial findings. We use this comparison to discuss the apparent technical and social divide present within the literature. Our findings demonstrate little explicit engagement with topics of social justice, marginalization, and empowerment within our subset of almost 1200 GIScience papers. The social, environmental, and political nature of participation, mapmaking, and maps necessitates greater reflection on the creation, design, and implementation of the geoweb and geographic crowdsourcing. We argue that the merging of the technical and social has already occurred in practice, and for GIScience to remain relevant for contributors and users of crowdsourced maps, researchers and practitioners must heed two decades of calls for substantial and critical engagement with the geoweb and crowdsourcing as social, environmental, and political processes.

Cochrane, L., Corbett, J., Evans, M., and Gill, M. (2016) Searching for Social Justice in Crowdsourced Mapping. Cartography and Geographic Information Science.

Article is gated. Email me for a full copy.

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