Geographies of the Information Society
Geographic information has become a key resource for information societies around the world. Research activities in this area engage the changes accompanying the use of geographic information and related technologies from several perspectives that emphasize the synergistic analysis and theoretical contributions. Approaches for investigating the relationship between geospatial technologies and societies include critical, institutional, legal, ethical, history of science and technology, and public participation approaches.
Research and teaching in the department includes work examining economic and political-economic engagements with information societies. A related domain is research that engages cultural dimensions. In conjunction, a number of researchers in the department work on questions related to the development of infrastructures to support the provision of geographic information to governments, citizens, and businesses. Research has also examined the relevance of GIS for the analysis of environmental justice in the Twin Cities. Several faculty draw on critical human geography in seeking to understand the evolution of GIS and related technologies and their implications for society. The department also maintains a strong interest in public participation GIS (PPGIS), where we have developed methods to better understand the merits of various models for public access to geospatial technologies. Last, but by no means least, researchers in the department engage the opportunities and develop new potentials for mapping and visualizing geographic information.
If this genre of research interests you, shoot an email to any of our faculty who work in this area—they are more than happy to answer your questions!