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Critical GIS : theorizing an emerging science Schuurman, Nadine Cato 2000

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C r i t i c a l GIS: t h e o r i z i n g a n e m e r g i n g s c i e n c e by Nadine Cato Schuurman B.Sc, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1985 M.A. The University of British Columbia, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY In THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 2000 © Nadine Cato Schuurman, 2000  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or  by  his or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood that  copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  (Seo<jrapll^  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  \kUooo  Abstract This research takes as its starting point the past decade of critiques from human geographers, and proposes an alternate model for appraisals of technology. The first section begins with an analysis of the bases and motivation of external assessments of GIS. A historiographical account reveals that the critical impulse among human geographers was not static, but evolved to incorporate greater subtlety based on cooperation with GIS scholars. Critiques from human geographers, nevertheless, had a profound impact on the discipline, and practitioners of GIS frequently felt that their perspectives on issues including the roots of GIS, its epistemological bases, and its ethics had been undervalued by critics. A re-analysis of critiques, from the perspectives of GIS practitioners, investigates objections to critical accounts of the technology. The second half of the research builds upon existing critiques and responses to them, but asks the question, "is there a more constructive means to engage with technology, from a theoretical perspective?" Two contemporary research questions in GIS are investigated, as a means of establishing a preliminary methodology for critique that engages with GIS at a conceptual, as well as a technical level. Factors that have influenced the progress of automated generalization are examined in some detail. The argument is made that both social and digital parameters define the technology, and it is unproductive to focus on one at the expense of the other. The second research question concerns data models and the extent to which fields and objects are inevitable. The case is made that a web of historical and scientific justification has prevented researchers from seeking alternatives to the atomic and plenum views of space. Finally, an appeal is made for continued theoretical examination of the technology as part of an effort to develop geographic information science.  T a b l e of C o n t e n t s Abstract  ii  List of Tables  jy  List of Figures  v  Preface  v/  Acknowledgements  vii  Dedication  viii  Chapter 1  Introduction: theorizing GIS inside and out  Chapter 2  Trouble in the Heartland: GIS and its critics in the 1990s  27  Chapter 3  Lessons in Constructing a Science: promises and pitfalls of GIS  64  Chapter 4  The production of theory in GIS: social and digital parameters of intelligent generalization  138  Chapter 5  Chapter 6  1  "Functional Ontologies" and the justification of data models in GIS  188  Conclusion: Lessons in unpacking a discipline  260  References  270  Appendix 1 Research Interview Log  293  Appendix 2 Research Interview Sample  295  in  L i s t of Table 4.1  Tables  Characteristics of m o d e l and cartographic  generalization  L i s t of F i g u r e s Figure 3.1  Visibility analysis in vector GIS  96  Figure 3.2  Buffer zones  98  Figure 3.3  Line intersection  102  Figure 3.4  Floating point of intersection  104  Figure 3.5  Rounding the point of intersection  105  Figure 3.6  Multiple shifts  106  Figure 3.7  The Greene-Yao (1986) algorithm  107  Figure 4.1  The Douglas Peucker algorithm  149  Figure 4.2  The map as the tip of the iceberg  152  Figure 4.3  Three components of expert systems  160  Figure 4.4  Conceptual structure of an artificial neural net  164  Figure 4.5  Objects: geographic entities without containers  174  Figure 4.6  Transportation route data organized in an object-oriented hierarchy  174  Figure 4.7  A cross-section of AGENT  178  Figure 5.1  Basic vector data representation  191  Figure 5.2  Explicit vector topology  193  Figure 5.3  The raster view of the earth  195  Figure 5.4  Field and object data models  197  Figure 5.5  Fields and objects, rasters and vectors: a clarification ....  199  Figure 5.6  Image schema as a vehicle for understanding  208  Figure 5.7  The set B of all good agricultural land contains the set A of land planted with corn  216  Figure 5.8  The dual theory of geographic space  223  Figure 5.9  A range of ontological commitment  226  Figure 5.10  Generic object classification system  238  Figure 5.11  Layers of conceptualization  251  Figure 5.12  The 9-intersection model of Shariff, Egenhofer, and Mark  254  Preface This dissertation includes material that has been previously published, material that is in press, and material that has been accepted for publication. Ideas and text are included from an interview with Michael Goodchild that was published in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 1999, Volume 17: 1- 15. Chapter two, "Trouble in the Heartland," is in press at Progress in Human Geography, and chapter four, "The Production of Theory in GIS" has been accepted at Cartographica.  VI  Acknowledgements  Hadrian wrote in his memoirs that, in times of great duress, he imagined himself as a small ship buffeted on the seas, riding the waves (Yourcenar, 1963). In moments of strain, during the completion of my doctorate, I cast back to Hadrian's metaphor. I have had many aids, however, during my Ph.D. More than anyone else, my supervisor, Geraldine Pratt, has assisted in steering my course. It is testimony to her excellence and grace, as a mentor, that her supervision has never been heavy-handed. Gerry's style of suggesting research avenues and opportunities (as well as shifts in tone) has always been subtle and, moreover, constructive. Gerry doesn't discipline; she guides. Gerry's supervision of my Ph.D. provides an ideal map of the supervisor-student relationship. Other members of my committee have provided invaluable guidance and insight. I would like to thank Brian Klinkenberg for his kindness and friendship, and for never letting me forget the innate complexity of GIS. Stacy Warren is the other pillar of the GIS cohort on my committee. Like Brian, Stacy provided a sense of perspective about the relationship of GIS to geography. Moreover, Stacy can always cut-up about academic affairs - the best respite. Trevor Barnes took great time to read, and really think about everything I wrote. Trevor taught me the value of critique, and I value his careful and trenchant analyses. I want to thank my niece, Isolde, and my nephew, Max, for reminding me of stories and animal and pathos; my sister, Hedda, for being my friend and relentless advocate; and my (virtual) brother, Peter, for his sage and generous explanations - especially of realism and empiricism. My grandmother, Ola Pawlowksa, is the best illustration I have of endurance and perseverance, and I am grateful for her example. My mother and father taught me (and Hedda) two invaluable lessons: (i) schuurmies never get bushed; and (ii) you can do anything. In an age of excuses, these are precious instructions, and I needed them. My friends and former colleagues at KARO Design, especially Ellen and Joff, provided me with just the right amount of perspective on the academy, as well as freelance work. Finally, I want to thank my partner, Jennifer Hyndman, for everything.  Nadine Schuurman, February, 2000.  For my little brother, Tristan, who loved Star Wars. "May the force be with you."  Chapter One Introduction: theorizing GIS, inside and outside  There are two ways of wandering in the forest. You either wander trying several paths or you wander trying to understand how the forest is formed, why some paths are accessible and others are not. Umberto Eco  Philosophizing in an empirical science is a sure sign of trouble Helen Couclelis  The road behind: GIS and its discontents  I a m a s k e p t i c a l c y b o r g . I a m a b s o r b e d b y the m a c h i n e b u t m a i n t a i n a p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r t h e c o m p a n y o f t h o s e w h o d i s d a i n a l l t h i n g s e l e c t r o n i c . I a m at o n c e a p a r t i c i p a n t i n the e m p i r e o f c o d e a n d a s c h o l a r c o n c e r n e d w i t h the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f its f o r m a t i o n . T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n e m b o d i e s that split. It r e c o g n i z e s the p r i o r i t i e s o f those i n v o l v e d i n b u i l d i n g g e o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n s y s t e m s ( G I S ) a n d the s c i e n c e that u n d e r l i e s it, as w e l l as the a r g u m e n t s o f those c r i t i c a l o f G I S . It n a v i g a t e s b e t w e e n t e c h n o p h i l e s a n d t h e i r naysayers. B u t it g o e s further. It addresses a need, i d e n t i f i e d b u t n o t d e l i v e r e d b y s o c i a l t h e o r e t i c a l critics o f the t e c h n o l o g y , t o theorize G I S as a s c i e n c e . G I S i s a b u r g e o n i n g  technology  that h a s h a d a n e n o r m o u s i m p a c t o n the d i s c i p l i n e o f g e o g r a p h y . T o date, e f f o r t s to c o n c e p t u a l i z e the t e c h n o l o g y a n d p l a c e it i n a m e a n i n g f u l c o n t e x t h a v e l a r g e l y b e e n d i v i d e d b e t w e e n r e c r i m i n a t o r y a n d l a u d a t o r y accounts. G I S r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e b e e n s l o w to a c k n o w l e d g e t h e s o c i a l a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s a n d i m b r i c a t i o n s o f t h e t e c h n o l o g y . A n d there h a s b e e n a n i m p l i c i t a s s u m p t i o n o n the part o f s o c i a l critics that  1  G I S r e q u i r e s c r i t i c a l t h i n k e r s , l i k e t h e m s e l v e s , to p r o v i d e a n adequate d e s c r i p t i o n o f the t e c h n o l o g y ( L a k e , 1993; P i c k l e s , 1997). D e s p i t e a n e d u c a t i o n i n s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y , I b e g a n m y Ph.D. p r o g r a m p r e - d i s p o s e d t o w a r d c r i t i c s o f G I S . T h e y w e r e s p e a k i n g u p a g a i n s t c y b e r n e t i c d o m i n a n c e a n d that s e e m e d a n r e a s o n a b l e e n d e a v o u r . I hadn't, i n fact, r e a d m u c h o f w h a t t h e y h a d to s a y b u t w a s r e a d y to j o i n i n the s t r u g g l e to m a k e a n h o n e s t t e c h n o l o g y out o f G I S . B u t the s t r u g g l e t u r n e d out to b e w i t h i n geography. E a r l y debates o v e r the v a l u e o f G I S r e h a s h e d f a m i l i a r i s s u e s a n d it is d i f f i c u l t to f i n d a p l a c e o n b o t h s i d e s o f the issue. D u r i n g m y r e s e a r c h , I s w u n g b a c k a n d f o r t h as I r e a d p e r s u a s i v e a c c o u n t s o n b o t h s i d e s o f the d i v i d e . W h e n i m m e r s e d i n p a p e r s d e s c r i b i n g the a l g o r i t h m i c bases f o r c e r t a i n o p e r a t i o n s , the l o g i c w a s c l e a r a n d I w a s c o n v i n c e d not o n l y o f the a r g u m e n t s b u t o f the s i n c e r i t y o f s c h o l a r s i n t h e i r q u e s t f o r a n i m p r o v e d t e c h n o l o g y o f p r e d i c t i o n . B u t w h e n I r e t u r n e d to S c i e n c e a n d T e c h n o l o g y S t u d i e s ( S T S ) a n d c r i t i q u e s o f G I S , the a r g u m e n t s w e r e e q u a l l y c o m p e l l i n g . T h e d i v i d e was e x a c e r b a t e d b y the t e n s i o n s b e t w e e n the G I S c o m m u n i t y a n d the g r o u p o f h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s that h a d e m b a r k e d o n c r i t i q u e s o f the t e c h n o l o g y . T h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s w e r e p l a y e d out i n a n u m b e r o f j o u r n a l s d u r i n g the 1990s. C o n v e r s a t i o n s at c o n f e r e n c e s c o n f i r m e d that strains w i t h i n g e o g r a p h y w e r e n o t l i m i t e d to the p r i n t e d page. T h e s e d i s c i p l i n a r y t e n s i o n s p r o v i d e d m y i n i t i a l m o t i v a t i o n . I b e g a n to r e a l i z e that the p r o b l e m w a s n o t j u s t the i s s u e s a d d r e s s e d b y critics b u t the m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e y w e r e p r e s e n t e d a n d the e x t e n t to w h i c h t h e y w e r e (or weren't) c o n s i d e r e d a p p l i c a b l e to the t e c h n o l o g y b y G I S s c h o l a r s . G I S had, afterall, d e v e l o p e d its o w n t r a d i t i o n o f assessment. P u b l i c a t i o n s o f G I S r e s e a r c h u s u a l l y b e g i n w i t h an a n a l y s i s o f the o l d m e t h o d a n d f o l l o w e d w i t h s u g g e s t i o n s f o r a n e w a n d i m p r o v e d t e c h n i q u e - c r i t i q u e , i n effect. C l e a r l y 2  there was a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n this type o f c r i t i q u e a n d that p u r s u e d b y h u m a n geographers. T h e t r a d i t i o n o f c r i t i q u e f a v o u r e d b y G I S f o l l o w e d the P o p p e r i a n t r a d i t i o n i n w h i c h i n t e n d e d a s s u m p t i o n s are j u x t a p o s e d against the w o r k a c t u a l l y d o n e ( D e u t s c h , 1997; G r e g o r y , 1978; B l o o r , 1976). Internal c r i t i q u e s o f G I S f o c u s e d o n the t e c h n i c a l while external critiques, largely f r o m h u m a n geography, were concerned with e p i s t e m o l o g y a n d s o c i a l r e p e r c u s s i o n s . B u t there is a further, m u c h m o r e s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e . I n t e r n a l c r i t i q u e s h a d a stake i n the future o f the t e c h n o l o g y w h i l e e x t e r n a l o n e s d i d not. T h i s r e a l i z a t i o n o f the d i f f e r e n c e i n stakes b e t w e e n G I S s c h o l a r s a n d t h e i r c r i t i c s l e a d s to p r e l i m i n a r y r e f l e c t i o n o n the r o l e o f f e m i n i s m i n c r i t i q u e . Love, feminism and GIS  H a r a w a y ( 1 9 9 1 ) has d i s c u s s e d the use o f tactics b y s o c i a l theorists to u n d e r m i n e s c i e n c e . S h e e x p r e s s e s " n e r v o u s n e s s " about attempts b y s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t s u s i n g "the a c i d t o o l s o f c r i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e i n the h u m a n s c i e n c e s " to d e m o n s t r a t e that s c i e n c e is j u s t another text, l i k e h i s t o r y , p r o d u c e d f o r the p o w e r a n d p r o f i t o f d o m i n a n t p l a y e r s . S h e sees the p r o b l e m as o n e o f r e l a t i n g l a n g u a g e a n d m a t e r i a l i t y : the f o r c e f i e l d i m a g e r y o f m o v e s i n the f u l l y t e x t u a l i z e d a n d c o d e d w o r l d is the m a t r i x f o r m a n y a r g u m e n t s about s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d r e a l i t y f o r the p o s t m o d e r n subject. T h i s w o r l d - a s - c o d e is, j u s t f o r starters, a h i g h - t e c h military field, a k i n d o f automated