edited by Doug Specht
by Doug Specht
University of London Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-1-912250-37-0 | Paper: 978-1-912250-33-2
Library of Congress Classification GA139.M36 2020

The digital age throws questions of representation, participation, and humanitarianism back to the fore, as machine learning, algorithms, and big data centers take over the process of mapping the subjugated and subaltern. Mapping Crisis questions whether it is the map itself that is in crisis. 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 visualizations. 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 as people are increasingly reduced to data points. In turn, this data has become ever more difficult to analyze 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.

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