Putting Slums on the Map

kibera

In Smithsonian, Erin Blakemore explores the on-the-ground, amateur efforts to get disadvantaged communities—slums, shanty towns, whatever they may be called—on the map, like the Map Kibera and Mapillary projects, and the implications of such projects.

Sterling Quinn, who is earning his Ph.D. in geography at Penn State, notes that there are downsides to user-generated maps. Just because an underserved community makes its way onto the map doesn’t mean it becomes less vulnerable, says Sterling. “Putting yourself on the map may make you more vulnerable to people who want to exploit the area,” he tells Smithsonian.com.

[Dave Smith]

Previously: The Geospatial Revolution Project, Episode FourCrowdsourcing Street Photos of Dar es Salaam.

Author: Jonathan Crowe

I blog about maps at The Map Room, review books for AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and edit a fanzine called Ecdysis.