academic battlefield, where blips o f l i g h t c a l l e d p l a y e r s d i s i n t e g r a t e ( w h a t a m e t a p h o r ! ) e a c h o t h e r i n o r d e r to stay i n the k n o w l e d g e a n d p o w e r g a m e ( 1 9 9 1 , 185). T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f w h a t w e r e later c a l l e d the 'science w a r s ' bears c l o s e r e s e m b l a n c e to early negotiations i n geography over GIS. S e p a r a t e d i s c o u r s e s w e r e not, h o w e v e r , the c r u c i a l i m p e d i m e n t . B o t h parties i n these i n i t i a l a l t e r c a t i o n s b e h a v e d , at times, as i f they w e r e c r i t i q u i n g s o m e t h i n g v i e w e d as a n " e n e m y threat," that h a d n o i n t r i n s i c value, a n d that r e q u i r e d the m o b i l i z a t i o n o f a l l 3  a v a i l a b l e f o r c e s t o d i s c r e d i t ( " k i l l " ) i t . G I S a d v o c a t e s a n d critics e a c h m a d e p r o n o u n c e m e n t s a b o u t e a c h other's (different) g e o g r a p h i e s , d i s p a r a g i n g m e t h o d o l o g i e s a n d m o t i v a t i o n s ( T a y l o r , 1990; O p e n s h a w , 1991; P i c k l e s , 1993; L a k e , 1993). Insults that r e f e r r e d t o the " g a p s - y a w n i n g c h a s m s - i n G I S " ( L a k e , 1993, 4 0 5 ) o r ' " t r i v i a l p u r s u i t ' geography... a r e t u r n o f the v e r y w o r s t sort o f p o s i t i v i s m , a m o s t n a i v e e m p i r i c i s m " ( T a y l o r , 1990, 2 1 2 ) w e r e m a t c h e d b y S t a n O p e n s h a w ' s d e f e n s e o f G I S a g a i n s t s l u r b y a n a f f r o n t on: the t e c h n i c a l c r i p p l e s i n g e o g r a p h y [ w h o ] s e e m e d to h a v e s u r v i v e d the i n c r e a s i n g use o f c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y b y e s s e n t i a l l y i g n o r i n g m o s t computer-based developments...This survival-by-ignoring-computers strategy s e e m e d to w o r k w e l l u n t i l the c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g i e s b e i n g i g n o r e d started t o b e l a b e l e d e x p l i c i t l y as 'geographical.' It m u s t b e h a r d to b e a 'geographer' a n d a r g u e that c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y u n i v e r s a l l y labeled 'geographical information systems' has n o t h i n g whatsoever to do w i t h geography...(1991, 624). C l e a r l y h a c k l e s w e r e r a i s e d o n b o t h s i d e s o f the d i s c i p l i n a r y d i v i d e . T h e s e c o m m e n t a r i e s w e r e n o t w r i t t e n as a n attempt t o m e d i a t e a n y r e a l o r p e r c e i v e d i n a d e q u a c i e s w i t h the t e c h n o l o g y o f G I S . T h e y w e r e i n s u l t s rather t h a n d i s c u s s i o n . T h e i r tactics w e r e s y m p t o m a t i c o f a n a n t i p a t h y t o o t h e r stripes o f g e o g r a p h y . E x t e r n a l c r i t i q u e t e n d s to b e m o r e i n f l a m m a t o r y a n d less c o n s t r u c t i v e t h a n i n t e r n a l c r i t i q u e , w h i c h is c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a c o m m i t m e n t t o the s u b j e c t a r e a (Pratt, 1996, 2 5 4 ) . It is easy, f o r instance, to m i s c o n s t r u e Peter Taylor's position i n geography based on his early c o n d e m n a t i o n s o f G I S ( T a y l o r , 1990). H i s c e n s u r e o f G I S w a s s o v i t r i o l i c that o n e w o u l d g u e s s that h e h a d n o t h i n g i n v e s t e d i n G I S , as a p u r s u i t w i t h i n the d i s c i p l i n e o f g e o g r a p h y . A n d s h a r p c e n s u r e w a s r e t u r n e d b y S t a n O p e n s h a w ( 1 9 9 1 ) t h o u g h , o n the w h o l e , the battle w a s t a k e n u p m o r e f e r v e n t l y b y h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s t h a n G I S e r s . T h e s e c o n d e m n a t i o n s w e r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f s c h o l a r s u n i n t e r e s t e d i n t h i n k i n g " o u t s i d e the 4  binaries o f right or w r o n g , true or false" (Pratt, 1996, 254). T h e y augured the tone o f e n s u i n g critiques. In b o t h cases, the s u b - d i s c i p l i n e represented b y the "other" was t r u l y d i v o r c e d f r o m their o w n area o f research. G e o g r a p h y , as a d i s c i p l i n e , was d i v i d e d .  A b s e n t was "the l o v i n g care people m i g h t take to learn h o w to see faithfully f r o m another's p o i n t o f v i e w , " w h i c h D o n n a H a r a w a y suggests as a "possible a l l e g o r y for f e m i n i s t versions o f o b j e c t i v i t y " ( 1 9 9 1 , 190, emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ) . It is this l a c k o f care that Pratt refers to i n her c a l l for constructive academic c r i t i c i s m , c r i t i c i s m that r e c o g n i z e s the i n t r i n s i c v a l u e i n other positions. It is not i n c i d e n t a l that a l l the major players i n this particular  f o r m a l i z e d sport o f d e n u n c i a t i o n were m e n . T h i s is not to  exonerate w o m e n i n an essentialist manner but to draw attention to w a y s i n w h i c h feminist w r i t i n g f r o m the same p e r i o d argued for " l o v i n g care" as an essential c o m p o n e n t o f p r o d u c t i v e c r i t i c i s m ( H a r a w a y , 1997b). Pratt's careful analysis o f the dangers o f m e a n spirited c r i t i q u e is partly d e r i v e d f r o m her experience o f "extensive, d i s r u p t i v e , p e r s o n a l l y p a i n f u l " f e m i n i s t debates " o v e r difference" (Pratt, 1996, 254). W h a t she h i g h l i g h t s is that w h i l e k n o w l e d g e is e m b e d d e d i n both practice and i d e o l o g y , it begins " w i t h an act o f l o v e " ( H a r a w a y , 1997b, 126). T h i s was certainly a m i s s i n g ingredient i n contests o v e r G I S i n the early 1990s.  A m u c h m o r e palatable approach is to reiterate James W a t s o n s a y i n g that " s c i e n c e s e l d o m proceeds i n the straightforward l o g i c a l manner i m a g i n e d b y outsiders. Instead, its steps f o r w a r d (and sometimes b a c k w a r d ) are often v e r y h u m a n events i n w h i c h personalities and c u l t u r a l traditions p l a y major r o l e s " (1969, i x ) . In contrast, assertions about " p o v e r t y and p o l i t i c s o f G I S " and the " d o g g e d a v o i d a n c e [by G I S e r s ] o f e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l debate and refusal to engage i n the intellectual ferment that has  5  c h a r a c t e r i z e d c o n t e m p o r a r y h u m a n g e o g r a p h y " ( P i c k l e s , 1997b, 363) w e r e a n y t h i n g b u t c o n s t r u c t i v e . J a m e s W a t s o n is d e d i c a t e d to s c i e n c e , l o v e s i t i n fact. H i s b o o k o n the p r o c e s s e s t h r o u g h w h i c h the d o u b l e - h e l i x structure o f D N A  were discerned follows  scientists t h r o u g h t h e i r e v e r y d a y l i v e s . H e i s as attentive as B r u n o L a t o u r ( 1 9 8 7 ) to the p o l i t i c s o f s c i e n t i f i c pursuit. B r u n o L a t o u r ( 1 9 9 9 ) has r e c e n t l y w r i t t e n a b o u t h i s o w n l o v e o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y a n d the w a y s i n w h i c h i t i n f o r m s h i s w o r k i n S T S . L i k e w i s e , W a t s o n tells h i s s t o r y w i t h o u t s u b t l y d e n i g r a t i n g the o b j e c t o f h i s research. S o m e narrators h a v e f a r less at stake. N o t s u r p r i s i n g l y , s o m e o f the m o s t i n f o r m e d , a n d c a r e f u l c r i t i q u e s o f G I S are f r o m G I S s c h o l a r s t h e m s e l v e s (Raper, 1999; V e r e g i n ,  1995;  O b e r m e y e r , 1995), f o r they m a i n t a i n e d a i n v e s t m e n t i n the o u t c o m e and, l i k e m o s t academics, presumably harbour a love for their field. The way ahead: constructive science studies  D e s p i t e the h o s t i l i t y u n l e a s h e d b y i n i t i a l c r i t i q u e s o f G I S , the i m p u l s e t o w a r d c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the f i e l d was l e g i t i m a t e . It i s the j o b o f scientists a n d s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s a l i k e to m a k e sense o f c h a n g e . T h e o r i z i n g i n v o l v e s , h o w e v e r , t w o r e l a t e d i m p u l s e s : (i) c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the s c i e n c e o r t e c h n o l o g y i n the c o n t e x t o f b r o a d e r s o c i a l a n d t e c h n i c a l events; a n d (ii) i d e n t i f y i n g the abstract p r i n c i p l e s that g u i d e its i m p l e m e n t a t i o n . C r i t i c s o f G I S h a v e f o c u s e d o n the f o r m e r at the e x p e n s e o f the latter. A d m i t t e d l y , G I S s c h o l a r s h a v e p a i d l i t t l e attention the i s s u e o f c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g t h e i r f i e l d i n a s o c i a l c o n t e x t a n d h a v e o n l y r e c e n t l y b e g u n to address its t h e o r e t i c a l bases. G I S i s a n e w s u b - d i s c i p l i n e , o n e that u n i q u e l y s t r a d d l e s t e c h n o l o g y a n d g e o g r a p h i c a l theory. Its i n t r o d u c t i o n has b e e n f r a u g h t w i t h t e c h n i c a l c h a l l e n g e s . A s a result, a s s e s s m e n t s o f its impact, a n d i n q u i r i e s i n t o its m e t a p h y s i c a l status, h a v e b e e n s l o w to appear. T h i s is t y p i c a l o f n e w 6  t e c h n o l o g i e s . In a p e r i o d o f r a p i d growth, t h o u g h t f u l a p p r a i s a l s are a l u x u r y ( O b e r m e y e r a n d P i n t o , 1994). H u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s s i m p l y beat s y s t e m s r e s e a r c h e r s to a p u b l i c a i r i n g o f these i s s u e s . T h e f a l l - o u t f r o m these s o c i a l c r i t i q u e s has, perhaps, d e a d e n e d the a p p e t i t e o f G I S e r s f o r s u s t a i n e d s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n . N o t o n l y h a v e s o c i a l theorists f a i l e d to engage constructively with GIS, but GIS scholars themselves have until recently steered a w a y f r o m t h e o r e t i c a l a s s e s s m e n t s o f the t e c h n o l o g y . T h i s r e s e a r c h attempts to f i l l that gap. In the p r o c e s s , i t g r a p p l e s s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h f o u r d i s t i n c t t o p i c s , e a c h o f w h i c h relates to the " w o r l d i n g " o f G I S : (i) the r e p e r c u s s i o n s o f a d e c a d e o f c r i t i q u e ; (ii) r e - c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f i s s u e s r a i s e d b y critics - i n the c o n t e x t o f the t e c h n o l o g y a n d its d e v e l o p e r s ; ( i i i ) the s o c i a l a n d d i g i t a l c o n s t r a i n t s o f c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g i e s ; a n d (iv) o n t o l o g i e s p r o d u c e d b y data m o d e l s i n G I S . T h e s e f o u r areas d e s c r i b e s p e c i f i c i s s u e s , a n d e a c h c o r r e s p o n d s to a c h a p t e r i n the thesis. C u m u l a t i v e l y , t h e y a c c e n t u a t e s e v e r a l o v e r - a r c h i n g t h e m e s that r u n t h r o u g h e a c h chapter: (i) the uses ( a n d abuses) o f S T S i n t h e o r i z i n g G I S ; (ii) the e n t w i n e m e n t o f the s o c i a l a n d the t e c h n i c a l ; ( i i i ) a n e t h n o g r a p h y o f the G I S " m a c h i n e " ; (iv) the f i s s u r e b e t w e e n the d e s c r i p t i v e a n d c o m p u t a t i o n a l r e a l m s ; a n d (v) the p h i l o s o p h y a n d m e t a - p h y s i c s o f G I S . W h i l e i n d i v i d u a l c h a p t e r s e a c h h a v e a separate c e n t r a l t o p i c , these m e t a - t h e m e s are c o n s t a n t s t h r o u g h o u t . I n v e s t i g a t i o n o f these f i v e m e t a i s s u e s a n i m a t e s a n d u n i f i e s the w o r k as a w h o l e . (i) The  uses and  abuses of STS  in theorizing  GIS  A t the c o r e o f this t h e s i s is the q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r there i s a w a y to use s o c i a l t h e o r y p r o d u c t i v e l y w i t h r e f e r e n c e to G I S and, b y e x t e n s i o n , to a n y t e c h n o l o g y . A d e c a d e o f c r i t i q u e has g o n e a l o n g w a y t o w a r d c o n v i n c i n g m a n y G I S r e s e a r c h e r s o t h e r w i s e . 7  I r o n i c a l l y , e a r l y c r i t i q u e s f a i l e d t o e n g a g e s i g n i f i c a n t l y w i t h a b u r g e o n i n g literature o n the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s c i e n c e . Instead, t h e y f o c u s e d o n e p i s t e m o l o g y , e t h i c s a n d f u n d i n g s o u r c e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h G I S - g e o g r a p h y ' s o w n b r a n d o f s c i e n c e studies. C r i t i q u e s o f G I S h a v e , nevertheless, b e e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h S T S , a n d l a r g e r p u b l i c debates o v e r the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y . F o r G I S researchers, as w e l l as p h y s i c a l geographers, the c o n t r o v e r s y o v e r the r o l e o f s c i e n c e is seen, at best, as " m a k i n g the i m p l i c i t e x p l i c i t " ( G o o d c h i l d c i t e d b y W a r r e n , 1998, p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w ) and, at w o r s e , " a s a threat to w e s t e r n c u l t u r e " ( G r o s s a n d L e v i t t , 1994). T h e a s s o c i a t i o n o f c r i t i q u e s o f G I S w i t h i n g e o g r a p h y w i t h S T S is unfortunate. T h e h o s t i l i t y o f i n i t i a l c r i t i q u e s b e l i e s the s i g n i f i c a n t i n s i g h t s that s o m e S T S s c h o l a r s h a v e m a d e w i t h r e g a r d to the i n n e r w o r k i n g s o f b o t h s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y . T h e y h a v e , i n m a n y i n s t a n c e s , p r o v i d e d e v i d e n c e o f the i m b r i c a t i o n o f the s o c i a l w i t h the s c i e n t i f i c , a n d o f the t e c h n i c a l w i t h the s c i e n t i f i c ( P i c k e r i n g , 1 9 9 5 ; L a t o u r , 1 9 8 7 ; 1 9 8 8 ; R o u s e , 1996; Porter, 1995). E v e n s k e p t i c s n o w a c k n o w l e d g e that s o m e s c i e n c e i s better f u n d e d b e c a u s e o f p o l i t i c a l p r i o r i t i z a t i o n , a n d that w o m e n ' s health, f o r instance, h a s b e e n u n d e r s t u d i e d i n c l i n i c a l trials. S T S d i d a great d e a l t o d i s p e l the m y t h o f a n n e u t r a l s c i e n c e r e v e a l e d i n c r e m e n t a l l y b y s a g e a n d b e n i g n g e n t l e m e n ( S h a p i n , 1996). I n s o m e instances, h o w e v e r , S T S w a s o v e r t l y c r i t i c a l o f the w o r k a n d m o t i v a t i o n s o f scientists a n d t e c h n o l o g i s t s . T h e r e s u l t w a s that a n u m b e r o f scientists e c h o p h y s i c i s t R i c h a r d F e y n m a n ' s j u d g e m e n t that: " p h i l o s o p h y o f s c i e n c e is about as u s e f u l t o scientists as o r n i t h o l o g y is to b i r d s " ( F e y n m a n , c i t e d b y K i t c h e r , 1998, 32). T h e r e are m a n y p e o p l e w h o b e l i e v e that the entire f i e l d o f S c i e n c e S t u d i e s h a s g o n e astray ( K o e r t e g e , 1998; G r o s s a n