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The Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technologies and Society

A Book by Alexander J. Kent and Doug Specht, published by Routledge

The Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technologies and Society provides a relevant and comprehensive reference point for research and practice in this dynamic field. It offers detailed explanations of geospatial technologies and provides critical reviews and appraisals of their application in society within international and multi-disciplinary contexts as agents of change.

The ability of geospatial data to transform knowledge in contemporary and future societies forms an important theme running throughout the entire volume. Contributors reflect on the changing role of geospatial technologies in society and highlight new applications that represent transformative directions in society and point towards new horizons. Furthermore, they encourage dialogue across disciplines to bring new theoretical perspectives on geospatial technologies, from neurology to heritage studies.

The international contributions from leading scholars and influential practitioners that constitute the Handbook provide a wealth of critical examples of these technologies as agents of change in societies around the globe. The book will appeal to advanced undergraduates and practitioners interested or engaged in their application worldwide.


Alexander J. Kent is Honorary Reader in Cartography and Geographic Information Science at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, and leads the Coastal Connections project for World Monuments Fund and English Heritage.

Doug Specht is a Chartered Geographer and a Reader in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Westminster, UK.

Table of Contents


Alexander J. Kent and Doug Specht


Part I: Origins and Perspectives of Geospatial Technologies

1. Latitude, Longitude, and Geospatial Technologies to 1884

Matthew H. Edney

2. The Photo-mechanical Era of Cartography: A Recollection

William Cartwright

3. The Roots of GIS

Michael F. Goodchild

4. Positivism, Power, and Critical GIS

Wen Lin

5. Geospatial Standards: An Example from Agriculture

Didier G. Leibovici, Roberto Santos, Gobe Hobona, Suchith Anand, Kiringai Kamau, Karel Charvat, Ben Schaap and Mike Jackson

6. Technology, Aesthetics, and Affordances

Philip J. Nicholson

7. Race and Mapping

Catalina Garzón-Galvis and Beth Rose Middleton Manning

8. Feminist Geography and Geospatial Technologies

Meghan Kelly

9. Mapping the Subaltern

Penelope Anthias

10. Geospatial Technologies and Rural and Indigenous Spatial Knowledges

María Belén Noroña

11. Social Constructivism and Geospatial Technologies: Neogeography, Big Data, and Deep Maps

Barney Warf


Part II: Understanding Geospatial Technologies

12. Mobile Mapping

Gordon Petrie

13. Airborne and Ground-based Laser Scanning

Mathias Lemmens

14. Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Faine Greenwood

15. Airborne Photogrammetric Mapping

Gordon Petrie

16. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

Oluibukun Gbenga Ajayi

17. Extended Realities (XR)

Lukasz Halik and Alexander J. Kent

18. Free and Open-Source Software for Geospatial Applications (FOSS4G)

Rafael Moreno-Sanchez and Maria Antonia Brovelli

19. APIs, Coding and Language for Geospatial Technologies

Oliver O’Brien

20. Spatial Analysis and Modelling

Timofey Samsonov

21. The Geovisualisation of Big Data

Nick Bearman

22. Machine Learning and Geospatial Technologies

Izabela Karsznia

23. Artificial Intelligence for Geospatial Applications

Vit Vozenilek


Part III: Applications of Geospatial Technologies

24. Location Matters: Trends in Location-Based Services

Georg Gartner

25. Mapping Buildings and Cities

Templin Tomasz

26. Underground Mapping

Aurel Sǎrǎcin

27. Geospatial Technology and Food Security: Forging a Four-Dimensional Partnership

Hillary Shaw

28. The Past, Present and Future of Technologies for Improved Water Management

Leonardo Alfonso

29. Ocean Mapping: Taxonomies of the Fluid Geospatial

Rupert Allan

30. Geospatial Technologies in Transport: Shaping and Recording Everyday Lived Experiences

Nigel Waters

31. Geospatial Technologies in Electrical Systems

Ivan Bobashev

32. Geospatial Technologies and Public Health

Fikriyah Winata, Sara McLafferty, Aída Guhlincozzi and Yiheng Zhou

33. Applications of GIScience to Disease Mapping: A COVID-19 Case Study

Leah Rosenkrantz and Nadine Schuurman

34. Geosurveillance and Society

Rob Kitchin

35. Geospatial Technology and Journalism in a Post-truth World

Amy Schmitz Weiss

36. Advancing Sustainability Research through Geospatial Technology and Social Media

Yaella Dipietr, Johannes Langemeyer, Derek Van Berkel and Andrea Ghermandi

37. Crisis and Hazard Mapping

Amelia Hunt

38. Humanitarian Relief and Geospatial Technologies

John Kostelnick

39. Geospatial Technology and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Doug Specht

40. Maps of Time

Menno-Jan Kraak

41 Geospatial Technologies in Archaeology

Alexander J. Kent and Doug Specht

42. Mapping Planetary Bodies

Trent Michael Hare


Part IV: New Ontologies and Strategies for Geospatial Technologies

43. Toward the Democratization of Geospatial Data: Evaluating Data Decisioning Practices

Victoria Fast, Nikki Rogers and Ryan Burns

44. Developing Geospatial Strategies

Mark Iliffe

45. Map Thinking Across the Life Sciences

Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther

46. Spatial Anthropology: Understanding Deep Mapping as a Form of Visual Ethnography

Les Roberts

47. The Quantum Turn for Geospatial Technologies and Society

Daniel Sui

48. The Locus Charter: Towards Ethical Principles and Practice for Location Data Services

Denise McKenzie and Ben Hawes

Image: Routledge, book cover

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.


26 July 2023
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