Call for Chapters – Mapping Crisis: Participation, Datafication, and Humanitarianism in the Age of Digital Mapping.

1 August 2018

This call for chapters welcomes abstract submissions on the theme of Mapping Crisis for publication in an edited volume.

This book aims to bring together critical perspectives on the role that mapping people, knowledges and data now plays in humanitarian work, both in cartographic terms and through data visualisations. Since the rise of Google Earth in 2005, there has been an explosion in the use of mapping tools to quantify and assess the needs of the poor, including those affected by climate change and the wider neo-liberal agenda. Yet, while there has been a huge upsurge in the data produced around these issues, the representation of people remains questionable. Some have argued that representation has diminished in humanitarian crises as people are increasingly reduced to data points. In turn, this data becomes ever more difficult to analyse without vast computing power, leading to a dependency on the old colonial powers to refine the data of the poor, before selling it back to them. These issues are not entirely new, and questions around representation, participation and humanitarianism can be traced back beyond the speeches of Truman, but the digital age throws these issues back to the fore, as machine learning, algorithms and big data centres take over the process of mapping the subjugated and subaltern. This book aims to question whether, as we map crises, it is the map itself that is in crisis.

Themes that are of interest to the volume include:

  • Data colonialism
  • Contestatory cartographies
  • Data and humanitarianism
  • Big data and development
  • The datafication of the SDGs
  • Climate change and satellite data
  • Digital counter-mapping practices

Other proposals within scope will also be considered.


The editor invites submissions of 200-250 word chapter proposals.

Deadline: 15th October 2018

Submissions should be sent to the editor, Doug Specht, at:

Submissions should also include:

  1. a) Title of chapter
  2. b) Author name/s, institutional details
  3. c) Corresponding author’s email address
  4. d) Keywords (no more than 5)
  5. e) A short bio


Authors will be informed of commissioning by 1st November.

Commissioned chapters will be around 6,000-8,000 words and will be due by 1st March 2019.


It is intended that this book will be published by the Human Rights Consortium, University of London.

The fact that an abstract is accepted does not guarantee publication of the final manuscript. All chapters submitted will be judged on the basis of a double-blind reviewing process.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the editor, Doug Specht, at

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