d L e v i t t , 1994; H a a c k , 1996). P h i l i p K i t c h e r ( 1 9 9 8 ) h a s 8  j o i n e d a n u m b e r o f c r i t i c s o f S T S i n a r g u i n g that staple i d e a s o f S T S are p r a g m a t i c a l l y u n t e n a b l e a n d m a k e n o i n t u i t i v e sense. H e c i t e s the e x a m p l e o f D a v i d B l o o r ' s p r o p o s i t i o n , f r o m the 1970s, that r e s e a r c h e r s i n S T S s h o u l d treat true a n d f a l s e b e l i e f s s y m m e t r i c a l l y , g i v i n g b o t h e q u a l merit. B a s e d o n K i t c h e r ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f p r i n c i p l e o f s y m m e t r y , the p o s i t i v e j u d g e m e n t o f a r e a d e r o f this text w h o is s t e e p e d i n G I S w o u l d b e treated w i t h the s a m e r e g a r d as a n e g a t i v e j u d g e m e n t f r o m a l a y reader. O r at least, b o t h c l a i m s w o u l d m e r i t i n v e s t i g a t i o n . B u t w h a t B l o o r ( 1 9 7 6 ) a r g u e d is that i f y o u d e c l a r e a 1  f a l s e b e l i e f w r o n g f o r s o c i a l reasons then, b y the s a m e token, a true b e l i e f s h o u l d b e a t t r i b u t e d to the s o c i a l . T h i s is o n e i n s t a n c e o f the m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s that h a v e p r o l i f e r a t e d b e t w e e n S T S a n d s e l f - d e c l a r e d d e f e n d e r s o f s c i e n c e . A s a result, a n u m b e r o f scientists h a v e i n t e r p r e t e d S T S c l a i m s as an attempt to u n d e r m i n e the v a l u e o f c u m u l a t i v e s c i e n t i f i c e x p e r t i s e ( G r o s s a n d L e v i t t , 1994; H u t h , 1998; S u l l i v a n , 1998). T h e v a l u e o f S T S i t s e l f has b e e n d i s c o u n t e d b y the v e r y p o p u l a t i o n that i t m i g h t h a v e h a d a n i m p a c t o n - p r a c t i c i n g scientists. T h i s i s not to i m p l y that the c h a l l e n g e s o f f e r e d to scientists b y S T S r e s e a r c h e r s aren't v a l u a b l e o r e v e n n e c e s s a r y i n t e r v e n t i o n s . Rather, t h e i r l o g i c a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n h a v e h a d l i t t l e r e s o n a n c e a m o n g scientists. T h o u g h p a l a t a b i l i t y i s n ' t a l w a y s a l e g i t i m a t e g o a l i n c r i t i q u e , i t d o e s i n c r e a s e s c h a n c e s o f r e c e p t i v i t y . T h e o b j e c t i v e i s k e e p the c o n v e r s a t i o n g o i n g , w h i l e c h a l l e n g i n g t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d a s s u m p t i o n s . C r i t i q u e that a c k n o w l e d g e s the  ' Bloor suggests an approach to studying science that is based on four tenets: (i) attention to causal factors that lead to scientific beliefs: (ii) impartial investigation of both true and false claims; (iii) symmetrical treatment of both true and false scientific claims; and (iv) reflexivity in studies of science. These tenets are identified as the basis of the "strong programme" for sociological studies of science (Bloor, 1976). 9  a i m s a n d c o n v e n t i o n s o f a d i s c i p l i n e m a y u l t i m a t e l y b e m o r e e f f e c t i v e t h a n o n e that b e g i n s b y t e a r i n g d o w n c h e r i s h e d a s s u m p t i o n s . I n g e o g r a p h y , s u c h d e l i c a c y is e v e n m o r e i m p o r t a n t as the c r i t i q u e is i n t e r n a l a n d e m b e d d e d i n a h o s t o f e x t a n t d i s c i p l i n a r y p o l i t i c s . A n u m b e r o f G I S s c h o l a r s h a v e m a d e the p o i n t that c r i t i q u e s f r o m h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s are s o s t e e p e d i n a s o c i o - t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c o u r s e that t h e y are i m p e n e t r a b l e to the u n i n i t i a t e d ( O p e n s h a w , 1991; C l a r k e , 1998; P h o e n i x , 1998; p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s ) . T h e q u e s t i o n e m e r g e s : f o r w h o m are c r i t i q u e s o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y i n t e n d e d ? C r i t i q u e s o f G I S have been delivered largely through a vocabulary culled from philosophy a n d sociology. T h i s s u g g e s t s that s o m e efforts to e x a m i n e G I S t e c h n o l o g y are n o t i n t e n d e d f o r w o r k i n g r e s e a r c h e r s , b u t the a u d i e n c e o f h u m a n g e o g r a p h y o r s o c i o l o g y j o u r n a l s w h e r e t h e y appear. A s D a v i d D e m e r i t t q u i p p e d " [i]f h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s are r e a l l y s e r i o u s a b o u t c h a n g i n g the w a y that s c i e n c e is s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d , t h e n t h e y m u s t f i n d s o m e w a y t o a d d r e s s p r a c t i c i n g s c i e n t i s t s " (1996). T h e q u e s t i s t o f i n d a constructive w a y to e n g a g e w i t h t e c h n o l o g y . T o b e c o n s t r u c t i v e , o n e g e n u i n e l y n e e d s to c a r e a b o u t the o b j e c t o f i n q u i r y . G I S j o u r n a l s are r e p l e t e w i t h c r i t i q u e b u t their a i m is to b u i l d a better G I S t e c h n o l o g y , a g o a l s h a r e d b y m o s t o f t h e i r readers. O n e c o u l d a r g u e that critics f r o m h u m a n g e o g r a p h y m a y a l s o w a n t to c o n s t r u c t a n i m p r o v e d G I S b u t w h a t c o u n t s as i m p r o v e m e n t v a r i e s d e p e n d i n g o n p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s r e s e a r c h takes as its starting p o i n t a f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h t e c h n o l o g y a n d d i g i t a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , b u t there are o t h e r i n g r e d i e n t s i n the r e c i p e f o r c o n s t r u c t i v e e n g a g e m e n t . K i t c h e r i d e n t i f i e s t w o clusters o f n o r m a l i z i n g a s s u m p t i o n s i n s c i e n c e a n d s c i e n c e s t u d i e s that, i f r e c o n c i l e d , m i g h t l e a d to a a g r e e a b l e a n d p r o d u c t i v e S T S (1993; 1998). T h e first is a realist-rationalist set o f a s s u m p t i o n s a n d the s e c o n d is s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l . T o g e t h e r t h e y 10  c o n s t r u c t a b r i d g e b e t w e e n realist scientists a n d s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i v i s t critics. T h e realistr a t i o n a l i s t c o n s t e l l a t i o n o f a s s u m p t i o n s c a n b e d i s t i l l e d i n t o f i v e tenets that I h a v e ( s l i g h t l y ) m o d i f i e d : (i) s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h i s p r o g r e s s i v e and, o v e r time, results i n i n c r e a s e d a b i l i t y to p r e d i c t ; (ii) the p r o g r e s s i v e nature o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y a l l o w s s o m e n o n - r e l a t i v i s t i c c l a i m s to b e m a d e about g e o g r a p h i c a l entities; ( i i i ) s u c h c l a i m s r e m a i n , h o w e v e r , s u b j e c t to later r e v i s i o n as t e c h n o - s c i e n t i f i c u n d e r s t a n d i n g i n c r e a s e s ; (iv) e m p i r i c a l e v i d e n c e i s the b a s i s o f p r e m i s e s ; a n d (v) t h r o u g h time, w e l e a r n m o r e about the f i n d i n g s o f s c i e n c e but also about its social construction. A c c e p t a n c e o f this realist-rationalist set o f a s s u m p t i o n s doesn't i m p l y that one's v i e w s are u n a f f e c t e d b y h i s o r h e r p o s i t i o n , o n l y that t h e i r p r e c i s e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l c o n t i n u e to b e e l u c i d a t e d t h r o u g h s u b s e q u e n t attempts at f a l s i f i c a t i o n o f present a s s u m p t i o n s . T h e s e s u p p o s i t i o n s i m p l y a s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l d i m e n s i o n to t e c h n o l o g y a n d s c i e n c e . T h e y do, h o w e v e r , assert greater c o n f i d e n c e i n s c i e n t i f i c e m p i r i c i s m a n d p r e d i c a t i o n than m o s t S T S r e s e a r c h allows. T h e s o c i a l c o m p o n e n t i s e x p o u n d e d b y the f o u r s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s that K i t c h e r asks us to r e c o g n i z e : (i) t e c h n o l o g y a n d s c i e n c e are d e v e l o p e d i n p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l c o n t e x t s b y i n d i v i d u a l s subject to c o g n i t i v e c o n s t r a i n t s ; (ii) e v e r y s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y w o r k e r i s i n f l u e n c e d b y p r e c o n c e p t i o n a n d bias; ( i i i ) the i n f r a s t r u c t u r e that s u p p o r t s s c i e n c e i n f l u e n c e s b o t h r e s e a r c h a n d d e v e l o p m e n t as w e l l as t h e i r r e c e p t i o n ; a n d ( i v ) the k i n d s o f p r o b l e m s a d d r e s s e d b y s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y are p r o d u c t s o f p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s that i n f l u e n c e q u e s t i o n s and, at times, t h e i r a n s w e r s . B y b a l a n c i n g a s s u m p t i o n s f r o m b o t h s c i e n c e a n d s c i e n c e studies, K i t c h e r a d v o c a t e s an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l n e g o t i a t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o realms. E p i s t e m o l o g i c a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s  11  b e s t a u g m e n t e d b y a d e p t h o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g a b o u t the s c i e n c e o r t e c h n o l o g y that i s b e i n g i n v e s t i g a t e d . T h r o u g h o u t t h i s r e s e a r c h , I attempt to f o c u s o n s t u d y areas r e l e v a n t to the t e c h n o l o g y . A t the s a m e time, I address the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l a n d o n t o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m s h i g h l i g h t e d b y critics. I c o n s i d e r c u l t u r a l p a r a m e t e r s o f G I S d e v e l o p m e n t w h i l e r e t r e a t i n g f r o m the r e l a t i v i s m a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s o m e s c i e n c e studies. T h i s a p p r o a c h i s a r e t u r n to the a n t e c e d e n t s o f S T S w h i c h was i n i t i a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h "the s o c i a l , e c o n o m i c a n d p o l i t i c a l r o l e s o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y " ( S o k a l , 1998, 18). (ii) the entwinement of the social and the technical in GIS  A c c e p t a n c e o f the rationalist-realist c l u s t e r g i v e s o n e greater l i c e n s e to e x p l o r e the i n t e r d i g i t i z a t i o n o f the s o c i a l a n d the t e c h n i c a l . It anticipates the s o c i a l i n f l u e n c e s i n the d e v e l o p m e n t o f G I S w h i l e r e c o g n i z i n g its r e l e v a n c e to e m p i r i c a l m o d e l l i n g . T h e s o c i a l a n d d i g i t a l are n e g o t i a t e d i n a n y t e c h n o l o g y , b u t G I S is a q u i n t e s s e n t i a l e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e i r c o n f l u e n c e . T h e v e h i c l e f o r this i n t e r c o n n e c t e d n e s s is the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s m u p o n w h i c h the t e c h n o l o g y is based. L o n g b e f o r e G I S was o f f i c i a l l y c h r i s t e n e d , the t e c h n o l o g y w a s a p r a c t i c a l m e a n s o f u s i n g c o m p u t e r s to c o n d u c t a n a l y s e s that w e r e p a i n s t a k i n g to d o m a n u a l l y ( R h i n d , 1988). C o m p u t e r p r o c e s s i n g a l l o w e d r e s e a r c h e r s to q u i c k l y c a l c u l a t e the n u m b e r a n d l o c a t i o n o f c h u r c h e s w i t h g r a v e y a r d s attached, o r the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f a c e r t a i n p l a n t s p e c i e s . F r o m there, i t was short w o r k to start p r i n t i n g a n X , w i t h a l i n e printer, to m a r k the spots that these p h e n o m e n a w e r e f o u n d . L a t e r , m e a n s w e r e d e v i s e d t o extract, t h r o u g h c o m p u t e r p r o c e s s i n g , patterns o f spatial p h e n o m e n a , a n d to p r e d i c t further instances. T h e s e b e g i n n i n g s w e r e b a s e d o n a v e r y p r a g m a t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p to c o m p u t i n g . C r i t e r i a f o r s u c c e s s w e r e b a s e d o n b e n d i n g the c o m p u t a t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e s to a c c o m m o d a t e s p a t i a l  12  q u e s t i o n s ( i n i t i a l l y a c c o m p l i s h e d b y the use o f spatial m a t r i c e s ) a n d u s i n g l i n e p r i n t e r s to r e p r e s e n t p o s i t i o n rather t h a n text. T h e s e a d a p t a t i o n s i n i t i a t e d a l o n g h i s t o r y o f p r a g m a t i s m that p e r m e a t e s p r a c t i c e s i n G I S , f r o m d a t a c o l l e c t i o n a n d d i s s e m i n a t i o n to s p a t i a l a n a l y s i s to output. E a c h o f these steps i n v o l v e s m a n i p u l a t i n g s o c i a l a n d t e c h n i c a l p a r a m e t e r s u n t i l the r e q u i r e d p r o d u c t is p r o d u c e d . E x p r e s s e d a l g o r i t h m i c a l l y , the r e c i p e w o u l d read: c h a n g e a l l p a r a m e t e r s u n t i l success. T h i s d y n a m i c p r o c e s s e m b o d i e s w h a t A n d r e w P i c k e r i n g has c a l l e d the " m a n g l e o f p r a c t i c e " i n w h i c h s c i e n c e a n d the m e c h a n i s m s u s e d to m e a s u r e o r c o n f i r m i t are m a n i p u l a t e d i n t a n d e m (1995). T h i s a c k n o w l e d g m e n t i n n o w a y detracts f r o m the v a l u e o f G I S , b u t p o s i t i o n s i t as a late twentieth century science. A n u m b e r o f S T S w r i t e r s h a v e o f f e r e d the i n s i g h t that the s o c i a l a n d s c i e n t i f i c i n f o r m e a c h o t h e r ( R o u s e , 1996; L a t o u r , 1988; 1987; 1993; Porter, 1995; L y n c h a n d W o o l g a r , 1990). M y q u e s t i o n i s h o w to m a k e S T S r e l e v a n t to r e s e a r c h e r s i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e d i s c i p l i n e s ; to r e n d e r its i n s i g h t s as a c o n s t r u c t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n . W i t h r e s p e c t to G I S , t h i s i n v o l v e s t h e o r i z i n g the t e c h n o l o g y as a m e a n s o f i m p r o v i n g its f u n c t i o n a l i t y a n d r e l e v a n c e . T o this end, I h a v e r e c o n c e p t u a l i z e d c u r r e n t t e c h n o l o g i c a l d i l e m m a s , s u c h as generalization (chapter four) and digital representation of space (chapter five). T h r o u g h an a s s e s s m e n t o f p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h i n e a c h o f these areas, i t i s p o s s i b l e to i d e n t i f y p o i n t s at w h i c h the s o c i a l is i n j e c t e d i n t o the t e c h n o l o g y , o f t e n r e d i r e c t i n g it as a result. I d e n t i f y i n g these j u n c t u r e s p r o v i d e s a r o a d m a p w i t h w h i c h to re-engineer, o r better e n g i n e e r , the t e c h n o l o g y . It p r o v i d e s a p a r t i c u l a r l o c u s f o r the d e v e l o p m e n t and/or redirection o f GIS research.  