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Department of Geography

Critical GIS and the production of geographic knowledge

The new InnoPool project on "Critical GIS and the production of geographic knowledge" aims at bringing together researchers and students from the different groups at GIUZ by conducting a series of events such as reading & discussion groups, a workshop and colloquia. All events are open for staff and MSc students.

On the one hand, participants will look into how the practice of GIScience can profit from including social theories and methodologies to overcome some of the limitations inherent in current practices in GIScience. On the other hand, GIS approaches such as qualitative GIS and participatory mapping will be discussed, which provide interesting options for human geographers who conduct research on issues that often have explicit or implicit spatial dimensions to fully engage with the spatial aspects in their work while still maintain an emphasis on the social side of geography.


  1. The first event was a reading group on critical GIS on the 29th of April from 16.00- 17.45 in 25H79. For this session, we discussed the paper by Eric Sheppard (2005) on "Knowledge Production through Critical GIS: Genealogy and Prospects" that all participants should read for the session. > Article
  2. The second event was a discussion group on 13 May 2013 (same time and room) where interested participants got the opportunity to present their ongoing research or research ideas in small groups to get feedback from researchers of other groups at GIUZ. For the second reading, participants could choose between reading
  • A) Sara Elwood (2010): Thinking Outside the Box: Engaging Critical Geographic Information Systems Theory, Practice and Politics in Human Geography > Article or
  • B) Nadine Schuurman (2000): Trouble in the heartland: GIS and its critics in the 1990s > Article


The organizing team: Rony Emmenegger, Sara Maggi, Ephraim Poertner, Simon Sontowski and Flurina Wartmann