Pros and Cons of Mapping

In this article by “Web 2 for Dev”, the author discusses pros and cons of the kind of mapping we are about to engage in in our class. The author cites issues such as climate change and crisis situations as some of the positives. We have, of course, talked about this in class before and have analyzed how companies like Ushahidi work. The authors presents Google and Openstreet Maps as the front runners in mapping for developing countries and suggests that collaborative mapmaking would benefit the countries, and the users much more. The author raises concerns including privacy issues with the policies that Google sets out and “tension over indiscriminate online mapping over land ownership and resource use and control.” This is a very similar concern that the Homeland Security Professor presented: where do we draw the line between mapping to help those who can use these technologies, and breaching privacy?

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3 responses to “Pros and Cons of Mapping

  • charris7

    I believe that certain aspects of these maps are crossing the line on privacy. For example, Google map street view- you can even see the cars parked in front of my house! This is too much information.

  • TIM0603

    Also, for the OpenStreetMap, even though there is a rating system for mappers to decide whether the mapping is accurate or not, how can we ensure the accuracy anyway since it’s the various users who create the content, just like Wikipedia, academically it remains an unreliable source to cite.

  • megstanger

    Yeah sometimes it feels very invasive. For example, my neighbors suspected that their neighbor didn’t keep up their pool because there was a strange smell and tons of mosquitos. They looked on the satellite and saw that their neighbors pool was a beautiful shade of green algae. Anyway, it is an invasion of privacy and could be dangerous. On the other hand, mapping provides so much information that can do amazing things.

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