Mapping Crisis: Participation, Datafication, and Humanitarianism in the Age of Digital Mapping

Specht, D. (ed.) 2020. Mapping Crisis: Participation, Datafication, and Humanitarianism in the Age of Digital Mapping. London University of London Press.

TitleMapping Crisis: Participation, Datafication, and Humanitarianism in the Age of Digital Mapping
EditorsSpecht, D.
Abstract

This book brings together critical perspectives on the role that mapping people, knowledges and data now plays in humanitarian work, both in cartographic terms and through data visualisations. Since the rise of Google Earth in 2005, there has been an explosion in the use of mapping tools to quantify and assess the needs of the poor, including those affected by climate change and the wider neo-liberal agenda. Yet, while there has been a huge upsurge in the data produced around these issues, the representation of people remains questionable. Some have argued that representation has diminished in humanitarian crises as people are increasingly reduced to data points. In turn, this data becomes ever more difficult to analyse without vast computing power, leading to a dependency on the old colonial powers to refine the data of the poor, before selling it back to them. These issues are not entirely new, and questions around representation, participation and humanitarianism can be traced back beyond the speeches of Truman, but the digital age throws these issues back to the fore, as machine learning, algorithms and big data centres take over the process of mapping the subjugated and subaltern. This book questions whether, as we map crises, it is the map itself that is in crisis.

KeywordsHumanitarianism, Mapping, GPS, Migration, Development, Drones
Year2020
PublisherUniversity of London Press
Publication dates
Published17 Dec 2020
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781912250332

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/qy495/mapping-crisis-participation-datafication-and-humanitarianism-in-the-age-of-digital-mapping


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