Ryan  Burns, phd
August 18, 2011

Proposed special issue of Antipode

For those of you interested in the special issue of Antipode that I’m planning with David Meek, here is the call for papers we circulated a while back. The deadline has passed and we’re unfortunately not accepting submissions any longer. Also, our targeted journal is Antipode, but we may eventually determine another journal is more appropriate.

Call for Papers

Proposed Special Issue of Antipode

The Politics of Participatory and Crowd-sourced Knowledge Production

Over the last several decades, the purported objectivity of maps has been extensively interrogated. Beneath a veneer of neutrality, we see that maps are actually social expressions, forged from frequently contested geographic knowledge. While laudable moves toward participatory mapping in the early 1990s sought to include diverse constituents, more recent studies have turned a critical eye upon the participatory nature of these endeavors. Tracking developments in both web services and software programs, mapping and spatial data production have skyrocketed in popularity due to the geospatial web (“geoweb”), such as Google’s suite of proprietary programs, and open-source alternatives such as OpenStreetMap. However, while both proprietary and open-source systems might increase public engagement with participatory mapping, these systems rest on diametrically opposed value sets concerning the production and dissemination of geographic knowledge. Debate has begun to rage among academics and practitioners concerning the ethical implications of these various software platforms. This special issue seeks to provide a window into these debates and the changing face of participatory mapping.

Articles are requested for publication in a special issue journal of Antipode. Papers should not exceed 9,500 words, inclusive of endnotes, references, etc. Articles should be based on research with these data management systems, but also engage with larger theoretical questions, including but not limited to:

  1. How do different mapping platforms differ epistemologically and practically, from both academic and end-user perspectives?

  2. How might or might not these differences impact public participatory mapping activities, and a participatory ethic writ large?

  3. What roles should data ownership for marginalized communities take within these platforms? Who benefits from current data ownership policies, and how are these concerns implicated in these mapping platforms?

  4. Do these differing approaches to geographic knowledge ownership inform the types of knowledge that should be produced in any of these platforms?


Submission of Abstracts and Author bio- August 15th 2011

Notification concerning inclusion in proposed special issue- Sept. 1st 2011

Submission of papers- March 1st 2012


Please submit abstracts and author bios to David Meek (dmeek@uga.edu) and Ryan Burns (burnsr77@gmail.com) by August 15th

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