Prepared for Geographic Representation Now
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Abstract: Critical geographic information systems is an area of research positioned at the intersection of critical geography and geographic information science, drawing together technical capabilities for geographic representation and analysis with the critical capacities of social theory, more-than-human geographies, and the digital humanities. Critical GIS scholarship is particularly influenced by the work of participatory action researchers, the histories of cartography and geographic information technologies, and the inclusion of alternative (radical, local, everyday) knowledges. It inherits a focused attention to the social implications of geospatial technologies from the GIS and Society tradition while being cognizant of the technical debates and intricacies of GIScience. In this presentation, I sketch the present history of critical GIS. That is, I reflect upon specific engagements in Geography that currently situate critical GIS, and outline the more pressing aspects of its research agenda. I then introduce critical mapping efforts at the University of Kentucky, including work around public engagement, the mapping of user-generated content, and open data advocacy in local government.
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