13  A t the s a m e time, I illustrat w a y s i n w h i c h G I S s c h o l a r s s p e a k to the i s s u e s c o n s i d e r e d so c e n t r a l b y t h e i r critics. U s i n g m a t e r i a l g l e a n e d f r o m t w e n t y - f i v e l e n g t h y p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s w i t h b o t h G I S s c h o l a r s a n d critics, I f o c u s o n the w a y s i n w h i c h G I S researchers address a n u m b e r o f s o c i o - t h e o r e t i c a l c o n c e r n s . T h i s strategy has the i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t o f e n c o u r a g i n g G I S s c h o l a r s to c o n t r i b u t e to an a n a l y s i s o f the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e i r o w n f i e l d , b y p a y i n g attention to areas o f p o s s i b l e i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d c h a n g e . I n t e r v i e w e e s e x p l a i n e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n r e s e a r c h d i r e c t i o n s i n g e n e r a l i z a t i o n a n d h i s t o r i c a l precedent, a n d b e t w e e n c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s o f s p a c e a n d a v a i l a b l e t e c h n o l o g y , a m o n g other things. B y p u r s u i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the s o c i a l a n d the d i g i t a l i n e m p i r i c a l terms, i t b e c o m e s c l e a r that researchers i n G I S are (i) w e l l - a w a r e o f the a s s o c i a t i o n s ; a n d (ii) i n t e r e s t e d i n the i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r p r a c t i c a l research. T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n creates a p r e c e d e n t b y t h e o r i z i n g G I S a n d i l l u s t r a t i n g u s e s o f s o c i a l d e - c o n s t r u c t i o n as a m e a n s o f i d e n t i f y i n g new r e s e a r c h d i r e c t i o n s . A f t e r a l l , i f a n a l g o r i t h m i c p r o b l e m is e s s e n t i a l l y s o c i a l , then its e x p o s i t i o n as s u c h i s the first step toward a solution. ( i i i ) a n e t h n o g r a p h y o f t h e GIS " m a c h i n e " In o r d e r to e l u c i d a t e a s s o c i a t i o n s b e t w e e n s o c i a l a n d t e c h n i c a l c o m p o n e n t s o f a n y t e c h n o l o g y , y o u h a v e to get to k n o w the " m a c h i n e . " F a m i l i a r i z a t i o n w i t h the m a c h i n e m e a n s b e f r i e n d i n g i t , e s p e c i a l l y i f the m o t i v a t i o n b e h i n d the f r i e n d s h i p is "the l o v i n g c a r e " r e f e r r e d to b y D o n n a H a r a w a y i n her behest to p a r t i c i p a n t s i n S c i e n c e Studies. W i t h o u t s u c h a p r e d i s p o s i t i o n , the m o t i v a t i o n f o r a c o n s t r u c t i v e g e n e a l o g y o f the t e c h n o l o g y is absent. T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s a f r i e n d l y a t t e m p t to p r y o f f the l i d f r o m G I S a n d peer i n t o the contents. T h i s strategy m i g h t be e a s y to i m p l e m e n t w h e n s t u d y i n g a  14  shortwave radio, but GIS consists o f a w i d e l y assorted collection o f practices and o f d i s p a r a t e h a r d w a r e a n d s o f t w a r e . A c o m p l e t e e t h n o g r a p h y is w a r r a n t e d f o r e a c h i t e r a t i o n o f e a c h o f the c o m p o n e n t s o f G I S . C l e a r l y this i s o u t s i d e the s c o p e o f the c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h . E t h n o g r a p h y , i n this c o n t e x t , i s l i m i t e d to i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f p r a c t i c e s that g o v e r n p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s o f G I S o n w h i c h I h a v e c h o s e n to f o c u s . P r a c t i c e s are w o v e n t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h c o d e as m u c h as b y c o n v e n t i o n , o r h a r d w a r e c o n f i g u r a t i o n s i n G I S . W h i l e o u t s i d e r s h a v e f o c u s e d o n the c o n v e n t i o n s that s u p p o r t G I S , the c o d e i t s e l f has b e e n u n d e r t h e o r i z e d . Y e t c o d e is the d e f i n i n g m a r k o f p o s t m o d e r n t e c h n o l o g i e s . It is a p a s t i c h e o f p a s t a n d p r e s e n t m o d u l e s . T r a c e s o f p r o g r a m m i n g l i n g e r i n a p p l i c a t i o n s a n d are s e w n i n t o s u b s e q u e n t releases. C o d e m a y b e c o n c e p t u a l i z e d i n a l i n e a r f a s h i o n , at the f l o w c h a r t stage, b u t it is s e l d o m , if ever, w r i t t e n i n a n o r d e r l y f a s h i o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , c o d e is the i n v i s i b l e b a c k b o n e o f a l l t h i n g s d i g i t a l . R u m o u r has it that w h e n Bill G a t e s i s c o n s i d e r i n g a b u y - o u t o f a start-up, h e a s k s to see the c o d e . T h e s u c c e s s o f M i c r o s o f t m a y b e r e l a t e d to h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f the i m p o r t a n c e o f c o d e . If y o u don't see the c o d e , its structures are m o r e d i f f i c u l t to d i s c e r n . It is l i k e b e i n g deaf, y o u c a n see that s o m e t h i n g is h a p p e n i n g b u t y o u can't h e a r i t . T h i s r e s e a r c h r e c o g n i z e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f c o d e . It is attune to the t r i l l i o n s o f l i n e s o f c o d e that c o n s t r u c t G I S , f r o m entire a p p l i c a t i o n s to t i n y strings c u t o u t f o r i l l u s t r a t i o n i n a c a d e m i c j o u r n a l s . W i t h o u t the v i t a l i t y o f c o d e , G I S w o u l d b e a n e m p t y h u l k o f h a r d w a r e .  2  Code refers to the millions of lines of progamming that comprise every application. A l l programming  results in code and all software is built from code. An algorithm is an abstract reductionist approach to solving a computational problem. Code is the much messier implementation.  15  C o d e i s a glue, a f f i x i n g data to a n a l y s i s a n d a n a l y s i s t o c o m p o n e n t s , b u t it i s a l s o a m o r a s s . T h e f o r m a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s e s that p r e c e d e c o d e are m i s l e a d i n g . F o r m a l i z a t i o n g i v e s the i l l u s i o n that a n o r d e r l y u n i v e r s e is p o s s i b l e , b u t c o d e betrays this a p p e a r a n c e . C o d e is " s o m e m i x o f m a t h e m a t i c s , s c u l p t i n g , s c r u p u l o u s a c c o u n t i n g a n d w i l y , i n g e n i o u s p l u m b i n g " ( U l l m a n , 1999). A s a n y first year c o m p u t e r s c i e n c e student w i l l testify, p r o g r a m m i n g i s a n a r c h i t e c t u r e o f w o r k - a r o u n d s ; it r e d u c e s the p r o g r a m m e r to i m p r o v i s a t i o n . T h e first reality o f p r o g r a m m i n g is that s o m e c o n c e p t s are d i f f i c u l t - i f n o t i m p o s s i b l e - to p r o g r a m . T h o s e p r o b l e m s are r e f e r r e d to as " N P - c o m p l e t e . " C o m p u t e r scientists a l s o r e f e r to this d i s j u n c t u r e as " i m p e d a n c e m i s m a t c h " ( W o r b o y s , 1995). I m p e d a n c e m i s m a t c h s i g n a l s h o w d i f f e r e n t the w o r l d s , s i g n i f i e d b y text, are f r o m c o d e (see b e l o w ) . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the m a j o r i t y o f i d e a s a n d c o n c e p t s can b e c o d e d , j u s t as m a n y i d e a s c a n b e d e s c r i b e d b y text. T h e p r a g m a t i s m that i n f o r m s p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g at the p r o g r a m m i n g l e v e l r e m i n d s u s that G I S , as the m a c h i n e , is a p a s t i c h e o f c o d i n g s o l u t i o n s . C o d e i s a t w o - w a y street. Its c o n s t r u c t i o n i s i n f l u e n c e d b y a u t h o r s / p r o g r a m m e r s b u t authors i n g e s t little strings o f c o d e . C y b o r g s are b o r n e v e r y m i n u t e . T h e r e i s a r e c u r s i v e relationship between working in a computational environment a n d thinking digitally. G e n e r a l i z a t i o n theory, f o r e x a m p l e , w a s s t y m i e d b y a h i s t o r y o f c a r t o g r a p h i c p r a c t i c e that p r i v i l e g e d c a r t o g r a p h i c representation. R e c e n t l y , h o w e v e r , r e s e a r c h f o c u s h a s s h i f t e d t o the data m o d e l l e v e l w h e r e e v e r y t h i n g is d i g i t a l a n d g r a p h i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s o p t i o n a l . T h e r e s u l t s o f a n a l y s e s are n o t necessarily d i s p l a y e d , t h o u g h a g r a p h i c a l p r o d u c t is u s u a l l y d e s i r a b l e . D a t a m o d e l s are, l i k e w i s e , l i m i t e d b y the p a r a m e t e r s o f the m a c h i n e  3  Generalization is the elimination of detail as scale decreases.  16  a n d c o d e , a n d t h e y are the b a s i s f o r g r a p h i c a l d i s p l a y s . T h e e t h n o g r a p h i c d i m e n s i o n o f this r e s e a r c h n e c e s s a r i l y refers b o t h to the m a c h i n e , the c o d e a n d the c y b o r g s that produce them. I n t e r v i e w s w i t h G I S r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e e n r i c h e d e t h n o g r a p h i c i n s i g h t i n t o b o t h entities, a n d m y o w n r e l a t i o n s h i p to c o m p u t e r s a n d G I S a p p l i c a t i o n s p e r m i t s i n s i g h t i n t o p a r a m e t e r s o f the t e c h n o l o g y . M y m e t h o d o l o g y c o n s i s t s o f t w o a p p r o a c h e s : i n t e r v i e w s w i t h G I S s c h o l a r s a n d their critics; a n d c a r e f u l s t u d y o f G I S f r o m a n a c a d e m i c a n d applied perspective. These two research methodologies manifest themselves i n different s e c t i o n s o f t h e dissertation. In the c h a p t e r s t w o a n d three, i n t e r v i e w s w i t h d e v e l o p e r s a l l o w m e to d e s c r i b e a n d a n a l y z e s o c i o l o g i e s o f G I S research. S u b s e q u e n t c h a p t e r s d r a w o n both interviews and algorithmic research into generalization and data models. (iv) the infological and datalogical realms  S e p a r a t i n g a l g o r i t h m s a n d c o d e f r o m the rest o f G I S i s a false d i v i d e ; a g r e a t e r g u l f e x i s t s b e t w e e n s y s t e m s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . T h e r e is a g a p o f translatability b e t w e e n text a n d g r a p h i c s (i.e. f a m i l i a r ) s y s t e m s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , b a s e d o n the a l p h a b e t a n d g r a p h i c s y m b o l s , o n o n e h a n d , a n d the w o r l d o f c o d e , o n the other. W e e x p e c t that d i r e c t t r a n s l a t i o n is p o s s i b l e b e t w e e n the t w o b u t this i s a false a s s u m p t i o n . C o m p u t a t i o n i n t r o d u c e s n e w p a r a m e t e r s , p a r a m e t e r s that w e are u n a c c u s t o m e d to t h i n k i n g a b o u t w i t h r e f e r e n c e to g e o g r a p h i c theory. A l l o f a s u d d e n t w o s y s t e m s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n n e e d to b e n e g o t i a t e d . T h e r e is t h e f a m i l i a r s e m a n t i c s y s t e m w h i c h is e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h text, a n d d i a g r a m s a n d t h e n t h e r e is the d i g i t a l m o d e l i n w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n is s t o r e d a n d a c c e s s e d i n s i d e the c o m p u t e r .  M o v i n g b e t w e e n these t w o s y s t e m s is a f o r m i d a b l e task. U s e o f G I S d e m a n d e d that g e o g r a p h e r s l e a r n h o w to e x p r e s s c o n c e p t s a n d p r o c e s s e s i n a n e w s c h e m e , i n F o r t r a n i n i t i a l l y . M a r t i n F e u c h t w a n g e r a n d T o m P o i k e r ( 1 9 8 7 ) h a v e d i f f e r e n t i a t e d b e t w e e n these t w o r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l systems, r e f e r r i n g to t r a d i t i o n a l s e m a n t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as i n f o l o g i c a l a n d d i g i t a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as d a t a l o g i c a l . T r a d i t i o n a l text-based s y s t e m s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d e x p l a n a t i o n c o n s t i t u t e i n f o l o g i c a l t h i n k i n g . T h e shift to d i g i t a l e n c o d i n g o r datalogical r e p r e s e n t a t i o n c a n present a s t u m b l i n g b l o c k a n d i n t r o d u c e s t h e n e c e s s i t y o f translation. T h e t e r m s suggest the d i s t a n c e b e t w e e n these t w o r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l s c h e m e s , a d i s t a n c e that r e q u i r e s p e r p e t u a l n e g o t i a t i o n ( F e u c h t w a n g e r & P o i k e r , 1987). In G I S , i n f o l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n c l u d e s i n f o r m a t i o n s u c h as the d i m e n s i o n a l i t y o f o b j e c t s (are t h e y 0, 1, 2 o r 3 d i m e n s i o n s ? ) ; t h e i r l e v e l o f c o n t i n u i t y (are t h e y c o n t i n u o u s o r d i s c r e t i z e d ? ) ; t o p o l o g y (are there s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , e s p e c i a l l y o f a d j a c e n c y a n d c o n n e c t i v i t y ? ) ; t a x o n o m y ( w h a t is its p l a c e i n a h i e r a r c h y o f features?); a n d g e o m e t r i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n (is the data m o d e l v e c t o r o r raster) ( F e ^ h t w a n g e r & P o i k e r , 1987; L o d w i c k a n d F e c h t w a n g e r , 1985). T h o u g h m a n y o f the ideas e x p r e s s e d i n i n f o l o g i c a l t e r m s are c o m p l e x , f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h this m e t h o d o f e x p r e s s i o n renders t h e m transparent; they m a k e a b s o l u t e sense. I n f o l o g i c a l t h i n k i n g i s not, h o w e v e r , " n a t u r a l " but a m e t h o d o f a r t i c u l a t i o n to w h i c h w e h a v e g r o w n a c c u s t o m e d . T r a n s l a t i o n i n t o the s e e m i n g l y u n w i e l d y r e a l m o f the d a t a l o g i c a l tends to r e i n f o r c e a sense that the d i g i t a l r e a l m i s f a r t h e r r e m o v e d f r o m h u m a n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s than text. I w o u l d argue, h o w e v e r , that b o t h are c o n s t r u c t e d c o m m u n i c a t i o n s w i t h d i f f e r e n t areas o f f l e x i b i l i t y a n d r i g i d i t y .  