Moving beyond the map as metaphor:
representation and multiple realities

Original questions:

Current representation within GIS is tied to the map as metaphor. There are consequences and problems that arise from the exclusion of alternative forms of knowledge, ways of knowing, and representation. Historically, there is evidence of broader and richer ways of knowing in both western and non-western societies. The cartographic metaphor would appear to be a more recent consequence of the academization of geography, the privileging of the map, and the conceptualization of GIS based on spatial primitives. New GIS, multi-media and visualization technologies now allow us to move beyond the map metaphor to include other forms of knowledge representation that are driven by real human problems and forms of reasoning.

Current status				Research

Cartographic metaphor                   alternative metaphors
Map					     map, image, text-narrative, voice,
					     sound, visualization, sketches,
					     historical antecedence

'threatening' graphic			non-threatening graphics and
representation				representation
					     role playing, game metaphor,
					     public vs private, panoramic to
					     abstraction, increasing levels
					     of complexity

static					dynamic, interactive, participatory

spatially deterministic			beyond spatial primitives

visual   				visual plus other senses plus .....?

scale - mechanistic map-based		social/cultural/natural language scales

quantitative assessment of		blending quantitative and qualitative
spatial data (spatialization) 		assessment and analysis, sense of
					place, cognition

top-down expert view of         	multiple views of geographical realities
reality(privileged forms                top-down meets bottom up
of representation)                           local knowledge

focus on error and   	                focus on learning to be critical 
distortion                              of different interpretations, 
                                        self-critical systems

imposed objective             		collaborative decision making
decision making               		and conflict resolution, 
                                    	      understanding different 
					      perspectives to an issue

non-culturally sensitive        	culturally sensitive
                                	non-western conceptualizations of 
                                	space-time, native conceptualizations
                                	and representation


Specific case studies which address one or more of the above issues.

Disciplines involved:

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