Crowdsourced cartography: mapping experience and knowledge

Dodge, Martin and Kitchin, Rob (2013) Crowdsourced cartography: mapping experience and knowledge. Environment and Planning A, 45 (1). pp. 19-36. ISSN 0308-518X

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This paper considers the emerging phenomenon 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 profi tably analyse collaborative crowdsourced projects like OpenStreetMap to better understand geographic knowledge production in a shifting political economy and sociotechnical 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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Postprint version of published article. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning A, volume 45, issue 1, pages 19-36, 2013, doi:10.1068/a44484
Keywords: cartography; crowdsourcing; ‘prosumers’; Web 2.0; authorship; ontology; representation; temporality;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 4862
Identification Number: 10.1068/a44484
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 11:50
Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning A
Publisher: Pion
Refereed: Yes

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