H u m a n s are s i m p l y m o r e e x p e r i e n c e d i n m a n i p u l a t i n g p h e n o m e n a l structures t h a n d a t a structures. D a t a l o g i c a l m o d e l l i n g is the w a y that ideas are t r a n s l a t e d i n t o structures w i t h w h i c h the c o m p u t e r c a n w o r k . F o r instance, G I S c o n c e p t u a l i z e s space as c o m p r i s i n g e i t h e r f i e l d s o r objects, b u t as users w e i m p l e m e n t data m o d e l s ( o f s p a c e ) u s i n g r e l a t i o n a l , n e t w o r k , o b j e c t a n d g r a p h structures. D a t a structures, i n turn, r e l y u p o n l o w e r l e v e l c o m p u t i n g structures i n c l u d i n g arrays, lists, stacks a n d q u e u e s . T h e s e c o m p r i s e the b a s i c a r c h i t e c t u r e o f c o m p u t e r s , the p l a c e s w h e r e b i n a r y data i s stored. T r a v e r s i n g this a r c h i t e c t u r e r e q u i r e s c o n v e r s i n g i n c o d e , but a l s o u n d e r s t a n d i n g the n a v i g a t i o n a l space o f data as i t is m o v e d a n d m a n i p u l a t e d i n the i n n e r reaches o f the m a c h i n e . T h e r e is a p r e j u d i c e i n h u m a n g e o g r a p h y t o w a r d i n f o l o g i c a l systems. T h e y are f a m i l i a r a n d seem transparent. B u t u l t i m a t e l y s y s t e m s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n can't b e r a n k e d as better o r w o r s e . A s D o n n a H a r a w a y ( 1 9 9 1 ) r e m i n d s us - b i n a r i e s c a n b e g o o d to t h i n k with. T h a t i s a n understatement; p o w e r f u l a n a l y i s is a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the b i n a r y d a t a l o g i c a l l e v e l . F u r t h e r m o r e , there is a leap i n f u n c t i o n a l i t y f r o m the b i n a r y i n f o l o g i c a l to the b i n a r y d a t a l o g i c a l , w h e r e l s a n d Os are p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a c o m p l e x , b e a u t i f u l c h o r e o g r a p h y that c o n s t r u c t s m e a n i n g s . C o m p u t i n g a l l o w s o n e to p r o c e s s data sets o f g i g a n t i c p r o p o r t i o n a n d t h e r e b y b e g i n to a s k q u e s t i o n s about s p a t i a l patterns that w e r e h i t h e r t o i m p o s s i b l e to address. R e c o g n i t i o n o f the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n i n f o l o g i c a l a n d d a t a l o g i c a l r e a l m s l e a d s to the q u e s t i o n : c a n that w h i c h i s d e s c r i b e d t h r o u g h text o r g r a p h i c s a l s o b e d e s c r i b e d u s i n g d i g i t a l s y s t e m s ? T h e a n s w e r d e p e n d s p a r t l y o n the l e v e l o f f i d e l i t y e x p e c t e d b y the d e s c r i p t i o n , b u t the i s s u e o f w h e t h e r a l l c o n c e p t s c a n b e e m b o d i e d i n the d i g i t a l r e a l m h a s 19  b e e n h o t l y contested. M i c h a e l G o o d c h i l d a n s w e r s this q u e s t i o n a f f i r m a t i v e l y ( 1 9 9 8 , p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w ) . O t h e r s d i f f e r (Penrose, 1990). A m o r e p r e s s i n g i s s u e r s the q u e s t i o n o f w h a t h a p p e n s t o s p a t i a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n f r o m the i n f o l o g i c a l t o datalogical. This issue involves both epistemological and ontological dimensions of GIS. (v) philosophy and meta-physics in the discussion of GIS  O f the f i v e m e t a - t h e m e s u p o n w h i c h this d i s s e r t a t i o n is f r a m e d , the p h i l o s o p h y a n d the m e t a p h y s i c s o f G I S is m o s t stressed b y h u m a n geographers. E p i s t e m o l o g i e s o f G I S w e r e the f o c u s o f e a r l y c r i t i q u e s , w i t h m a n y h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s i d e n t i f y i n g p o s i t i v i s m as t h e s o u r c e o f its i l l s ( T a y l o r , 1990; L a k e , 1993). U n b e k n o w n s t to t h e m , the G I S literature h a s t a k e n its o w n p h i l o s o p h i c a l t u r n o v e r the past d e c a d e . C o n c e r n about the o n t o l o g i c a l r e n d e r i n g o f g e o g r a p h i c a l entities p r o v i d e d b y data m o d e l s h a s l e d to a m e t a p h y s i c a l a w a k e n i n g i n a s m a l l s e c t o r o f the G I S r e s e a r c h c o m m u n i t y ( C o u c l e l i s , 1992; M a r k , 1993; F r a n k a n d R a u b a l , 1998). T h e s e d i s c u s s i o n s f o c u s o n c o g n i t i v e s c i e n c e a n d its assumptions o f "experiential realism." Philosophical forays have been conducted inside a n d o u t s i d e o f G I S , w i t h a n e m p h a s i s o n e p i s t e m o l o g y b y critics a n d o n o n t o l o g i e s b y the GIS research community. A n e x a m i n a t i o n o f b o t h a p p r o a c h e s is c o n t a i n e d h e r e i n (chapters t w o a n d f i v e ) , but a b r o a d e r o b j e c t i v e o f this r e s e a r c h is to illustrate that i d e n t i f y i n g G I S as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a p a r t i c u l a r e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l a p p r o a c h h a s h a d v e r y l i t t l e e f f e c t o n the t e c h n o l o g y , o r its i m p l e m e n t a t i o n . I n fact, these p h i l o s o p h i c a l a r g u m e n t s p o i n t m o r e to i d e o l o g y a n d m e t h o d o l o g y . C r i t i c s h a v e b e e n i r k e d at a n i d e o l o g i c a l l e v e l b y the s e e m i n g l y t e c h n i c i s t a p p r o a c h o f G I S e r s t o g e o g r a p h y ( P i c k l e s , 1997, p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w ) . O n t o l o g i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h i n G I S h a v e m e a n w h i l e b e e n l i n k e d to c o g n i t i v e r e s e a r c h b a s e d o n the 20  t e s t i n g o f h u m a n subjects. In b o t h instances, e f f o r t s to p o s i t i v e l y i d e n t i f y G I S ' e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l l i n e a g e h a v e m a d e f o r i n t e r e s t i n g a n d p r o d u c t i v e d i s c u s s i o n but has h a d l i t t l e i m p a c t o n G I S a n d its p r a c t i c e s . I a r g u e t h r o u g h o u t that G I S i s not merely i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t , f o r that w o u l d i m p l y that i t e s c h e w s e x p l a n a t i o n , c a r i n g o n l y f o r p r e d i c t i o n ( D e u t s c h , 1997), but that its d e v e l o p m e n t is p r a g m a t i c . P r a g m a t i s m m a y  be  m o t i v a t e d b y r e a l i s m , but the m i x o f c y b o r g , c o d e a n d m e t a l that c o n s t i t u t e G I S f o r b i d s c l a i m to u n a d u l t e r a t e d e p i s t e m o l o g y o r s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d o n t o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f G I S as a p r a g m a t i c e n d e a v o u r serves a f u r t h e r f u n c t i o n . It a l l o w s us to m o v e o u t o f that u n h a p p y b i n a r y , a c h i e v e d b y c r i t i q u e s o f p o s i t i v i s m a s s o c i a t e d w i t h G I S . If G I S was s h o w n to b e positivist, i t was a s s u m e d that i t a u t o m a t i c a l l y h a r b o u r s severe l i m i t a t i o n s - b e c a u s e e v e r y o n e " k n o w s " that p o s i t i v i s m i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l y bankrupt. P r a g m a t i s m e m p h a s i z e s c r i t i q u e f r o m w i t h i n , rather than e x t e r n a l c r i t i q u e that r e f e r s to s o m e A r c h i m e d e a n standard. T h e b r o a d p r a g m a t i s m c l a i m e d b y G I S p r a c t i o n e r s r e p l a c e s o u t s i d e m e a s u r e s o f a d e q u a c y w i t h c r i t e r i a b a s e d o n s u c c e s s o r failure. T h i s c o l l o q u i a l v e r s i o n o f p r a g m a t i s m is, h o w e v e r , c o n s i s t e n t w i t h p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a r t i c u l a t e d v e r s i o n s o f p r a g m a t i s m ( R o r t y , 1982; S i s m o n d o , 1996). B o t h a l l o w e t h i c a l i s s u e s to b e r e f r a m e d . F o c u s i s s h i f t e d f r o m p r o b l e m s w i t h d e f i n i t e s o l u t i o n s to " p r o b l e m a t i c s i t u a t i o n s " w h i c h c a n b e r e s o l v e d t h r o u g h any n u m b e r o f c r e a t i v e strategies. P r a g m a t i s m thus i n t e r v e n e s to shift e m p h a s i s f r o m p h i l o s o p h i c a l p i g e o n - h o l i n g to s o l v i n g p r o b l e m s w i t h i n the c o n t e x t i n w h i c h t h e y o c c u r . It a l l o w s f o r c r i t i q u e to be i n t e r n a l (by l o s i n g the o u t s i d e s t a n d a r d o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l s a n c t i o n ) a n d p r a c t i c a l l y m o t i v a t e d . A t the s a m e time, p r a g m a t i s m c a n b e d i f f e r e n t i a t e d f r o m i n s t r u m e n t a l i s m b y its s u p p o r t f o r m o r a l r e f l e c t i o n ( G r e g o r y , 1 9 9 4 b ) .  21  T h e r e a l i s m that i n s p i r e s m a n y G I S s c h o l a r s is not j e o p a r d i z e d b y a d m i t t i n g to a p r a g m a t i c G I S . B u t c o n s e n t i n g to p r a g m a t i s m , i r o n i c a l l y , a l l o w s a t e n t a t i v e c o n c o r d between postmodernism a n d realism. Pragmatism provides an "unenforced  agreement"  a b o u t h o w to p r o c e e d as a n alternative to a b i d i n g b y a r i g i d s c i e n t i f i c m e t h o d ( R o r t y , 1982). A d m i s s i o n to p r a g m a t i s m is a w a y o f c r e a t i n g a n o v e r t u r e b e t w e e n c r i t i c s a n d s c h o l a r s o f G I S . T h i s is not to belittle p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n c e r n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h G I S . A s I argue, a n i n c i p i e n t m e t a - p h y s i c a l c o n s c i e n c e h a s h a d l i t t l e e f f e c t o n its p r a c t i c e s b u t p r a g m a t i s m m a y s e r v e as a n alternative a v e n u e f o r i n v e s t i g a t i n g p r a c t i c e . P r a g m a t i s m acts as a b r i d g e b e t w e e n w e a k o r m o d e s t r e a l i s m ( S i s m o d o , 1996; B a s s e t t , 1999), o n o n e h a n d , a n d p o s t m o d e r n a n d p o s t s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s e s o f t e c h n o l o g y , o n the other. Pragmatism is a philosophical envoy. Topological relations between chapters and their contents  W h i l e the f i v e m e t a - t h e m e s d i s c u s s e d are e m b o d i e d to a d i f f e r e n t e x t e n t i n e a c h o f the f o u r s u b s e q u e n t chapters, e a c h c h a p t e r deals, i n turn, w i t h v e r y s p e c i f i c i s s u e s r e l a t i n g t o the t h e o r i z a t i o n o f G I S . C h a p t e r t w o traces the t e n s i o n s b e t w e e n critics o f G I S f r o m h u m a n g e o g r a p h y a n d t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s . T h e stated p r i o r i t i e s a n d m e t h o d s o f the critics are a s s e s s e d i n the c o n t e x t o f a c o n s t r u c t i v e a p p r o a c h to G I S . T h e o p e n i n g c h a p t e r i s thus a r e v i e w o f t h e o r i z i n g o f the f i e l d , b y c r i t i c s o f G I S , c o u p l e d w i t h a n a n a l y s i s o f w h a t t h e y o m i t t e d . It traces p e r c e i v e d i n a d e q u a c i e s o f G I S f r o m the p e r s p e c t i v e o f s o c i a l theorists, w h i l e o f f e r i n g a n a l y s i s o f w h y t h o s e o v e r t u r e s h a v e b e e n p o o r l y r e c e i v e d i n the G I S c o m m u n i t y . T h e s e c r i t i q u e s are b y n o m e a n s static, h o w e v e r , a n d I h a v e b e e n at p a i n s to illustrate that m a n y c r i t i c s w e r e d r a w n i n t o the G I S a g e n d a o v e r the c o u r s e o f the decade. E q u a l l y , a f e w G I S 22  s c h o l a r s w e r e c o n v i n c e d b y the c a l l s o f critics. A n e x c h a n g e o f sorts h a s o c c u r r e d , o n e that b o d e s w e l l f o r r e d r a w i n g the f a c t i o n a l i z a t i o n w i t h i n the d i s c i p l i n e . E x c h a n g e s b e t w e e n critics a n d G I S researchers h a v e not, h o w e v e r , d o n e a n y t h i n g t o a m e l i o r a t e the g a p b e t w e e n d i s c o u r s e s that separate the t w o groups. I a r g u e that c r i t i c s h a v e b e e n b o t h i l l - i n f o r m e d about the i n n e r w o r k i n g s o f G I S , a n d r e m i s s i n c l o t h i n g t h e i r c r i t i c i s m i n the v o c a b u l a r y o f s o c i a l theory. T h e i r c h o i c e o f l a n g u a g e suggests that these c r i t i q u e s m a y b e i n t e n d e d f o r a n a u d i e n c e o f l i k e - m i n d e d s o c i a l theorists, rather t h a n G I S researchers. N e v e r t h e l e s s , e n s u i n g chapters e n g a g e w i t h m a n y o f the i s s u e s r a i s e d b y critics. T h e y are a " c o n s t i t u t i v e o u t s i d e , " h a v i n g i n t r o d u c e d i s s u e s that p r o v i d e a b a s i s f o r f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f G I S a n d a s t a n d a r d b y w h i c h to j u d g e i n i t i a l attempts. In c h a p t e r three, I take u p the i s s u e s r a i s e d b y critics o f G I S a n d s c i e n c e a n d e x p l o r e t h e m i n the c o n t e x t o f the t e c h n o l o g y . T h e roots o f G I S , the extent to w h i c h i t is s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d , e p i s t e m o l o g i e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h its use, a n d the e t h i c s o f i m p l e m e n t a t i o n  each  b e a r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . T h e s e i s s u e s are d i s c u s s e d u s i n g i n t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l f r o m G I S r e s e a r c h e r s as w e l l as k n o w l e d g e o f the t e c h n o l o g y . M a n y o f the q u e s t i o n s r a i s e d b y c r i t i c s were, a n d r e m a i n , p o l i t i c a l l y s e n s i t i v e , a n d I a m attentive to the m o t i v a t i o n as w e l l as the c o n t e n t o f r e s p o n s e s f r o m G I S s c h o l a r s to these matters. T h i s c h a p t e r e x t e n d s the w o r k i n i t i a t e d b y critics, b y i m b u i n g t h e i r a p p r a i s a l s w i t h a m a t e r i a l i t y . B y i n c o r p o r a t i n g a c r i t i c a l a p p r o a c h to i n t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l f r o m G I S s c h o l a r s , as w e l l as a c c o u n t s o f p r a c t i c e i n G I S , m a n y o f the c r i t i q u e s are i n f u s e d w i t h greater n u a n c e t h a n w a s e v i d e n t i n t h e i r initial p r e s e n t i o n . I r o n i c a l l y , this i n v e s t i g a t i o n serves t o r e i n f o r c e the s u s p i c i o n o f m a n y critics that G I S is a n i n h e r e n t l y s o c i a l p r o c e s s . T h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f this c l a i m are d i f f e r e n t l y interpreted, h o w e v e r . F o l l o w i n g Ian H a c k i n g 23  ( 1 9 9 9 b ) , I suggest that the m o t i v a t i o n b e h i n d the q u e s t i o n o f s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n i s f a r m o r e i m p o r t a n t than the answer. In the case o f G I S s c h o l a r s , a d d r e s s i n g the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t e c h n o l o g y i m p l i e s d i s c e r n i n g h o w p o l i c y is w r i t t e n i n t o a l g o r i t h m s , or h o w e t h i c s are c o n s t i t u t e d i n a w i r e d w o r l d . It constitutes an a p p l i e d a n d c o n s t r u c t i v e a t t e m p t to d e a l w i t h the i m p o r t a n t s o c i a l q u e s t i o n s that w e r e i n t r o d u c e d b y h u m a n geographers. In the s e c o n d part o f the dissertation, I shift f r o m a f o c u s o n p e r c e p t i o n s o f G I S to d e a l e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h G I S , "the m a c h i n e . " In C h a p t e r four, I trace the e v o l u t i o n o f g e n e r a l i z a t i o n t e c h n i q u e s t h r o u g h a series o f s o c i a l a n d t e c h n o l o g i c a l i m p e d i m e n t s . T