Open Access (free)

Digital maps and anchored time

The case for practice theory

Matthew Hanchard

The increasing range and mobility of platforms and devices supporting digital maps has opened space for change; everyday routines are disturbed and reflexively modified while the landscape of technical infrastructures shift. In this, digital technologies, such as digital maps, are beginning to anchor everyday life and a myriad of mundane temporalities. In this chapter, a brief outline of cartographic theory contextualises the value of practice theory in addressing the extent to which digital maps anchor everyday life and the process by which they do so; a historical limitation in cartographic theory. Applying a practice theory lens to three examples of anchored temporality, this argument is empirically grounded. The chapter serves to practically illustrate how a practice theory might be applied and the value it may add in addressing relationships between digital map use and the wider shifting temporalities of everyday life.

Open Access (free)


Back to the future

Alex Gekker, Sam Hind, Sybille Lammes, Chris Perkins and Clancy Wilmott

This concluding chapter stresses the implications of arguments made by authors in the different sections of the book; highlighting possible broader research questions surrounding digital mapping and temporality that arise. In particular, in relation to the first section of the book, it suggests research might usefully attend to relations of spatiality and temporality, focus on the difficulties of distinguishing between the ephemeral and epochal, and investigate temporal consequences stemming from layering implicit in digital mapping. From the second section, it suggests research might attend more to the possibilities of resistance in the face of technological inevitability, that research might focus on methods for understanding affordances arising in the stitching together of everyday memories in a transient technological age, and suggests we might focus more on places than on spaces in that context. From the final section, it suggests that conceptual, material and anticipatory logics underpinning the organisation of time in digital mapping demand attention. Together, these directions highlight the profoundly social consequences of a shift towards temporality.