Critical GIS

This term was described by Marianna Palvovskaya in as “combining the powers of mapping, information technologies, and critical social theory” in order to provide “new possibilities for acting upon the growing social contradiction of the neoliberal era” (Palvovskaya 41). It emerged in the 1990s, but did not become popular until the 2000s.
Accessed from “Critical GIS as a tool for social transformation” by Marianna Palvovskaya

“A network of knowledge, ideology, and practice that defines, inscribes, and represents environmental and social patterns within a broader economy of signification that calls forth new ways of thinking, acting, and writing” (Pickles 1995).
Accessed from

2 thoughts on “Critical GIS”

  1. In the reading, “Critical GIS as a tool for social transformation,” the author also mentions how critical GIS is “able to produce new cartographies and spaces of possibility and build and expand geographies of hope and care that change social imaginaries in favor of non-hierarchical class, gender, and race relations” which I find to be an important point when attempting to understand what critical GIS is and how it can challenge the status quo. [Pavlovskaya]

  2. Critical GIS basically seems to be a practice in which social ideas (“the status quo”) are challenged through the means of cartography. Through the use of big data and open source mapping technology, social ideas can be visually portrayed in ay that helps promote change. The reading also states that many geography classes are including critical GIS into their curriculums. GIS technologies are allowing people to consider issues in different ways then they ever had before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.