Thoughts on “Theorizing with GIS: a tool for critical geographies”

The central argument of this paper is that quantitative and qualitative methods should be seen in terms of a continuum instead of as two separate toolboxes in conducting GIS research. I agree with this argument and I think that there is no clear boundary between quantitative and qualitative research. Most of the time in research we see that even though the method applied is quantitative, the problem it asks is inherently qualitative, and qualitative research also often contains quantitative components. This is shown in some AI research such as natural language processing. The tool itself is quantitative whereas the inferences it makes or the problems it solves are qualitative. In this sense, should there even be a line to distinguish whether or not the research is quantitative or qualitative?

I also noticed that even though this paper discusses a lot about the opportunities of qualitative research in GIS, it is still calling GIS a “tool” instead of a “science”, which reminds me of a lot id discussion in the class. This is kind of conflicting because the points the author made about how we research can be conducted surround GIS makes GIS a science instead of a tool. So I guess the title should be “GIScience for critical geographies”.

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