Time for mapping

Cartographic temporalities

The digital era has brought about huge transformations in the map itself, which to date have been largely conceptualised in spatial terms. The emergence of novel objects, forms, processes and approaches in the digital era has, however, posed a swathe of new, pressing questions about the temporality of digital maps and contemporary mapping practices, and in spite of its implicit spatiality, digital mapping is strongly grounded in time. In this peer-reviewed collection we bring time back into the map, taking up Doreen Massey's critical concern for 'ongoing stories' in the world, but asking how mapping continues to wrestle with the difficulty of enrolling time into these narratives, often seeking to ‘freeze’ and ‘fix’ the world, in lieu of being able to, in some way, represent, document or capture dynamic phenomena. This collection examines how these processes are impacted by digital cartographic technologies that, arguably, have disrupted our understanding of time as much as they have provided coherence. The book consists of twelve chapters that address different kinds of digital mapping practice and analyse these in relation to temporality. Cases discussed range from locative art projects, OpenStreetMap mapping parties, sensory mapping, Google Street View, visual mapping, smart city dashboards and crisis mapping. Authors from different disciplinary positions consider how a temporal lens might focus attention on different aspects of digital mapping. This kaleidoscopic approach generates a rich plethora for understanding the temporal modes of digital mapping. The interdisciplinary background of the authors allows multiple positions to be developed.

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