Maps and cartography: Progress in international critical cartography/GIS research

Tao Wang, Yungang Liu

Article ID: 1675
Vol 5, Issue 2, 2022

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Map is the basic language of geography and an indispensable tool for spatial analysis. But for a long time, maps have been regarded as an objective and neutral scientific achievement. Inspired by critical geography, critical cartography/GIS came into being with the goal of clarifying the discourse embedded in cartographic practice. Power relationship challenges the untested assumption in map representation that is taken for granted. After more than 40 years of debate and running in, this research field has initially shown an outline, and critical cartography/GIS has roughly formed two research directions: the deconstruction path mainly starts from the identity of cartography subject and the process of map knowledge production, and analyzes the inseparable relationship between cartography and national governance and its internal power mechanism respectively; the construction path mainly relies on cooperative mapping and anti-mapping to realize the reproduction of map data. Domestic critical cartography/GIS research has just started, and it is necessary to continue to absorb the achievements of critical geography and carry out research in different historical periods. The deconstruction research of different types of maps also needs to strengthen the in-depth bridging between the construction path and the deconstruction path, and to be more open to the public. Impartial map application research, and actively apply the research results to social practice.


Critical Cartography; GIS; Power; Knowledge Production; Collaborative Map-Ping; Inverse Mapping

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