h e h i s t o r y o f g e n e r a l i z a t i o n is f o l l o w e d f r o m its i n c e p t i o n as a m a t h e m a t i c a l t e c h n i q u e to an agent-deployed  suite o f o b j e c t - o r i e n t e d tools. Instances w h e r e b o t h s o c i a l c o n t e x t a n d  d i g i t a l c o n s t r a i n t s h a v e i n f l u e n c e d the d e v e l o p m e n t o f g e n e r a l i z a t i o n are e x a m i n e d . T h r o u g h this e t h n o g r a p h y o f a p a r t i c u l a r G I S p r a c t i c e - g e n e r a l i z a t i o n - the i n t e r p l a y b e t w e e n the s o c i a l a n d the d i g i t a l are c o n c r e t e l y illustrated. A t the s a m e time, the repercussions o f b o t h f r a m e w o r k s o f i n f l u e n c e b e c o m e v e r y clear. B e i n g able to p o i n t to  s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s o f i n t e g r a t i o n b e t w e e n these two c o n t e x t s l e a d s to a d e v e l o p m e n t o f a c o n c r e t e ( i f m e t a p h o r i c a l ) r o a d m a p o f the instances w h e r e p h y s i c a l a n d s o c i a l realities h a v e i n f l u e n c e d the d e v e l o p m e n t o f GIS. T h i s e m p i r i c a l a p p r o a c h to t h e o r i z i n g the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t e c h n o l o g y has two benefits: (i) it a l l o w s the s u b s t a n t i a t i o n o f c r i t i c a l c l a i m s ; (ii) the a p p r o a c h suggests m e c h a n i s m s f o r c h a n g e at the v e r y p o i n t s w h e r e these i n f l u e n c e s are i n s i n u a t e d . In the f i f t h chapter, I e x p l o r e the c o m p u t a t i o n a l a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l m e c h a n i s m s that structure g e o g r a p h i c a l data. D i f f e r e n t data m o d e l s r e f l e c t d i f f e r e n t w a y s o f s e e i n g the 24  world, but they also have representational repercussions. Structured ontologies have b e e n a s u b j e c t o f d i s c u s s i o n d u r i n g the past d e c a d e as G I S s c h o l a r s b e g i n to a p p r e c i a t e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l c h a l l e n g e s o f spatial entities a n d t h e i r p h i l o s o p h i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . B e c a u s e G I S c r o s s e s the t e r r a i n o f b o t h c o m p u t e r s c i e n c e a n d g e o g r a p h y , these d i s c u s s i o n s are c o m p l i c a t e d . T h e m e a n i n g s o f " o n t o l o g y " differs, d e p e n d i n g o n the c o n t e x t i n w h i c h g e o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n is b e i n g m o d e l l e d . A t the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n stage, o n t o l o g y r e f e r s to an u l t i m a t e a n d stable reality. A s g e o g r a p h i c a l a n a l y s i s p r o c e d e s to the f o r m a l i z a t i o n stage, o n t o l o g y i m p l i e s a f o r m a l s y s t e m i n w h i c h e v e r y e n t i t y i s p r e c i s e l y d e f i n e d , w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e to e x t e r n a l context. In a d d i t i o n , e n t i t y r e l a t i o n s m u s t b e f o r m a l l y i n s c r i b e d . G e n e r a l l y , i n G I S , o n t o l o g i e s r e f e r to the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l strategies o f extant data m o d e l s . C l e a r l y there i s a d e e p p h i l o s o p h i c a l gap b e t w e e n these a p p r o a c h e s to the o n t o l o g i e s o f g e o g r a p h i c objects. D a t a m o d e l s (and their ontological products) have been institutionalized through a c a d e m i c c h a n n e l s o v e r the past ten years. I trace the p r o c e s s w h e r e b y fields a n d objects a c q u i r e d a f o u n d a t i o n a l i s m b y f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n s o f data m o d e l s f r o m h i s t o r i c a l r e f l e c t i o n s o n t h e i r o r i g i n s , to c o g n i t i v e r e s e a r c h o n t h e i r integrity, a n d f i n a l l y , to e x p l i c i t c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the o n t o l o g i e s p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h use o f each. I illustrate that extant d a t a m o d e l s h a v e l i m i t e d the s c o p e o f t h e i r o w n i n v e s t i g a t i o n . A f o u n d a t i o n a l a p p r o a c h to s p a c e has r e s u l t e d i n the f u r t h e r r e i f i c a t i o n o f f i e l d s a n d objects, rather than t h e i r d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . S e c o n d , I illustrate that there is a d e e p e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l d i v i d e b e t w e e n c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n a n d f o r m a l i z a t i o n but that i t has l i t t l e e f f e c t o n r e s u l t i n g data m o d e l s w h i c h are, u l t i m a t e l y , a p r o d u c t o f p r a g m a t i s m . I a r g u e that, i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , o n t o l o g i e s i n G I S are " f u n c t i o n a l " a n d c a n p o r t e n d to l i t t l e m o r e . B y i m p l i c a t i o n , the k e y  25  to a m o r e r a d i c a l , s e l f - r e f l e c t i v e G I S is c e s s a t i o n o f the c u r r e n t quest f o r f o u n d a t i o n a l o n t o l o g i e s - to a c c e p t t h e m as f u n c t i o n a l . That, i n turn, w i l l o p e n the d o o r to i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f the c o n t i n g e n c i e s that h a v e l e d to the status quo. In the c o n c l u s i o n , I r e v i e w this i n i t i a l attempt to t h e o r i z e G I S a n d e x a m i n e the p o t e n t i a l v a l u e o f s u c h a h y b r i d a p p r o a c h to t e c h n o s c i e n c e . I argue that a c c e p t a n c e o f p r a g m a t i s m 4  i n t e c h n o l o g y a n d s c i e n c e p r o v i d e s an a v e n u e f o r internal c r i t i q u e - o f w h i c h t h i s i s an i n i t i a l f o r a y . T h e v a l u e o f s c i e n t i f i c a l l e g i a n c e a n d attendant c o m m i t m e n t to c o n s t r u c t i v e c r i t i q u e are r e v i e w e d i n the c o n t e x t o f this r e s e a r c h a n d G I S i n g e n e r a l . F i n a l l y , I e x p l o r e o t h e r aspects o f G I S that l e n d t h e m s e l v e s to a t h e o r e t i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n . I s p e c u l a t e o n w h a t t h o s e attempts m i g h t l o o k like, a n d h o w s u c h r e s e a r c h m a y b e n e f i t c u r r e n t a n d f u t u r e r e s e a c h efforts i n g e o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n s c i e n c e . T h e v a l u e o f this a p p r o a c h lies i n its a b i l i t y to e x c a v a t e k n o w l e d g e i n the interstices b e t w e e n d i s c i p l i n a r y n i c h e s . Internal c r i t i q u e is, h o w e v e r , d e p e n d e n t o n a c o n s t i t u t i v e o u t s i d e , an e x t e r n a l p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s p e r s p e c t i v e has b e e n p r o v i d e d t h r o u g h the w o r k o f c r i t i c s o f G I S . T h e y p r o v i d e d a b a s i s against w h i c h to d e f i n e m y o w n study, b u t t h e y a l s o i n f o r m e d it. T h u s , d e s p i t e h a v i n g b i l l e d this r e s e a r c h as an i n t e r n a l c r i t i q u e , it i s t r u l y i n t r a - d i s c i p l i n a r y . T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n b r i n g s together p e r s p e c t i v e s f r o m the s c i e n c e s a n d s o c i a l s c i e n c e s , w i t h i n g e o g r a p h y , as they relate to G I S . In d o i n g so, it trepasses i n t r a disciplinary boundaries.  4  The term technoscience was introduced by Latour (1987) as a way of acknowledging the relationship  between science and technology. He also mentioned that it saves writing out "technology and science" each time (1987, 29).  26  Chapter Two T r o u b l e in t h e h e a r t l a n d : GIS a n d i t s c r i t i c s in t h e 1 9 9 0 s .  If we could bring ourselves to accept the fact that no theory about the nature of Man or Society or Rationality, or anything else, is going to synthesize Nietzsche with Marx or Heidegger with Habermas, we could begin to think of the relation between writers on autonomy and writers on justice as being like the relation between two kinds of tools - as little in need of synthesis as are paintbrushes and crowbars....Both are right, but there is no way to make both speak a single language.  Richard Rorty  It's funny how old (and tiresome?) debates in geography never die, they just find new battlefields.  Judy Walton  I n g e o g r a p h y , the m o s t g u a r d e d territory i s n o t the e a r t h b u t d i s c i p l i n a r y m e t h o d o l o g i e s and, b y i m p l i c a t i o n , the l e n s e s t h r o u g h w h i c h the e a r t h is v i e w e d . T h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f G I S has d o n e n o t h i n g to m i t i g a t e these d i v i s i o n s . W h e n h u m a n a n d c u l t u r a l g e o g r a p h e r s first t u r n e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n to G I S t h e y s p a r k e d d e b a t e b y d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n to p e r c e i v e d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l a n d e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l s h o r t c o m i n g s o f the t e c h n o l o g y . S u b s e q u e n t d i s c u s s i o n s a b o u t the m e r i t s o f G I S h a v e p e r m e a t e d the c u l t u r e o f g e o g r a p h y . A s a result, t h e y h a v e b e g u n to s t a n d - i n f o r b r o a d e r d i s c i p l i n a r y debates o v e r m e t h o d s a n d e p i s t e m o l o g y . G i v e n that d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e p i c k e d u p the d e b a t e at v a r i o u s t i m e s , a n d o t h e r s h e a r d a b o u t i t s e c o n d o r t h i r d h a n d , i t is w o r t h r e v i e w i n g t h e m p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e d e b a t e s a b o u t G I S h a v e h a d effects o n the d i s c i p l i n e o f g e o g r a p h y as well as the w a y w e d o G I S . T h e h i s t o r y o f these e x c h a n g e s i n f o r m s a n d s h a p e s the c u l t u r e o f o u r d i s c i p l i n e . I b e g i n a n a n a l y s e s o f these debates b y d e l i n e a t i n g the battle l i n e s o f a b r o a d e r a r e n a - the s o - c a l l e d science wars. S o c i o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y p r e d a t e d i s c o r d a b o u t G I S , a n d t h o u g h p o s i t i o n s a l o n g s i m i l a r l i n e s are f o u n d i n d e b a t e s i n g e o g r a p h y , 27  d i s c u s s i o n s o v e r G I S are u n i q u e to the d i s c i p l i n e . I h a v e o r g a n i z e d c r i t i q u e s a n d r e s p o n s e s f r o m G I S p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n t o three waves or p e r i o d s , e a c h d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y s h i f t s i n strategies a n d m o t i v a t i o n o n the part o f critics. T h e first w a v e , f r o m 1990 to 1994,  was  d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y the a n i m o s i t y o f debate. D e s p i t e o v e r t d i s c i p l i n a r y h o s t i l i t y , a n u m b e r o f G I S r e s e a r c h e r s d i d e n g a g e i n these d i s c u s s i o n s a n d a d i a l o g u e o f sorts r e s u l t e d . B y the m i d d l e o f the d e c a d e , h o w e v e r , the ranks o f critics h a d i n c r e a s e d w h i l e d e f e n s e s f r o m G I S h a d t a p e r e d off. A f e w G I S s c h o l a r s w e l c o m e d the i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d felt that the c r i t i q u e s e x p r e s s e d c r i t i c a l s h o r t c o m i n g s o f G I S ( C h r i s m a n a n d H a r v e y , 1998, P o i k e r , 1997, p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w ) . O t h e r s w e r e d i s t u r b e d b y the c l e a r l a c k o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g  of  G I S e x h i b i t e d b y critics ( O p e n s h a w , 1991; C l a r k e , 1998; M a r b l e , 1998, p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s ) . A t the s a m e time, a n u m b e r o f critics a n d G I S researchers h a d b e g u n to w o r k together o n the N a t i o n a l C e n t e r f o r G e o g r a p h i c I n f o r m a t i o n A n a l y s i s ( N C G I A ) I n i t i a t i v e 19. C r i t i c s w e r e d r a w n i n t o the u p p e r e c h e l o n s o f G I S research, a n d the present e r a o f i n c r e a s e d c o o p e r a t i o n b e t w e e n critics a n d the G I S c o m m u n i t y was i n i t i a t e d . T h e t h i r d w a v e is m a r k e d b y a c l o s e r w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the two c o m m u n i t i e s . In the f i n a l s e c t i o n , I d i s c u s s the p o s s i b i l i t i e s a n d realities o f e f f e c t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n b e t w e e n sectors o f the d i s c i p l i n e . C o n t e x t u a l i z i n g d i s c o r d in G e o g r a p h y  D e b a t e s i n g e o g r a p h y are n e i t h e r restricted, n o r i n d i g e n o u s , to the d i s c i p l i n e . A b r i e f d e t o u r to o u t l i n e s a l i e n t p o i n t s o f the recent a n d c o n t r o v e r s i a l s c i e n c e w a r s i s w a r r a n t e d o n s e v e r a l accounts. T h e first is that there are p a r a l l e l s b e t w e e n d i s c o r d i n g e o g r a p h y a n d the s c i e n c e w a r s , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h r e g a r d to d i v i s i o n s b e t w e e n s c i e n t i s t s a n d s o c i a l scientists. S e c o n d , there are notable d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the two a r e n a s a n d u n l e s s these 28  d i s c r e p a n c i e s are i d e n t i f i e d , a t e n d e n c y not to d i f f e r e n t i a t e p r e v a i l s . T h i s d o e s a d i s s e r v i c e to b o t h s i d e s i n the debates o v e r G I S . D e b a t e s o v e r G I S c a n n o t be s u b s u m e d u n d e r the r u b r i c o f the s c i e n c e wars. T o d o so u n d e r m i n e s the c o n s i d e r a b l e e f f o r t s m a d e b y the G I S c o m m u n i t y to a c c o m m o d a t e c r i t i c i s m as e v i d e n c e d b y N C G I A 119 a n d the c u r r e n t V a r e n i u s Project. F o r the critics, i t t r i v i a l i z e s t h e i r c r i t i c i s m b y a s s u m i n g that 1  t h e y are r e p e a t i n g a x i o m s f r o m S c i e n c e a n d T e c h n o l o g y S t u d i e s ( S T S ) . It a l s o fails to r e c o g n i z e that m a n y S T S r e s e a r c h e r s f o c u s o n f i e l d s other t h a n t h e i r own. In S T S , s o c i o l o g i s t s s t u d y a n d c r i t i q u e p h y s i c s o r b i o l o g y . In g e o g r a p h y , h o w e v e r , c r i t i c s h a v e t u r n e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r o w n f i e l d , an area i n w h i c h they h a v e c o n s i d e r a b l y m o r e stake ( C u r r y , 1998, p e r s o n a l c o r r e s p o n d e n c e ) . It a l s o d i s c o u n t s the w i l l i n g n e s s o f c r i t i c s to w o r k w i t h G I S s c h o l a r s ( P i c k l e s , 1999b). A n e x p l a n a t i o n o f the s c i e n c e w a r s i s f u r t h e r w a r r a n t e d , as they b r o u g h t to p u b l i c attention c r i t i c a l i s s u e s c o n c e r n i n g the p o l i t i c a l a n d s o c i a l bases f o r s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n that h a v e b e e n r a i s e d b y S T S researchers. A t the c o r e o f the s c i e n c e w a r s is the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l p r i v i l e g e e n j o y e d b y s c i e n c e a n d the d e g r e e to w h i c h s c i e n c e is c u l t u r a l l y i n f l u e n c e d . S o c i a l scientists are i n c r e a s i n g l y c r i t i c a l o f s c i e n c e 'proper' ( H a r a w a y , 1991; L a t o u r , 1993; R o u s e , 1996; G r o s s , 1996, P i c k e r i n g , 1995; H a r d i n g , 1991). P r o p o n e n t s o f s c i e n c e h a v e d e f e n d e d t h e m s e l v e s w i t h  1  Like earlier NCGIA Initiatives, the Varenius Project is funded by the National Science Foundation under  the NCGIA rubric. Varenius is named for the 17 century Dutch geographer, Bernhard Varenius, who th  initiated mathematical bases for geographical inquiries. The project is directed toward research in three areas of geographic information science: (i) cognitive models of space; (ii) computational aspects; and (iii) "geographies of the information society" (NCGIA, 1997, 1).  