How Critical is Critical GIS?

Critical GIS attempts to combine various types of critical human geography with methods and techniques reliant on Geographic information systems. However, the field remains somewhat of a minority pursuit due to the fact that there is little evidence of critical geographers completely embracing GIS as a tool of their trade. Sullivan acknowledges seven major themes that have made Critical GIS what it is today. One of the themes that was not discussed in great detail was the “GIS and the human dimensions of global change”. I believe this field in particular has evolved tremendously since the time the article was written.  Developments in communications technologies, especially in mobile communications, web applications, and digital media, have completely transformed the way humans access information, and communicate. In addition, they have also been crucial in facilitating the availability of data, providing users with important information that allows them to educate themselves on certain fields. One only has to look at the monumental rise in average web users who know use GIS tools in their every day lives. Spatial applications such as Google Earth have expanded the field from specialists to the everyday person- who may use the application for any sort of spatial task. Thus, even though critical GIS is a relatively new field (1997), the evolution of complex technological resources has opened up many new opportunities for research within the field.

-Victor Manuel


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