Deconstructing the binaries of spatial data production: Towards hybridity
Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe canadien
Wiley / Canadian Association of Geographers
This is the accepted version of the following article: Cinnamon, J. (2014), Deconstructing the binaries of spatial data production: Towards hybridity. The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe canadien. doi: 10.1111/cag.12119, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cag.12119/abstract;jsessionid=1652EB4B09B1B446D20F0A0B3CA28379.f03t02
Reason for embargo
Binaries, the most reductive form of categorization, can be usefully invoked to characterize emerging phenomena; yet, they are widely critiqued for oversimplifying a complex world and for their use as tools of social and political influence. Through a literature review and content analysis this article traces the emergence of volunteered geographic information (VGI), and identifies the recurrent use of several related binaries to contrast this phenomenon with the conventional spatial data production activities of states and corporations. Using several key examples, these binaries are deconstructed by identifying a mismatch in how VGI is conceptualized (bottom-up, amateur, asserted) in the literature and the reality of existing VGI projects. As an alternative to a binary conceptualization of spatial data production, a different representation is put forward that more accurately depicts what is in actuality a vast, shifting, and heterogeneous landscape of spatial data production approaches. Thinking about contemporary spatial data production not as a binary but as a continuum could encourage the development of hybridities that harness the benefits of different approaches—including the oversight and quality control of conventional methods, with the speed, low cost, and distributed nature of citizen-based spatial data production.
Copyright © 2014 Canadian Association of Geographers / L' Association canadienne des géographes
Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)