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Mapping Experience: Crowdsourced Cartography

Environment and Planning A 45(1) 19-36, 2011

34 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2011 Last revised: 28 Mar 2016

Martin Dodge

University of Manchester - School of Environment and Development - Department of Geography

Rob Kitchin

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University) - NIRSA

Date Written: August 28, 2011

Abstract

This paper considers the emerging phenomena of crowdsourced cartography in relation to ideas about the organisation of contemporary knowledge production in capitalist societies. Taking a philosophical perspective that views mapping as a processual, creative, productive act, constructed through citational, embodied and contextual experiences, we examine how we might profitably analyse collaborative crowdsourced projects like OpenStreetMap to better understand geographic
knowledge production in a shifting political economy and socio-technical landscape. We begin by characterising crowdsourcing practices in the wider context of Web 2.0, which some commentators assert is rapidly becoming a new, dominant mode of knowledge production. We then contextualise Web 2.0 knowledge production, drawing upon the ideas of sociologist George Ritzer, and his notion of ‘prosumption’, geographer Michael Goodchild’s idea of volunteerist ‘citizen scientists’, and
economic commentator Nicholas Carr’s critique of the ‘ignorance of crowds’. We then go on to discuss the changing nature of cartography in the Web 2.0 era with respect to authorship, ontology, representation and temporality.

Keywords: cartography, crowdsourcing, Internet, Web 2.0, authorship, ontology, representation, temporality

Suggested Citation

Dodge, Martin and Kitchin, Rob, Mapping Experience: Crowdsourced Cartography (August 28, 2011). Environment and Planning A 45(1) 19-36, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1921340 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1921340

Martin Dodge (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - School of Environment and Development - Department of Geography ( email )

Manchester
United Kingdom

Rob Kitchin

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University) - NIRSA ( email )

2nd Floor
Iontas Building
Maynooth, County Kildare
Ireland

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