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Unfolding mapping practices: a new epistemology for cartography

Kitchin, Rob and Gleeson, Justin and Dodge, Martin (2012) Unfolding mapping practices: a new epistemology for cartography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Preview. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0020-2754 (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In recent years there has been a turn within cartographic theory from a representational to a processual understanding of mapping. Maps have been re-conceptualised as mappings that ceaselessly unfold through contingent, citational, habitual, negotiated, reflexive and playful practices, embedded within relational contexts. In this paper, we explore what this rethinking means for cartographic epistemology, contending that attention needs to be focused on understanding cartography through the lens of practices – how mappings are (re)made in diverse ways (technically, socially, bodily, aesthetically and politically) by people within particular contexts and cultures as solutions to everyday tasks. We detail how these practices can be profitably examined using a suite of methods – genealogies, ethnographies, ethnomethodology, participant observation, observant participation and deconstruction – that are sensitive to capturing and distilling the unfolding and contextual nature of mapping. To illustrate our argument we narrate the unfolding production and consumption of a set of mappings of so-called ‘ghost estates’ in Ireland, a public geography project that has been covered over 300 times in local, national and international media and that has contributed to Irish public discourse and policy debates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Postprint version of published article. The definitive version of this article is available at Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Early View 2012 DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00540.x
Keywords: cartography; epistemology; ontogenesis; practice; ghost estates; public geography; NIRSA; National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis;
Subjects: Social Sciences > Geography
Social Sciences > NIRSA-National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis
Item ID: 3824
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2012 15:36
Journal or Publication Title: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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