Recent developments in geospatial technologies have prompted a growing concern within the research community about the ethical implications of their use. We have reached the point where a largely unregulated mix of government, nonprofit, and corporate agencies have access to vast quantities of locational information for a significant proportion of the world’s population. Although many of the uses of this information are beneficial and benign, too often they are or become intrusive. Additionally, the demand for accredited geospatial professionals is outpacing the supply, when the geospatial industry is innovating at a high pace and will continue to generate enormous volumes of geospatial data at even higher velocity and greater variety than we are facing. The issues that arise from these realities need wider recognition by many stakeholders, including individual consumers, industry leaders, and scientists.
During 2021, AAG worked with its partners to produce a multi-faceted international webinar series and articles and papers on the issues, questions, and imperatives for responsible use of locational data in the public interest. The series culminated in a summit in June 2022 in Santa Barbara, which resulted in a substantive report, research agenda, and other guidance for the field.
Quick Start Guide to Integrate the Ethics of Locational Information into Your College and University Courses and Programs
2022 White Paper on Locational Information and the Public Interest
Bringing experts together
Summit on Locational Information and the Public Interest
About 30 experts gathered at an in-person meeting to build a framework for continued and collaborative work in the coming years. Learn more
GeoEthics Webinar Series
In 2021, the organizing committee (with support from AAG, the Center for Spatial Studies at University of California Santa Barbara, and Esri), organized a series of multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional discussions that have called upon a wide range of practitioners—in academia and government, the private sector and the grassroots. Watch the recordings
As Maps Transform, So Must the Ethics of Mapmaking
Read this article by Katina Michael featured in Esri’s Fall 2022 issue of ArcNews.Read more
Accelerating Ethics, Empathy, and Equity in Geographic Information Science
Read this article from the National Academy of Sciences proceedings.Read more
Geoethics in the Geospatial Community
Read this article by Michael Goodchild featured in Esri’s Summer 2021 issue of ArcNews.Read more
Gary Langham (Co-chair and AAG Executive Director)
Michael Goodchild (Co-chair, University of California, Santa Barbara)
Jeremy Crampton (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK)
Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Vienna, Austria)
Mei-Po Kwan (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
William Herbert (Hunter College, City University of New York)
Katina Michael (Arizona State University)
Richard Appelbaum (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Partners in AAG’s initiative on Locational Information and the Public Interest include the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California – Santa Barbara and Arizona State University, among many others, with the support of Esri.