You just need to Login or Register to make a class proposal. (Sorry about that, but it cuts down on spam and also helps with organizing)

Mapping as Activism

+ Add me
+ Add me!

The class will run in three parts:

I. What is a map, anyway? Map-reading from a critical perspective, and some background on critical cartography.

II. Creative counter-mappings: In this section we'll look at counter-cartography, learn about some exciting projects combining mapping and activism, and scheme up some of our own.

III. How to make maps -- practical cartography. We'll look at GIS and non-GIS approaches to map-making, check out some open-source tools and data sources, and make some maps of our own!

[copied from Public School New York]

More often than not, maps are used as a base for our research and design, but we rarely wonder how they were formed, by whom, and for what purpose. Maps are subjective. They should be questioned in the same way that we question our elected officials. What is their hidden (or not so hidden) agenda? Who paid for them? Whose interests are they serving?

In drawing a map, we embed in it our political views, our observations and our informed choices. We draw attention to certain things and minimize the presence of others.

What’s missing in the map of a shopping mall?
When did New Jersey vanish from the MTA subway map?
Where is the REAL Green Line between Israel and the occupied territories?

And once we’ve figured out all that, how can we use our skills to transform the process of mapping into a new type of activism?
The class will explore several examples of mapping manipulation as well as mapping as a social activity in hope to generate new ideas and tools of intervention in the urban environment.

Interested (12)
+ Add me
+ Add me!


Ok, Everyone- I've changed the date to Sunday, June 10 (still at 3:30)...

yes! let's do Sunday the 10th..

So Tim - are you proposing Sunday, July 10? I need to change the date on the SplatSpace meetup calendar...

works for me!

how would folks feel about pushing this back another couple of weeks? i'm not feeling like i'll be able to prepare as much as i'd like in time for the 26th...

I've reserved SplatSpace for this - should be good to go.

Cool, I put it on the schedule. I'm assuming this will be at Splat Space, but could you confirm that?

sounds good!

Tim, your plan for the class sounds great. How about Sunday June 26 for the first one? Perhaps an afternoon thing, like 3pm?

I'm thinking we could start with one week on maps and power to look at some of the history of maps and the relationships between mapping, state power and capitalism, and do another session looking at examples of counter-cartography and activist mapping. From there we can see what folks are interested in pursuing and try out some mapping of our own. Also this fall we'll be doing some workshops on GIS and other map-making techniques that could be a continuation of this course.

Best times for me would be to start in late June...

@kosta -- Awesome!! Let's talk about that...

Sounds like a great class. Tim, would you like to go ahead and schedule this? What time might be good for you, if so? Are we thinking this is a one-time thing, or a multiple-meeting class?

This sounds great! I have some skills using tools like OpenLayers (, TileMill (, and Drupal to put together interactive maps on the web, I'd be happy to demonstrate that for folks who are interested.

this sounds like it would mesh well with a community mapping course i'm planning on teaching in the fall..

Good idea for a class.
I made earlier this year, mostly out of frustration.


Close this window