@arungapatchka

Geocoding Gringolandia: Interrogating how geo-data analytics squelch mobilities justice

Arun Jacob (he/him)

Title: Geocoding Gringolandia: Interrogating how geo-data analytics squelch mobilities justice

Panel: Up Close and Personal: Ethical Social Media Research in a Big-Data World

ACH 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, July 23-26

Do digital mapping practices increase participation of social media subjects and foster democracy?

Social media as a field of research is both inter- and multidisciplinary, prompting methodological innovations in data collection, textual and network analysis, through approaches from rhetoric and communication, literary studies and life writing, sociology, new media studies, digital humanities, and critical theory, among others.

We invite paper proposals that instantiate this richness and variation of approach. We seek in particular work that describes and advocates for “small data” social media research that is up close and personal, situated and interested--as opposed to, perhaps, that which is objective, processed, filtered, quantified, and “big.” This panel constructs itself around critical subjectivity and ethical relations between social media researchers and the texts and authors they consider. This panel foregrounds situated knowledges and a generous reading practice that supports the rhetorical or aesthetic aims of the authors producing the texts we engage.

F/B: We were particularly drawn to the critical theory of your proposal, especially the way it thinks through geofencing as enacting certain types of power. We would like you to tie this more directly and explicitly to DH methods and/or social media subjects, so that the paper connects more strongly with the panel's concerns around social media subjects and the ethics of DH methods.

Logos:

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Code/Space

(Kitchin & Dodge 2011)

I put on 'The Lion King' for my nephews to watch the other day. I told them this was the Lion King I watched when I was a kid and picked up Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge’s book Code/Space. Hearing James Earl Jones’ booming voice from the other room it dawned on me that I had inadvertently introduced to these children what ideas like birthright, social boundaries, and political borders meant though the Disney text.

As social geographers Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge write, The production of space is increasingly reliant on code, and code is written to produce space”.

My nephews have been social media subjects ever since their ultrasound pictures went up, and each month since they were born there was a wooden block in the photograph that communicated to us the audience and how old they were. The genre of images of children with their age depicted number on wooden block might also be of value to machine learning algorithms that are training on facial recognition data. With such a neatly codified dataset, hundreds of thousands of new mothers are feeding their children to the machine and its facial recognition and aging machine learning algorithm.

Kitchin, Rob, and Martin Dodge. Code/space: Software and everyday life. Mit Press, 2011, https://paperpile.com/shared/7Xdr3y.

Tierney, Therese. The Public Space of Social Media: Connected Cultures of the Network Society. Routledge, 2013, https://paperpile.com/shared/FLHo15.

“a mobile assemblage of contingent subjects, enacted contexts, and fleeting moments of practice and political engagement”

Kitchin and Dodge's concept of Code/Space has been steering my thoughts on how social media forms connections between human beings and physical space, thinking through the problematics of digital mapping as a DH method, and conceptualizing how to champion ethical digital mapping praxis in DH by foregrounding ideas from critical cartography, and mobilities justice.

Critical Cartography is a set of mapping practices and lens of analysis grounded in critical theory, specifically the notion that maps are narratives of power that reflect and perpetuate the hegemonic paradigm. And Mimi Sheller defines mobility justice as a way to understand the deep flows of inequality and uneven accessibility in a world in which the mobility commons have been enclosed. Mobilities justice is a call for a new understanding of the politics of movement and a demand for justice for all.

I believe that digital humanities ought to function as scholarly, community, and activist engagement that enables open and critical discussion as a way to revitalize democracy, that is, a digital conscientization. Paulo Freire defines conscientization as the process of becoming aware of the sources of one’s oppression, the values of the oppressor that one has internalized, and critically reflecting on one’s reality in order to actively engage in being a change agent (Freire 1970).

In the Frierian tradition of conscientization, I will be looking at two popular digital mapping software, ArcGIS and What3Words pairing it with critical cartography and mobilities justice. My own learning involves a systematic approach of reducing new material to its simplest constituent parts. I ask four basic questions:

What is happening?

How do I know that this is happening?

Why is that important?

Who benefits?

Concepts:

GeoHumanities

Critical Cartography

Mobilities Justice

Arun Jacob's presentation will discuss how geofences are virtual perimeters established around target locations to transform locative media information into saleable alternative data. Jacob will be speaking about how geofencing is likely to reproduce existing societal discrepancies via data-driven discriminatory techniques reconfiguring state power in new immaterial forms.

to connect kindred souls and relevant resources within digital humanities communities for resisting, interrupting, and, hopefully, ultimately undoing the relations of domination and the apparatuses that reproduce the status quo.