29  the p u b l i c a t i o n o f b o o k s a n d articles i n t e n d e d to u n d e r m i n e the p o l i t i c s a n d m o t i v a t i o n o f its c r i t i c s ( S o k a l , 1996; G r o s s a n d L e v i t t , 1994; G r o s s , L e v i t t a n d L e w i s , 1996; K o e r t g e , 1998). T h e s c i e n c e w a r s w e r e m a d e t r u l y c o n t e n t i o u s b y the 1996 p u b l i c a t i o n o f an article c a l l e d " T r a n s g r e s s i n g the B o u n d a r i e s " b y p h y s i c i s t A l a n S o k a l . S o k a l p u t a t i v e l y d i s c u s s e d p a r a l l e l s b e t w e e n 20 c e n t u r y m a t h e m a t i c s a n d p h y s i c s a n d t h e i r r e l a t i o n to ,K  o n g o i n g w o r k i n S T S . H i s was a dense, m e a n d e r i n g text that s h o u l d not h a v e e v o k e d m u c h c o m m e n t n e s t l e d i n the c o m p a n y o f e x c e l l e n t c o m p a n i o n p i e c e s o n the c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s c i e n c e . O n the d a y o f its p u b l i c a t i o n i n Social Text, h o w e v e r , S o k a l p u b l i s h e d an e x p o s i t i o n i n Lingua Franca i n w h i c h he c l a i m e d that h i s p a p e r was a h o a x , a p a r o d y o f attempts b y s o c i a l scientists to l i n k s c i e n c e a n d c u l t u r e . The New York Times c o n s i d e r e d t h i s t r i c k w o r t h y o f an e d i t o r i a l ( F i s h , 1996) a n d S o k a l , h i m s e l f , was e a g e r to t a l k to the m e d i a . T h e s c i e n c e w a r s h a d g o n e p u b l i c . In the aftermath, there h a v e b e e n m a n y r o u n d s o f debate, o f t e n w i t h l i t t l e p u b l i c e v i d e n c e o f a w i l l i n g n e s s to a c k n o w l e d g e the a r g u m e n t s o f the o p p o s i n g side. T h e s c i e n c e w a r s are part o f a b r o a d e r n e g o t i a t i o n o v e r the v a l u e a n d m e a n i n g o f s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y a n d t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to the c u l t u r e i n w h i c h they are e m b e d d e d . W h i l e these e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l battles b r e w e d , t e n s i o n s h a d b e e n m o u n t i n g i n g e o g r a p h y . H u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s w e r e not i m m u n e to the g r o w i n g b o d y o f w o r k o n the i n t e r d i g i t i z a t i o n o f s c i e n c e a n d c u l t u r e . A r t i c l e s d i s c u s s i n g the m e r i t s o f c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s o f s c i e n c e m a d e their w a y i n t o g e o g r a p h y ( B i l l i n g e , G r e g o r y a n d M a r t i n , 1984, B a r n e s , 1993; D e m e r i t t , 1996) T h e y were, i n a sense, the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f a t r a d i t i o n o f c r i t i c i s m f o c u s i n g o n p o s i t i v i s m i n g e o g r a p h y . It was o n l y a matter o f t i m e b e f o r e G I S , at first g l a n c e a r a p i d l y g r o w i n g p o s i t i v i s t t e c h n o l o g y , attracted the a t t e n t i o n o f h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s . 30  C r i t i c s o f G I S f r o m h u m a n g e o g r a p h y n e i t h e r e x c l u s i v e l y e m p h a s i z e d the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f G I S n o r d i d they, f o r the m o s t part, e n g a g e w i t h the t h e o r e t i c a l c r i t i q u e s e m e r g i n g f r o m S T S . S t a p l e s o f S T S s u c h as a c t o r - n e t w o r k t h e o r y ( L a t o u r , 1 9 8 7 ; 1 9 8 8 ) a n d the s y m m e t r y o f true a n d f a l s e c l a i m s ( K i t c h e r , 1 9 9 8 ) w e r e e s c h e w e d i n f a v o u r o f e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l arguments, a n d s p e c i f i c a t t e n t i o n t o the effects o f G I S , as w e l l as t h e d i r e c t i o n o f the d i s c i p l i n e . D e b a t e s o v e r G I S i n g e o g r a p h y w e r e a p p a r e n t l y m o t i v a t e d b y a g e n u i n e d e s i r e o n b o t h s i d e s t o steer the d i s c i p l i n e i n a n a p p r o p r i a t e a n d r e s p o n s i b l e d i r e c t i o n ( P i c k l e s , 1999b). T h e h i s t o r y a n d c o n t e n t o f t h o s e debates i s as d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y its d i f f e r e n c e s f r o m the s c i e n c e w a r s as its s i m i l a r i t i e s . I n e a c h i n s t a n c e , s o c i a l scientists i n i t i a t e d a c r i t i q u e o f their c o u n t e r p a r t s i n s c i e n c e a n d t e c h n o l o g y . It is the n u a n c e s o f the d e b a t e within geography that shape the r e m a i n d e r o f this paper. E a r l y r u m b l i n g s : t h e first w a v e  E a r l y debates a b o u t G I S w e r e conversations, d e s p i t e t h e i r i n c a r n a t i o n as p u b l i s h e d texts. G I S r e s e a r c h e r s r e s p o n d e d to c r i t i q u e s p u b l i s h e d i n j o u r n a l s a n d a p r i n t e d d i a l o g u e r e s u l t e d . I h a v e f o l l o w e d the c h r o n o l o g y a n d f o r u m o f e a c h iteration o f the e x c h a n g e , a n e c e s s a r y tactic as m a n y o f the i n i t i a l debates, e n s c o n c e d i n c o m m e n t a r y s e c t i o n s o f j o u r n a l s , were, i n fact, r e s p o n s e s to p r e v i o u s c h a l l e n g e s , s p i r a l i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h i n the b o u n d s o f g e o g r a p h y ' s j o u r n a l s . T h e s e repartees o f the e a r l y 1 9 9 0 s are c e n t r a l t o d i s c e r n i n g the stakes r e p r e s e n t e d b y G I S . W i t h t h e i r g l i m m e r s o f a n t a g o n i s m a n d d i s c i p l i n a r y agendas, these e a r l y e x c h a n g e s r e v e a l a great d e a l a b o u t the m o t i v a t i o n s o f b o t h c r i t i c s a n d d e f e n d e r s o f the t e c h n o l o g y . G I S d e v e l o p e d w i t h i n G e o g r a p h y w i t h o u t o s t e n s i b l e , p u b l i s h e d f r i c t i o n u n t i l the 1990s, w h e n a f l u r r y o f c o m m e n t a r i e s a b o u t the r e l a t i v e m e r i t s o f G I S m a d e t h e i r w a y i n t o its 31  journals. E a r l y dissent was sparked b y an editorial b y Peter Taylor, entitled " G K S " o r 2  ' g e o g r a p h i c k n o w l e d g e systems.' T a y l o r ' s article e x p r e s s e d sentiments, o n the part o f h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s , that h a d b e e n g r o w i n g o v e r the p r e v i o u s f e w years. T a y l o r l i n k e d G I S to M a c k i n d e r ' s 'new' g e o g r a p h y w h i c h f u s e d s o w e l l w i t h the " a g e o f i m p e r i a l i s m " ( T a y l o r , 1 9 9 0 , 211). G I S , h e suggested, w h i l e w e l l - e q u i p p e d to m a n a g e i n f o r m a t i o n , i s i n a d e q u a t e i n the r e a l m o f k n o w l e d g e p r o d u c t i o n , c o n c e r n e d w i t h facts b u t i n c a p a b l e o f m e a n i n g f u l a n a l y s e s . T a y l o r e l a b o r a t e d : " [ h j e n c e t h e o r i e s a n d a b s t r a c t i o n s are r e l e g a t e d a n d g e o g r a p h y returns t o d e s c r i b i n g the w o r l d " (211). T a y l o r c o n c l u d e d that a g e o g r a p h y b a s e d o n 'facts' w i l l b e c o m e a ' " t r i v i a l p u r s u i t ' geography... a r e t u r n o f the v e r y w o r s t sort o f p o s i t i v i s m , a m o s t n a i v e e m p i r i c i s m . " S u c h a g e o g r a p h y , h e i m p l i e d , w i l l w i t h e r " a f t e r the i n i t i a l t e c h n o l o g i c a l f l u s h " (212). M i c h a e l G o o d c h i l d , a p r o m i n e n t G I S researcher, r e s p o n d e d to T a y l o r i n the n e x t i s s u e o f Political Geography Quarterly (10). R a t h e r than e x t o l the v i r t u e s o f G I S ,  Goodchild  a r g u e d that w h i l e the t e c h n o l o g i c a l structure o f G I S is c o n t r o l l e d b y c o m p u t e r s c i e n c e , the d e v e l o p m e n t o f G I S i n g e o g r a p h y h a s l e d to the r e a l i z a t i o n that databases a n d p r o c e s s e s c a n b e i n a c c u r a t e . H e s u g g e s t e d that G I S h a s m a d e its o w n l i m i t a t i o n s a n i n t e g r a l part o f its r e s e a r c h f o r d e c a d e s ( G o o d c h i l d , 1991, 336). F u r t h e r m o r e , h e a r g u e d that G I S i s m o s t u s e f u l p r e c i s e l y w h e n it is " g u i d e d b y p e o p l e t r a i n e d i n the nature o f  2  If the "lived" aspects of GIS  are considered, this friction has a longer history. The  cold shoulder that came  from identifying oneself, to some human geographers, as a "GIS-type" geographer was already being encountered in the early 1980s (Marble, 1999; Warren, 1998; Clarke, 1998;.Buttenfield, 1998; personal interviews).  32  g e o g r a p h i c a l p h e n o m e n a , " that G I S is d e s i g n e d t o b e u s e d i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h k n o w l e d g e rather t h a n a s u b s t i t u t e f o r it. G I S , w i t h o u t g e o g r a p h y , G o o d c h i l d i m p l i e d ; is i n d e e d a n a i v e a n d d a n g e r o u s e m p i r i c i s m . A g a i n s t T a y l o r ' s a s s e r t i o n that G I S is t h e " p o s i t i v i s t s ' r e v e n g e " ( T a y l o r , 1990, 212), G o o d c h i l d d i f f e r e n t i a t e d G I S f r o m q u a n t i t a t i v e g e o g r a p h y , pointing to the "fuzziness a n d generalization" i n v o l v e d in cartography. H e did, n e v e r t h e l e s s , a s k i f p o s i t i v i s m doesn't h a v e s o m e uses i n t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s . T h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , a c c o r d i n g to G o o d c h i l d , d o e s n o t m a k e G I S a " m e r e t o o l " b u t r a t h e r a m e a n s o f p r o v o k i n g " p r o f o u n d g e o g r a p h i c a l t h o u g h t s " (336). T a y l o r ' s i n i t i a l e d i t o r i a l b r o u g h t i n t o the o p e n a r e c o g n i t i o n that G I S w a s c h a n g i n g t h e d i s c i p l i n e , a n a s s e r t i o n that G o o d c h i l d d e f e n d e d . It w a s w i t h i n the p a g e s o f Environment and Planning A that debates a b o u t G I S i n g e o g r a p h y t r u l y p r o l i f e r a t e d . S o m e articles  e x p o s e d h o s t i l i t y b e t w e e n m e m b e r s o f the G I S c o m m u n i t y a n d h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s . H e a t e d o p i n i o n s a n d b a r b e d c o m m e n t s m a r k e d S t a n O p e n s h a w ' s i n i t i a l s a l l y titled " A v i e w o n t h e G I S c r i s i s i n G e o g r a p h y , or, u s i n g G I S t o p u t H u m p t y - D u m p t y b a c k t o g e t h e r a g a i n , " ( O p e n s h a w , 1991). O p e n s h a w b e g a n b y h e s i t a t i n g a b o u t h a v i n g t h e d i s c u s s i o n at a l l , g i v e n its " p o t e n t i a l l y d i v i s i v e " nature. H e i n t i m a t e d that p e o p l e i n G I S h a v e felt censured b y other geographers a n d "their misinformed speculation about what G I S is a n d does, a n d h o w i t e i t h e r fits o r does n o t f i t c o m f o r t a b l y w i t h i n g e o g r a p h y " (621). H i s i n i t i a l h e s i t a t i o n a b o u t t h e c o n s t r u c t i v e n e s s o f s u c h debates q u i c k l y o v e r c o m e , O p e n s h a w stated that h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n w o u l d n o t b e r e l e v a n t i f " G I S e r s a n d n o n G I S e r s ... [were] n o t i n c o m p e t i t i o n f o r r e s o u r c e s o r the h i g h g r o u n d " (621). O p e n s h a w w a s i m p a t i e n t w i t h G I S ' n a y s a y e r s a n d b e r a t e d critics f o r their o w n q u a l i t a t i v e m e t h o d o l o g i e s that h a d d i s m i s s e d a n y r e l a t i o n s h i p t o m a p s . A n u m b e r o f h o s t i l e statements o n t h e i n f e r i o r i t y o f 33  n o n G I S e r s , c l e a r l y m e a n t to s o l i d i f y the p o s i t i o n o f G I S i n t h i s b a t t l e f o r d i s c i p l i n a r y s u p r e m a c y , w e r e i s s u e d . T h e r e p u t e d i g n o r a n c e o f c o m p u t e r t e c h n i q u e s o n the part o f h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s was a case i n point: m o s t o f the t e c h n i c a l c r i p p l e s i n g e o g r a p h y s e e m e d to h a v e s u r v i v e d the i n c r e a s i n g use o f c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y b y e s s e n t i a l l y i g n o r i n g m o s t c o m p u t e r - b a s e d developments... (624). N o t o n l y d i d O p e n s h a w p r e s u m e that the d i s c i p l i n a r y s t r u g g l e o v e r m e t h o d o l o g y was o v e r ( w o n b y the G I S e r s p r e s u m a b l y ) , b u t that g e o g r a p h e r s w h o r e s i s t e d t h i s l e n s w e r e simply ignorant of computers. Non-technical geographers were also accused o f actively opposing disciplinary unity: the c o u n t e r r e v o l u t i o n a r y strategy [ o f n o n G I S e r s ] appears to be b a s e d o n b u i l d i n g u p a r a n g e o f c o n c e p t i o - t h e o r e t i c a l a r g u m e n t s [sic] a g a i n s t i t [ G I S ] , e x p r e s s t h e m i n p s e u d o p h i l o s o p h i c a l l a n g u a g e s to p r o v i d e a v e n e e r o f academic respectability, add a few misquotes f r o m famous dead people w h o l i v e d i n a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t w o r l d , a n d w a i t f i v e y e a r s f o r the r e a c t i o n to g o c r i t i c a l (622). R e f e r r i n g to T a y l o r ' s c r i t i c i s m s that G I S is a retreat f r o m i n f o r m a t i o n , O p e n s h a w q u e r i e d : " w i t h o u t i n f o r m a t i o n , h o w c a n there b e k n o w l e d g e ? " ( 6 2 1 ) .  Unlike Taylor,  O p e n s h a w w e l c o m e d the o p p o r t u n i t i e s that G I S a l l o w e d f o r g e o g r a p h e r s to p a r t i c i p a t e i n o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e s . A g e o g r a p h e r o f the i m p e n d i n g n e w o r d e r m a y w e l l b e a b l e to: analyze river networks on M a r s on M o n d a y , study cancer i n Bristol on T u e s d a y , m a p the u n d e r c l a s s o f L o n d o n o n W e d n e s d a y , a n a l y z e g r o u n d w a t e r f l o w i n the A m a z o n b a s i n o n T h u r s d a y , a n d e n d the w e e k b y m o d e l i n g retail s h o p p e r s i n L o s A n g e l e s i n F r i d a y . W h a t o f it? I n d e e d t h i s is o n l y the b e g i n n i n g (624). 