Critical GPS: Toward a New Politics of Location
AbstractThis paper aims to extend the purview of critical GIS to also account for what would be akin to a critical GPS by examining two cases where GPS technology is used as a similar means to two decidedly different ends. I look at Acme-Rent-a-Car’s use of GPS technology to track the driving speed of their customers and then fine their customers for speeding, and the Amsterdam Real-Time Project’s recent use of GPS technology to create, for aesthetic purposes, maps of the real-time movements of individual Amsterdam citizens. I examine the social implications of a consenting or nonconsenting subject who is always already locatable. I suggest that the questions raised by each of these two cases are indicative of a social dilemma in GPS, and thus advocate for a critical engagement with GPS technology.
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