Critical GIS – Schuurman 2006

Critical GIS allows us as users of GIS to better understand how it works and relates to the world around us; how theory’s  are manifested in space, how knowledge is coded, how easy it is to skim over things, and what i think is most important is the validity and praise that we give to our glorious GIS. I think that this concept is something that I wish that I had better understood when I started using GIS programs. We are taught in class and labs about how we can use the software to perform all sorts of tasks for us but we didn’t comment much on the actual foundations of which the software is built upon.

The article highlights how by critically evaluating the foundation of our concepts and techniques applied we can better apply value to the results that arise from our projects. It reminds me of the expression ‘Garbage in – Garbage out’; it doesn’t matter how well you perform a project within the software if the software itself is flawed and you fail to realize that.

I think that one of the issues thats hard to touch on is thinking about how we can improve many of these foundational concepts and apply that in a useful way in the formalized knowledge. Improving on core concepts is only the first hurdle, the second involves finding new ways to code this information in a manner that better expresses what may be minuscule changes to the definitions and ideas. This may be especially challenging since writing code can lead to generalized functions and abstraction.

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