URL: https://vimeo.com/66684297

Mapping and GIS technology are power-laden forms of knowledge production that help to (re)create as much of the world as they represent through technoscientific, modernist, and colonial discourses. Maps both enable and suppress knowledge through the intentional and unintentional elements of the ideological practice of cartography.

Within DH discourse, the role of technology is privileged as the presumed difference-maker within an implicit and narrow conception of politics that is inherently incorporative. By looking at critical GIS literature which interrogates the social roots, histories, and implications of GIS technology, the issues connected to non-human agency in technological systems, the politics of the GIScience label, and the ‘asymmetries’ involved in using GIS for social research all become quite evident.

Founded in 1969 by Jack Dangermond and his wife Laura, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) provides digital mapping and analysis services to clients including cities, real estate developers, oil companies, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey and UPS, and has more than half the market for so-called GIS (short for "geographic information systems") software.

The Godfather of Digital Maps

https://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2016/02/10/the-godfather-of-digital-maps/#458708f84da9

Preserving Nature | The UCSB Current

https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2017/018606/preserving-nature

Esri Launches R&D Center in New Delhi, India

https://www.apnews.com/Business%20Wire/0a4b2ffb64a14f0bbe88830aa776b5d0

A Historic Gift of Pristine Land to Inspire Tech's Elite - The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/12/bixby-ranch-dangermond-land-donation-in-california/548849/

The Last Perfect Place in California - The Santa Barbara Independent

https://www.independent.com/2019/04/24/the-last-perfect-place-in-california/

Founded in 1969 by Jack Dangermond and his wife Laura, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) provides digital mapping and analysis services to clients including cities, real estate developers, oil companies, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey and UPS, and has more than half the market for so-called GIS (short for "geographic information systems") software.

Early 1970s Redlands Newspaper Article about ESRI | GIS and Science

https://gisandscience.com/2009/09/22/early-1970s-redlands-newspaper-article-about-esri/

Esri in 1969. Jack Dangermond, Scott Morehouse, SJ Camarat… | Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/aaronpk/9570322487

THE TOOLMAKER | Landscape Architecture Magazine

https://landscapearchitecturemagazine.org/2017/04/04/the-toolmaker/

Maps are becoming a common language across organizations – Jack Dangermond, Esri

https://www.geospatialworld.net/article/maps-are-becoming-a-common-language-across-organizations-jack-dangermond-esri/

Geospatial information -- Location Intelligence

The Godfather of Digital Maps

https://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2016/02/10/the-godfather-of-digital-maps/#59ec1f234da9

https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/announcements/esri-president-jack-dangermond-given-royal-honor-in-netherlands/

“Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today announced the opening of its latest research and development center, located in New Delhi, India. The new location will focus on data science, deep learning, and geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) solutions, revolutionizing spatial analytics to overcome some of the world's biggest challenges.”

Esri Launches R&D Center in New Delhi, India | Business Wire

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190328005460/en/

IIT-BHU signs MoU with Esri India for tech support | Varanasi News - Times of India

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/iit-bhu-signs-mou-with-esri-india-for-tech-support/articleshow/69603763.cms

The Nature Conservancy Preserves 24,000-acre Coastal Ranch at Point Conception with $165 Million Gift from Esri Founders

https://www.nature.org/en-us/explore/newsroom/the-nature-conservancy-preserves-24000-acre-coastal-ranch-at-point-conceptio/

The Crown of the Coast

https://www.nature.org/en-us/explore/magazine/magazine-articles/the-crown-of-the-coast/

“UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced today the gift to establish the Jack and Laura Dangermond Endowed Chair in Conservation Studies. The Dangermonds are the founders of Esri, the world’s largest geographic information systems (GIS) software company.

The $1 million endowment will further enhance UC Santa Barbara’s reputation for research and teaching in the environmental and Earth sciences, environmental sustainability and technological innovation.”

Preserving Nature | The UCSB Current

https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2017/018606/preserving-nature

Military Tools for ArcGIS | ArcGIS Solutions for Defense

https://solutions.arcgis.com/defense/help/military-tools/

http://downloads.esri.com/support/whitepapers/other_/military-analyst.pdf

“D-Day Journeys: Personal Geographies of D-Day,”

https://loc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=c88d73171ff945d2a7538507b899bda6

Geodata Systems - Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc.

https://www.geodata.com.ph/news/arcgis-to-power-microsoft-s-tactical-edge-platform

Microsoft’s Defense System demo leveraged Esri software to enable AI and augmented reality for field missions - Military Embedded Systems

http://mil-embedded.com/news/microsofts-defense-system-demo-leveraged-esri-software-to-enable-ai-and-augmented-reality-for-field-missions/

URL: http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf/euc15/papers/euc_72.pdf

The world as conceived by What3Words always-already has the grid, making it inconceivable to ever go off the grid. Working off the premise that the Mercator projection map, was designed for the colonial expansion project, and in turn generates a particular kind of discourse. The location intelligence gathering digital cartographic software meant to be machine-readable creates another kind of digital discourse.

