GIS is a literal and metaphorical set of tools for critical thinking. Taking inspiration from two books (Daniel Dennett's Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking; and Gilles Deleuze's Spinoza) "GIS Tools for Critical Thinking" is a planned Place Memes mini-series.
These short conceptual reflections (of which I have approximately 100 potential sketches listed in my notebook) will go beyond the glossary or dictionary format, towards what Deleuze was doing in Spinoza, namely, adumbrating or outlining a new theory of practice.
My new theory of GIS practice is a radical programme for transforming how we think about GIS. It is also a radical re-thinking of thought itself using GIS tools to drive the programme. Dennett's memes are relevant here for deconstructing all-too-easy assumptions about what (we think we know) GIS is in order to transform what GIS can be.
Philosophical and practical implications will be considered without distinguishing between theory and practice. For example, I would like to begin by examining overlay and proximity metaphors as used not only by John Snow, but also by poets, philosophers and critical geographers. Stay tuned
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
In addition to attending the RGS annual meeting for the first time this year, I was privileged to have been able to make my first appearance at the Society of Cartographers meeting in Glasgow. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the SoC. Not only is Glasgow a beautiful and friendly city, with a wonderful University of Glasgow campus on the west side near the Botanic Gardens, but the society members themselves are a very friendly and almost intimidatingly knowledgeable group of people. They also know how to have fun, and this shone through the entire set of presentations and workshops.
Source: SoC website
Throughout the event I was tweeting like mad, trying to keep up with the flow of information and represent it accurately for others participating in the conference through twitter and the #soc2014 hashtag. The twitter strategy worked well, and I think I managed to boil down some of the neocartographers insights and technical tips into some useful chunks, with hashtags and handles for further questioning and follow-up.
I have been in touch with Alexander Kent, editor of the society's bulletin, and I will now be taking over book reviews for the bulletin. Watch this space for more reviews of cartography, mapping, and maps. I'm hoping that we can continue the trend of focusing a bit more on neocartography, geoweb, mashups, and other online mapping developments. Keep watching this (and the bulletin's) space!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Today's PARISH exploration was an erratic, hybrid affair. I ended up finding three places: Knowle Hill, Great Wood, and an MOD site very close to the bizarre Longcross Station, returning through Chobham Common
The entrance to Knowle Hill in Virginia Water
Knowle Hill in Virginia Water
Adjacent to the golf course on a public footpath heading to Great Wood
Near Great Wood, the Longcross train station
Lifting the bicycle (and myself) over this gate was not easy!
What a weird station Longcross is! Essentially, no way to get in or out
The way I got in, from the golf course side
Carrying the bicycle to the other side of Longcross station platform
Crossing under a major road just past the MOD site very close to Longcross Station
The trolls I assume
Chobham Common, south, outside of Egham Parish, as I have defined it
Picking up my bicycle and waving it at these cattle was the only way through
Corn, and lots of it
Virginia Water, Holloway's other famous building: the sanatorium
Saturday, August 9, 2014
A church near Egham Hythe, which was not my destination today, but I passed right through it (centroid)
I focus today on passageways and entrypoints. This was was difficult to navigate with a bicycle
I was met by a range of different kinds of gates, fences and latches
This sign admonishes the walker for no apparent reason
This sign is even older, and somehow (to me) appealing in its (lack of) legibility
Stubble (hay) field signifies past abundance, the coming of autumn
A bridge at the edge of Thorpe Hay Meadow Nature Reserve
These gates are a bit easier to navigate with a bicycle
I got into a thicket, a tangle of blackberry bushes and nettles that was hard to get out of, and I admit I was a bit lost
This is as close as I could get to Thorpe Lea (centroid)
The Clockhouse, on Clockhouse Lane
Also on Clockhouse Lane
The loop closes, end of the line
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Rode right down to the edge of the parish today before bouncing back in to glance off St Ann's Hill (centroid)
Entering Thorpe from Virginia Water
The intersection towards Lyne
One of the best little roads for cycling, very quiet and scenic
Towards Chertsey now
Approaching St Ann's Hill
There's the entrance to the very quiet residential area on the side of St Ann's Hill
A dog doctor (a vet?)
If you were a dog you'd think you'd found heaven
Intriguing side path for later exploration at a bend on St Ann's Hill Road
Combining the allocentric (from above, the map) with the egocentric (personal viewpoint) views is what this blog is all about
A map to help me finish the meme
Watch tower with coat of arms
The view out across the Thames towards Heathrow
Inscriptions beneath the watchtower
The allocentric view of Egham Parish, according to the Ordnance Survey