Patrick Meier: Crisis Mapping, Neogeography, and the Delusion of Democratization

#OSE Open Source Everything, Data, Geospatial
Patrick Meier
Patrick Meier

Crisis Mapping, Neogeography and the Delusion of Democratization

Professor Muki Haklay kindly shared with me this superb new study in which he questions the alleged democratization effects of Neogeography. As my colleague Andrew Turner explained in 2006, “Neogeography means ‘new geography’ and consists of a set of techniques and tools that fall outside the realm of traditional GIS, Geographic Information Systems. […] Essentially, Neogeography is about people using and creating their own maps, on their own terms and by combining elements of an existing toolset. Neogeography is about sharing location information with friends & visitors, helping shape context, and conveying under-standing through knowledge of place.” To this end, as Muki writes, “it is routinely argued that the process of producing and using geographical information has been fundamentally democratized.” For example, as my colleague Nigel Snoad argued in 2011, “[…] Google, Microsoft and OpenStreetMap have really demo-cratized mapping.” Other CrisisMappers, including myself, have made similar arguments over the years.

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Phi Beta Iota:  This is hugely important.  It comes down to “who controls the data in the aggregate,” yet another reason for an Autonomous Internet and Open Source Everything (OSE).