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Did You Find the World or Did You Make it Up? Media, Communications and Geography in the Digital Age

A Special Issue edited by Doug Specht, published by Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture

Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture is pleased to announce a new special issue, edited by Doug Specht, and addressing the links between Geography and Communications.

Geography, media, and communications have been closely linked since the 16th Century. Just as the advent of the printing press and new modes of measurement changed the media landscape, so too did it change that of geography and cartography. Now, in the digital age we are presented with ever more instruments of measurement (big data, algorithms, UGC, VGI etc.), ever more far-reaching versions of the printing press (Web 2.0, Social Media etc.), and the waters are muddied further by the development of participatory-GIS systems, and the (re-)birth of Neogeography which purportedly offers up a challenge to the status quo. Thus, it becomes essential that, just as we might question the 16th century map-makers, we must now question data analytics, algorithms and their architects, as well as the tools used to communicate these new spaces. The bringing together of the theories of Geography and of Media and Communications allows for an alternate, nuanced, and a spatially grounded approach to envisioning the myriad ways in which the digital age mediates social, economic and political experiences and, in particular, in the increasingly technologically informed media and communications sector, allowing us to ask, ‘did you find the world or did you make it up?’.



Did You Find the World or Did You Make it Up? Media, Communications and Geography in the Digital Age

Doug Specht



Research Articles

New Visualities of Space and Place: Mapping Theories, Concepts and Methodology of Visual Communication Research on Locative Media and Geomedia

Cornelia Brantner



Navigational Mapping Practices: Contexts, Politics, Data

Michael Duggan



Journalism Conundrum: Perceiving Location and Geographic Space Norms and Values

Amy Schmitz Weiss



Disrupting the Old Periphery: Alternative Media, Inequality and Counter-Mapping in Brazil

Helton Levy



Digital Cartography Enterprise: Neoliberalism, Governmentality and Digital Infrastructure

Holly Randell-Moon



Form Follows Feedback: Rethinking Cartographic Communication

Alexander J. Kent




‘All Kinds of Everything’? Queer Visibility in Online and Offline Eurovision Fandom

Jamie Halliwell



Doug Specht


Dr Doug Specht is a cultural geographer and educationalist. His research explores themes related to environmental justice, human rights, and access to education, with a focus on the production and codification of knowledge though cartographic artefacts and in educational settings. In recognition of his work, he has been appointed as a Chartered Geographer and Chartered Teacher. In addition, he has been awarded Advanced Teacher Status, alongside being a Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE. Dr. Specht has authored numerous articles and books, including Mapping Crisis, the Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technology and Society, the Media and Communications Student Study Guide and Imagining Apocalyptic Politics in the Anthropocene. He writes regularly on ethics, environmental and human rights, education, and mapping practices in such publications as WonkHE, The Conversation, Geographical, and for Times Higher Education. Dr Specht is a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Geography, Westminster papers in Communication and Culture, and Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman. He is Chair of the Environmental Network for Central America.


1 November 2018
Published By
Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture
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