Cartonama Conference

Making the most of geospatial data, community mapping, and location-based services.

siddharth hande


The importance of 'messy' map making

Submitted Aug 10, 2012

The objective of this session is to highlight the importance of certain concepts that questioned the epistemology of ‘conventional’ GIS practice. It aims to provide a critical lens through which individuals that attend can gauge their community based geospatial work.


Through a discussion of my field notes from 5 community mapping projects that I have, or am in the process of working on, the session will touch upon important critiques of traditional GIS practice, generated from the theoretical paradigm of “GIS & Society”. It will handle the idea of ‘messy’ data and messy data gathering techniques, that is, data or techniques that would not necessarily hold up to mainstream quantitative or methodological rigor. It will end with a discussion on the agency that messy maps and messy data collection strategies can have when working with communities.

Speaker bio

I am an activist, citizen cartographer, geo-spatial analyst and researcher in urban studies. I am interested in understanding how urban processes create and sustain marginalization between different societal groups. Through research, I work to access what techniques and tools can affect change into more equitable and participatory paradigms.

This lecture will draw from experiences gleaned while working with different people in efforts to make counter maps.


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Cartonama is HasGeek’s conference on mapping and location-based services. more