Designing an addressing schema that can be spoken into a voice-based search interface means that it is an address that puts the discoverability of the location by another machine front and centre over any previous schemas that would carry over the histories and legacies of the landscape. What3Words has collated, correlated and conjoined the Appaduraian ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes together into a datascape. What3Words makes it explicitly clear that as a company they privilege understanding space/place as the unknown variable in a supply chain where a saleable object is in transit. Location intelligence is about deriving value from knowing the velocity with which large volumes of goods and services move through space. To dehumanize an address and to make it machine readable, formats the space for the friction-free movement of goods and the plausibility of ubiquitous commerce.

Stories behind Hong Kong street names: Rednaxela Terrace and its famous resident | South China Morning Post

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/travel-leisure/article/1987092/stories-behind-hong-kong-street-names-rednaxela-terrace-and

URL: https://i.imgur.com/TlV0AFq.jpg

Addresses are names; they have meaning and importance far beyond their administrative function. It is largely through place names that location intersects with issues of history and identity. They record far more than a location on the surface of the earth. It is a location within a cultural landscape which gives us coordinates in time as well as space. Relics of old languages and geographies, environmental patterns, demographics, wildlife.

Names, and the relationships between names, tell you about the people who chose them. What they aspired to, what religion they practiced, what language they spoke. They are hierarchical from country to city to street, and so on, which makes them good for navigation without a GPS. And these hierarchical subdivisions correspond to communities, like neighborhoods that may confer prestige or street cred to their inhabitants. Put differently, addresses encode our location into the civic infrastructure.

Conversely, by assigning utile but random combinations of letters or numbers, geocodes may enhance access to emergency services and ecommerce but mask socioeconomic information that is important to people’s identities.

Geocoding

Geofacets

Geofencing

Georeferencing

Fifty Years of Commercial GIS – Part 1: 1969-1994

https://www.directionsmag.com/article/8410

Fifty Years of Commercial GIS – Part 2: 1994-2019

https://www.directionsmag.com/article/8846

Geospatial data can be used to boost business and change lives

https://www.raconteur.net/hr/potential-geospatial-data

The Emergence Of A Geospatial Cloud

https://www.forbes.com/sites/esri/2018/09/24/the-emergence-of-a-geospatial-cloud/#61466e821025

Radio frequency (RF) geodata analytics: Esri is expanding new partnerships with satellite data-driven companies

HawkEye 360’s radio frequency (RF) detection + ESRI’s mapping technology = automatic identification system (AIS) data

Radio frequency (RF) signal mapping using data generated by the HawkEye Constellation of space-based Radio Frequency (RF) sensing satellites to identify and geolocate RF signals, to provide a new global RF geospatial data layer.

URSA and Hawkeye 360 will work together to develop new geospatial information solutions that combine synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data with radio frequency (RF) identification and geolocation to monitor activity across air, land and sea.

ArcGIS ExCalibur’s spatial analysis capabilities allow it to compare Hawkeye 360 RFGeo signal datasets to other geospatial data sets, such as third party automatic identification system (AIS) data, identifying critical spatial-temporal intersections.

Esri brings new satellite data, tools into platforms - SpaceNews.com

https://spacenews.com/esri-geoint-2019-partnerships/

HawkEye 360 Launches First Commercial Product - RFGeo

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hawkeye-360-launches-first-commercial-product---rfgeo-300824414.html

Hawkeye 360 and Windward to offer new maritime product - SpaceNews.com

https://spacenews.com/hawkeye-360-windward/

To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight - The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/world/middleeast/china-oil-iran-sanctions.html

How Iridium took a chance on SpaceX and won – Gigaom

https://gigaom.com/2012/08/27/how-iridium-took-a-chance-on-spacex-and-won/

Ghost ships, crop circles, and soft gold: A GPS mystery in Shanghai - MIT Technology Review

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614689/ghost-ships-crop-circles-and-soft-gold-a-gps-mystery-in-shanghai/

A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area.

