Participatory Mapmaking

Presented at the Surveillance Studies Network Conference as part of the panel ‘Boundaries of Sharing: Participatory Surveillance in Data-Driven Societies’ moderated by Tjerk Timan and with Kirstie Ball and Anders Albrechtslund.
Aarhus University, Denmark
9 June 2018

Maps — or more broadly: forms of geo-referenced data presented overlaid on interactive cartographic imagery — are powerful communication devices, pointing out e.g. crime hot spots and the fastest route home in busy traffic. Levels of participation in the collection of such geo-referenced data can vary from actively uploading data on crime and disorder to local police forces to passively contributing to projects such as OpenStreetMaps and Waze.
This raises the question how participants in public space surveillance should be conceptualized: are they subjects or objects of surveillance, or both at the same time? And what are the privacy threats, if any, for those living in the described areas? A nuanced understanding of participation and non-participation in this context is needed, as this also raises legal questions: if consent is not a workable model for the collection of data about participants, how can it be for the collection of data by participants?

PDF of the presentation
Freely available here.