Week 12: Feminist Data Visualization ~ Mapping & GIS

Ahoy! I’ve shifted the feminist theory discussion to next week, Monday, November 9, to make way for Wednesday, November 4: reserved for a Day of Delicate Detachment (everyone BYO contribution)

Applying feminist theory to mapping and GIS  may seem weird, but it correlates with some of the broader issues we have been engaged in the class, including the entire idea of crowdsourcing (it’s non-hierarchical, pluralistic, empowering, and so on) as well as the web GIS technologies, which embrace some of these ideas at their core.

“Feminist Data Visualization” by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein was a preface to a book that was published last year called Data Feminism. We will read and discuss the former, but I’ll include some details from the latter below.

“Feminist Data Visualization” PDF here.
Data Feminism book information here.

Ponder these questions, look up citations, and google stuff: examples are always good:

  1. What are Feminist Science and Technology Studies? (M. Hayes)
  2. What is Feminist Human-Computer Interaction? (A. Carroll)
  3. What is Digital Humanities and what is Feminist Digital Humanities? (D. Braden)
  4. Where does Critical Cartography & GIS (which we have discussed) fit into this all? (D. Babbage)
  5. Principles of Feminist Data Visualization: think up or find examples that fit the principles
    1. What does it mean to Rethink Binaries? Examples in mapping and GIS? (N. Malenda, A. Carroll)
    2. What does it mean to Embrace Pluralism? Examples in mapping and GIS? (M. Frawley, M. Wade)
    3. What does it mean to Examine Power and Aspire to Empowerment? Examples in mapping and GIS? (M. Roush, D. Braden)
    4. What does it mean to Consider Context? Examples in mapping and GIS? (S. Gupta, D. Babbage)
    5. What does it mean to Legitimize Embodiment and Affect? Examples in mapping and GIS? (D. Frisch, M. Wade)
    6. What does it mean to Make Labor Visible? Examples in mapping and GIS? (M. Hayes)
  6. Is this approach helpful, and how? What are the potential long term impacts of these kinds of concepts and ideas on mapping and GIS, and society in general? (everyone)


Week 11: Making Maps & Mobile GIS

For week 11 we shall finish the Making Maps book with four presentations on Monday:

  • Mark Frawley: ch. 9
  • Mackenzie Wade: ch. 10
  • Derek Frisch: ch. 11
  • McKenna Roush: ch. 12

For Wednesday, let’s have Ch. 4 of the Getting to know WebGIS book done. I say some somber words about that fine chapter.

Please chime in with updates on your project ideas if you have not already done so.

For next week: some more fun stuff to read and do:

Week 12: WebGIS: Tile Layers
Read / Complete: PF ch. 5 & “Feminist Data Visualization
Monday, Nov. 2: Discuss: PF Ch. 5 Tile Layers

Wednesday, Nov. 4: Discuss “Feminist Data Visualization” by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein (also here) and come up with examples from mapping / GIS / web mapping that apply to the six principles. For example, Google: map cartography affective

Week 10: Making Maps Marathon and Food Desert Mapping

For this week, beyond bumping through four more chapters of the Making Maps book on Monday, lettuce take a look at a paper called Desert Wonderings.

Here is a copy of the article with some of my highlighting, if you care

Put some notes and comments and questions in your weekly blog posting.

Be ready to say something about these ideas in terms of the paper – and the idea of food deserts and food desert maps – and your class project (which might be more of an effort!)

In this reading, and discussion, we are putting a real-world case together with the mapping: which is the way it should be.

  • Maps show us “reality” but filtered through our ideas & concepts about the world.
  • Ideas/concepts shape how we collect data (primary, secondary) for mapping
  • What if the ideas/concepts have problems?
  • Does that mean the data has problems?
  • Does that mean the map has problems?
  • Are the ideas/concepts, or data, or maps wrong?
  • How can you make sure your concepts/ideas are more appropriate?
  • How might that shape data collection, and the final map?

Some sources

Week 8: Followup

Just a few additions to the announced changes to the schedule (see previous post):

Monday, October 12: 1 paragraph draft of course project idea (discuss in class)

Wednesday, October 21: Revised course project proposal (post to blog)

Wednesday, October 21: Read and Discuss “Desert Wonderings

  • This is an article about mapping “food deserts” and the problem with the concepts behind what we map.

Week 8: Course Project & Rest of Semester

Geography 353, like 2020 in general, keeps stumbling along, headed in a direction that has now altered a bit.

I’ve updated the course Schedule and Evaluation pages. Pooray.

For this week:

Week 8: Course Project & Rest of Semester

Monday, Oct. 5: Work Day!
Wednesday, Oct. 7: Brief Presentations of Progress (PF Ch. 1 -3) & Course Project & Rest of Semester

Monday, October 5: Since I’m getting this update to you a bit later than I expected (my Dr. said chill out! I did. Sorry) let us have another workday on Monday. As usual, I’m nappy to meet on Zoom or email if you have questions.

Wednesday, October 7: I’d like to hear from all of you, summarizing your efforts to read and complete the tutorial work in Getting to Know WebGIS chapters 1-3. Then I’d like to talk about the Course Project and the rest of the semester.

Course project: I am going to scale this back as several project ideas that I had planned have fallen through. I’d like you to undertake your own project using the WebGIS stuff you are learning in the book. This can be just about anything. A few of you had ideas expressed earlier in the course.

Alternatively, look at the Assignment at the end of each chapter in the Getting to Know WebGIS book. These general assignments (which we did not complete, instead focusing on the tutorial part of the chapter) give you a good outline for a project that would draw from the techniques learned in the chapter.

The project is worth 75 points, and if you look at the Evaluation page for the course, you will see that this is about three times more points than working through and documenting one of the book chapter tutorials. That should give you a comparative idea of how much work to put into the project. The project should be completed by the end of the semester.

Reading and Presenting Making Maps: we also neglected to spend much time on the readings from the Making Maps book. I’ve now included a Making Maps Marathon for weeks 9, 10, and 11. I’ve split the book into three sections and will have each of you present a chapter. Shoot for a 10-15 minute overview and feel free to use the PDF for the book as part of your presentation.

Week 9: Monday, October 12:

  • Dustin Braden: up to and including ch. 2
  • Derek Babbage: ch. 3
  • Anthony Carroll: ch. 4

Week 10: Monday, October 19:

  • Makena Hayes: ch. 5
  • Xi Wang: ch. 6
  • Nick Malenda: ch. 7
  • Sakshi Gupta: ch. 8

Week 11: Monday, October 26:

  • Mark Frawley: ch. 9
  • Mackenzie Wade: ch. 10
  • Derek Frisch: ch. 11
  • McKenna Roush: ch. 12

Week 11 will also mark our return to the Getting to Know WebGIS book, and we will work on chapter 4 for that week, and subsequent weeks will cover chapters 5-8.

End of the Semester: What is due at the end of the semester is your course project and a digital portfolio, consisting of links to all your weekly assignments (so I can review them quickly, and to help you make sure you did them all) as well as a final assessment. The final assessment should not take too long, is “open book” and consists of having you read one short article and reflect on the course.