A geofence is a virtual perimeter drawn around a real-world geographic area when crossed triggers an action of some kind. Geofencing is used by marketing campaigns to deliver context-appropriate content to consumers. Locative media based advertising uses the consumer’s cell phone GPS data to prompt the user to take an action of some kind. The geographic informatics processed by the geofencing software optimizes the efficiency and efficacy of future targeted marketing campaigns. The location intelligence gathered by the software fine-tunes the contextual filters for content delivery. This rich dataset of real-time location targeting information, the user’s location history and real-world behaviour are all used to define audiences for future targeted advertising campaigns. This increasingly sophisticated location analytics and targeting capabilities, when used by law enforcement, intelligence agencies, anti-choice special interest groups to gain access to a list of people that were at a given place/time without their consent, becomes a violation of freedom of association, freedom of movement and the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. Geofencing was conceived of as a marketing technology meant for targeted advertising campaigns which when deployed in the consumer mediascape while perceived as intrusive did not amount to life-threatening, which is inevitable what the technology becomes in its applications in the political/social landscape. This is in part due to a weak patchwork o

Bombs 💣

Burgers 🍔

Brexit

https://www.terragotech.com/documents/GIF_9-7_FINAL1.pdf

A Breakdown of the Takedown: Bin Laden's Last Hour, Mapped - The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/05/a-breakdown-of-the-takedown-bin-ladens-last-hour-mapped/238310/

“Drive Through Border” by Fujitsu

“Drive Through Border” by Fujitsu

Testing a technology solution to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

https://www.fujitsu.com/uk/imagesgig5/Drive%20Through%20Border%20PoC%20Social%20Media%20FINAL.pdf

“What happens when security/surveillance mutates from an abstract notion to a series of practices that become part of the nation state’s dominant discourse?”

If contemporary social relations are configured through mobilities, then global flows (re)structure social inequalities.

Duran, Javier. "Virtual borders, data aliens, and bare bodies: Culture, securitization, and the biometric state." Journal of borderlands studies 25.3-4 (2010): 219-230.

Calkin, Sydney. “Towards a Political Geography of Abortion.” Political Geography, vol. 69, Mar. 2019, pp. 22–29, doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2018.11.006.

Firm settles Massachusetts probe over anti-abortion ads sent to phones | Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-massachusetts-abortion/firm-settles-massachusetts-probe-over-anti-abortion-ads-sent-to-phones-idUSKBN1761PX

Anti-abortion groups are sending targeted smartphone ads to women in abortion clinics.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2016/05/anti-abortion-groups-are-sending-targeted-smartphone-ads-to-women-in-abortion-clinics.html

Healey halts digital ads targeted at women’s reproductive clinics - The Boston Globe

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/04/04/healey-halts-digital-ads-targeted-women-reproductive-clinics/AoyPUG8u9hq9bJUAKC5gZN/story.html

Wray, Tyler B., et al. "Exploring the Use of Smartphone Geofencing to Study Characteristics of Alcohol Drinking Locations in High‐Risk Gay and Bisexual Men." Alcoholism: clinical and experimental research (2019). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acer.13991

Image: https://video-images.vice.com/articles/5bd0c48a5883e60006f420aa/lede/1540408460900-nashville-gay-bar-threat.jpeg

Introducing Tinder U

https://blog.gotinder.com/introducing-tinder-u/

Geofencing enables digital marketers to produce evermore targeted advertising campaigns that will get consumers to engage with their product. But when these techniques get reskinned and co-opted into the public sphere; the social, political and cultural fallout that accompanies the use of such technologies must also be taken into account. As virtual boundaries get sutured into the fabric of society, geofencing and the micro-targeted digital advertising campaigns that run using this technology serve as the harbingers of how geofencing is likely to evolve in the future public sphere. In the post-carceral society where border walls have always-already been built, geofencing is likely to reproduce existing societal discrepancies via data-driven discriminatory techniques reconfiguring state power in new immaterial forms. It is not ethical to target people on the basis of the places that they frequent. Geofencing opens the door to the risks of the proliferation of misinformation campaigns, invasion of privacy, hate-mongering, etc. Public policies could seek inspiration from the green book to imagine how to create the framework that would be needed to traverse the geofenced public sphere.

Digital humanities scholars working in this space/time can forge the path for what ethical engagement with social media subjects looks like by envisioning what Andrea Zeffiro elucidates as “‘queer futurit[ies] of data.”

Chen, Wenhong, and Anabel Quan-Haase. “Big Data Ethics and Politics: Toward New Understandings.” Social Science Computer Review, SAGE Publications Inc, Nov. 2018, p. 0894439318810734, doi:10.1177/0894439318810734.

Mobilities Justice

Geocoding

Geofacets

Geofencing

Georeferencing

Fifty Years of Commercial GIS – Part 1: 1969-1994

https://www.directionsmag.com/article/8410

Fifty Years of Commercial GIS – Part 2: 1994-2019

https://www.directionsmag.com/article/8846

Geospatial data can be used to boost business and change lives

https://www.raconteur.net/hr/potential-geospatial-data

The Emergence Of A Geospatial Cloud

https://www.forbes.com/sites/esri/2018/09/24/the-emergence-of-a-geospatial-cloud/#61466e821025

ACH_2019_Geocoding_Gringolandia - Google Slides