3  3  Openshaw clearly worked with a more robust and  seamless GIS  than the rest of us. As Stacy Warren  volunteered, "I'd still be labeling Tuesday's cancer polygons on Friday" (Warren, personal communication, 1998).  34  G I S w a s n o t o n l y p o s i t i o n e d to m a k e i n r o a d s i n t o ( e v e r y ) o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e b u t to a b s o r b "soft analysis p r o b l e m s " by implementing computer solutions f r o m artificial intelligence (AI). T a y l o r ' s w o r s t f e a r s a b o u t g e o g r a p h i c i m p e r i a l i s m w e r e b o r n o u t o n t w o fronts. O p e n s h a w e n v i s a g e d G I S as i n v a d i n g o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e s w h i l e a l s o i n c o r p o r a t i n g h u m a n geographers. W h i l e i n f l a m m a t o r y , O p e n s h a w ' s a r g u m e n t s r e f l e c t e d t e n s i o n s w i t h i n the d i s c i p l i n e .  4  D e s p i t e their c r u d e n e s s a n d w i l l to p o w e r , h i s e x p l i c a t i o n ( s ) w e r e v a l u a b l e as a n o v e r t representation o f a budding antagonism between GISers and h u m a n geographers. O p e n s h a w directly tackled issues hitherto evaded i n press (though perhaps elaborated d u r i n g i n f o r m a l d i s c u s s i o n s ) . H e s u g g e s t e d that critics o f G I S w e r e m o t i v a t e d n o t o n l y b y a q u e s t f o r e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l integrity, b u t a l s o b y a d e s i r e to r e t a i n d i s c i p l i n a r y a u t h o r i t y . O p e n s h a w a l s o e m p h a s i z e d that t e c h n o l o g i e s e n c o m p a s s e d i n G I S r e f l e c t a s o c i a l shift that c a n n o t b e c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n g e o g r a p h y . D a t a are i n c r e a s i n g l y d i g i t a l ; v i s u a l a n a l y s i s is u s u r p i n g text; a n d m a p p i n g has d i s s e m i n a t e d i n t o o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e s o v e r w h i c h g e o g r a p h e r s e x e r t little i n f l u e n c e . In essence, d i g i t a l m a p p i n g a n d its a t t e n d a n t p r i n c i p l e s h a v e e x c e e d e d the b o u n d a r i e s o f g e o g r a p h y . R e s p o n s e s to O p e n s h a w i n Environment and Planning A a g a i n s u b l i m a t e d this disciplinary disquietude within carefully constructed and academically worded rationales for a l i g n m e n t w i t h either the " G I S e r s o r n o n G I S e r s . " T h e first r e s p o n s e to O p e n s h a w ' s provocation, b y Peter T a y l o r and M a r k Overton, easily dissembled Openshaw's  4  That Taylor and Openshaw worked in the same department at Newcastle may have had some bearing on  the tone of their respective editorials. 35  a r g u m e n t s o n three m a i n bases: (i) p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n c o n g r u e n c e ; (ii) t o o m u c h h y p e a n d b e l l i g e r e n c e ; a n d (iii) the s o c i a l nature o f g e o g r a p h y a n d all d i s c i p l i n e s . T h e i r i n i t i a l a n d w e l l - j u s t i f i e d p o i n t was that O p e n s h a w ' s p r o p o s a l f o r a ' p h i l o s o p h y free' g e o g r a p h y is " a f u n d a m e n t a l p h i l o s o p h i c a l c l a i m " ( T a y l o r & O v e r t o n , 1991, 1087). T a y l o r a n d  Overton's  s e c o n d c r i t i c i s m o f O p e n s h a w c e n t e r e d o n h i s p u g n a c i o u s r h e t o r i c . U s e d to d e n i g r a t e n o n - t e c h n i c a l h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s a n d e s t a b l i s h t h e i r i n f e r i o r i t y , it was a l i e n a t i n g , u n w a r r a n t e d a n d c o u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e . L i k e w i s e , t h e i r c a l l f o r a t t e n t i o n to w a y s that the s o c i a l i s w r i t t e n i n t o t e c h n o l o g y was w e l l - t i m e d a n d apt. T h e m e a s u r e d a r g u m e n t s o f T a y l o r a n d O v e r t o n , w h i l e e f f e c t i v e , f e l l short o f s p e c i f y i n g w h a t O p e n s h a w d i d n o t s h y f r o m : that there are m a t e r i a l stakes i n t h e i r c o n f r o n t a t i o n . T a y l o r ' s was n o t the o n l y r e p l y to O p e n s h a w i n Environment and Planning A. G o r d o n C l a r k i n a c o m m e n t a r y e n t i t l e d " G I S - w h a t c r i s i s ? " , b e r a t e d b o t h parties. H e a c k n o w l e d g e d that O p e n s h a w was p r o v o k e d b y T a y l o r ' s initial c r i t i q u e o f G I S w h i c h he i m p l i e d was i n s p i r e d b y the (reputed) d i s d a i n o f s o m e " p o s t m o d e r n i s t s " f o r " k n o w l e d g e a n d r e a s o n " ( C l a r k , 1992, 321). B u t rather than b r a n d all a l l e g e d p o s t m o d e r n i s t s as a n t i G I S , C l a r k c o n d u c t e d an i n f o r m a l p o l l o f h i s 'postmodernist' f r i e n d s o n l y to f i n d t h e m u n i f o r m l y e n t h u s i a s t i c about G I S t e c h n o l o g y . T h e i r fears r e v o l v e d a r o u n d i n s u f f i c i e n t s t a f f i n g i n G I S rather than a d i s c i p l i n a r y c o u p . H i s c o n c l u s i o n was that O p e n s h a w h a d " e x a g g e r a t e d the h o s t i l i t y to G I S " (321) w h i l e c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f y i n g an i n e x o r a b l e t r e n d t o w a r d c y b e r n e t i c systems. C l a r k ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n to d i s c u s s i o n s o f G I S l a y , h o w e v e r , i n i d e n t i f y i n g that G I S is not o n l y a (sub) d i s c i p l i n e b u t a l s o an i n d u s t r y . C l a r k s u g g e s t e d that the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f c o m m e r c i a l interests i n G I S threatens the t y p e o f 'blue-sky' r e s e a r c h that u n i v e r s i t i e s c o n d u c t , r e s e a r c h that d e s p i t e its u n d e r l y i n g r e l i a n c e o n 36  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l r e a l i s m e n d e a v o r s to m o r e p r e c i s e l y m o d e l the w o r l d . C l a r k c o n c l u d e d that " i t is g o i n g t o b e c o m e c r u c i a l f o r u n i v e r s i t i e s to i d e n t i f y s o m e c o m p a r a t i v e a d v a n t a g e i n t h e G I S m a r k e t n o t e a s i l y penetrated b y c o m m e r c i a l c o m p a n i e s " (322). F r o m this p e r s p e c t i v e , s q u a b b l e s w i t h i n g e o g r a p h y l o s e r e l e v a n c e , o v e r s h a d o w e d b y c o m m e r c i a l i n f l u e n c e s d r i v i n g the t e c h n o l o g y . T h e y do, h o w e v e r , persist. O p e n s h a w r a l l i e d w i t h another c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e c o m m e n t a r y s e c t i o n o f Environment and Planning A i n A p r i l o f 1992. D e s p i t e h i s e m b l e m a t i c r h e t o r i c , i n c l u d i n g a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s as " t e c h n i c a l c r i p p l e s " (464), O p e n s h a w i d e n t i f i e d a c r i t i c a l issue: s o m e k n o w l e d g e o f G I S is e s s e n t i a l t o address its s h o r t c o m i n g s . O p e n s h a w o f f e r e d that " i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t that those w h o c o m m e n t o n G I S should be properly informed a n d base their c o m m e n t s a n d criticism o n s o m e k n o w l e d g e a n d e x p e r i e n c e o f w h a t G I S c a n a n d c a n n o t d o " (465). I n c o n c l u d i n g , h e f u r t h e r p o s t u l a t e d "that after a l l this p u f f . . . i t w i l l b e d i s c o v e r e d that w e are i n f a c t s a y i n g e s s e n t i a l l y t h e s a m e o r s i m i l a r things i n d i f f e r e n t w a y s , i n d i f f e r e n t languages" (465-6, e m p h a s i s added). O p e n s h a w r e c o g n i z e d that d i s c o u r s e d i v i d e s t h e d i s c i p l i n e . M u c h G I S literature does, i n fact, d e a l e x p l i c i t l y w i t h t h e t e c h n o l o g y ' s s h o r t c o m i n g s b u t i s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n i n its o w n j o u r n a l s . The purported poverty of positivism and other failings  D e b a t e s about t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f G I S w e r e n o t l i m i t e d to Environment and Planning A. It w a s o n e o f s e v e r a l theatres f o r d i s c i p l i n a r y d i s a g r e e m e n t s o v e r G I S . C o n d u c t e d i n a less e x c i t e d tone, s u b s e q u e n t a c a d e m i c c h a l l e n g e s n e v e r t h e l e s s c o n f i r m e d that t h e p l a c e o f G I S w i t h i n t h e d i s c i p l i n e o f g e o g r a p h y w a s b e i n g negotiated. N e i l S m i t h o u t l i n e d h i s c o n c e r n s i n Progress in Human Geography i n 1 9 9 2 w i t h a c o n t r i b u t i o n e n t i t l e d " H i s t o r y 37  a n d P h i l o s o p h y o f g e o g r a p h y : r e a l wars, t h e o r y wars." H i s o e u v r e i n the G I S w a r s b e g a n w i t h a c r i t i c a l a c c o u n t o f the i n v o l v e m e n t o f G I S i n the G u l f War, l i n k i n g the e s t i m a t e d 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 I r a q i deaths to g e o g r a p h i c t e c h n o l o g i e s . " T h u s , " S m i t h w r o t e " d i d G I S a n d r e l a t e d t e c h n o l o g i e s c o n t r i b u t e to the k i l l i n g f i e l d s o f the I r a q i d e s e r t " (257). S m i t h e q u a t e d the s c i e n t i z a t i o n o f c a r t o g r a p h y w i t h a strident t e c h n o c r a t i c i s m a n d s u g g e s t e d that O p e n s h a w ' s u n d i l u t e d e n t h u s i a s m f o r the t e c h n o l o g y r e f l e c t e d a " d e l i r i o u s d e t a c h m e n t " (258-259). Y e t , he a u t h o r i t a t i v e l y q u o t e d T a y l o r ' s ( 1 9 9 1 ) c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f G I S as " a r e t u r n o f the v e r y w o r s t sort o f p o s i t i v i s m , a m o s t n a i v e e m p i r i c i s m " ( T a y l o r c i t e d i n S m i t h , 258). I c i t e this s e l e c t i v e s u p p o r t o f p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the G I S s k i r m i s h e s b e c a u s e it is i n d i c a t i v e o f a tendency, i n this debate, to e x o n e r a t e the e x c e s s e s o f t h o s e w h o s e a r g u m e n t s the author c h a m p i o n s w h i l e c a r i c a t u r i z i n g the a r g u m e n t s a n d d e l i v e r y o f a n t a g o n i s t s . T h i s is n o t a p h e n o m e n o n l i m i t e d to the w o r l d o f g e o g r a p h y . It i s the s t o c k a n d trade o f l a r g e r debates o n the s c i e n c e wars. U s e o f c a r i c a t u r e s o c c u r s p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e they d o s u c h a g o o d j o b o f u n d e r m i n i n g ( p e r c e i v e d ) o p p o s i t i o n . T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n is not i n t e n d e d , i n a n y way, to detract f r o m S m i t h ' s c r i t i c a l a n d i m p o r t a n t c a l l f o r a t t e n t i o n to the uses o f G I S i n war. S m i t h ' s c a r e f u l e n u m e r a t i o n o f the p e o p l e e m p l o y e d i n m i l i t a r y d e v e l o p m e n t o f G I S a n d its c o n s i d e r a b l e u n d e r w r i t i n g b y d e f e n c e a g e n c i e s (258) m a r k e d the i n i t i a t i o n o f a m o r e c o n s t r u c t i v e c o n v e r s a t i o n a b o u t G I S . H i s a r g u m e n t s p i e r c e d the b a l l o o n o f d i s c i p l i n a r y p r i d e that h a d p u f f e d u p c l a i m s f r o m b o t h sides. T h e b o t t o m l i n e i s that t e c h n o l o g y can w o u n d a n d k i l l , a n d it is e s s e n t i a l that g e o g r a p h y e x a m i n e its c u l p a b i l i t y . W h a t S m i t h w r o t e d i d not attend to the m o r e c o m p l e x a r g u m e n t o f w h e t h e r o r not G I S research, m u c h o f w h i c h is u n r e l a t e d to m i l i t a r y p u r s u i t s , c a n n e c e s s a r i l y b e l i n k e d to its i m p l e m e n t a t i o n . 38  A t t e n t i o n to e p i s t e m o l o g y , i n i t i a t e d b y S m i t h , was c o n t i n u e d b y R o b e r t L a k e , w h o e x a m i n e d G I S o n the b a s i s o f e t h i c s a n d o n t o l o g y . H i s a r g u m e n t s w e r e w o v e n t o g e t h e r b y o n e thread: p o s i t i v i s m . L a k e d e f i n e d p o s i t i v i s m as e n c o m p a s s i n g " a s s u m p t i o n s  of  o b j e c t i v i t y , v a l u e - n e u t r a l i t y , a n d the o n t o l o g i c a l s e p a r a t i o n o f s u b j e c t a n d o b j e c t " ( L a k e , 1993, 405). T h i s s e e m s p l a u s i b l e as a d e f i n i t i o n , but m o r e o p e n to debates is h i s s u b s e q u e n t a s s e r t i o n that (i) G I S is i n h e r e n t l y p o s i t i v i s t ; (ii) that its e t h i c s are o b j e c t i o n a b l e b e c a u s e t h e y d e r i v e f r o m p o s i t i v i s t a s s u m p t i o n s ; a n d ( i i i ) that the " s u b j e c t o b j e c t d u a l i s m u n d e r l y i n g " G I S i s a p o s i t i v i s t l e g a c y . B y 1993, p o s i t i v i s m h a d b e c o m e a p r i m a r y b a s i s f o r c r i t i q u e s o f G I S . F o r L a k e , p o s i t i v i s m was the c r i t i c i s m sine qua  non  a g a i n s t G I S . F u r t h e r m o r e he i m p l i e d that r e c o n c i l i a t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o f a c t i o n s o f g e o g r a p h y is o n l y p o s s i b l e to the extent that G I S i s w i l l i n g to i n c o r p o r a t e the t h e o r e t i c a l a g e n d a s o f its critics: " [ b j r e a c h i n g the d i v i d e at the c o r e o f p l a n n i n g a n d g e o g r a p h y w i l l b e p o s s i b l e o n l y to the extent that the d e v e l o p e r s o f G e o g r a p h i c I n f o r m a t i o n S y s t e m s are w i l l i n g to r e l i n q u i s h their p o s i t i v i s t a s s u m p t i o n s " ( 1 9 9 3 , 405). I n t i m a t i o n s o f p o s i t i v i s m w e r e not c o n f i n e d to critics o f G I S . In an article titled " G I S  and  U r b a n Studies: Positivism, Post Positivism, and B e y o n d , " D a n i e l Sui presented a " p r o g r e s s r e p o r t " o n the use o f G I S i n u r b a n p l a n n i n g . G I S s a v v y h i m s e l f , S u i n e v e r t h e l e s s a c c e p t e d the p r e m i s e that G I S is (or has b e e n ) p o s i t i v i s t . S u i ' s was the first c o n t r i b u t i o n f r o m w i t h i n G I S to e n g a g e f u l l y w i t h the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l bases o f c r i t i c a l i n q u i r i e s i n t o G I S . U s i n g the p h i l o s o p h i c a l l a n g u a g e a n d f r a m e w o r k s o f h i s peers i n s o c i a l g e o g r a p h y , S u i i l l u s t r a t e d the extent to w h i c h recent G I S p r o f e s s i o n a l m e e t i n g s a n d j o u r n a l s h a v e a d d r e s s e d e t h i c a l issues, c o n c l u d i n g that:  39  [TJhese efforts speak one thing loud and clear: that is, the GIS community has realized that the implementation of GIS should go beyond mere technical decisions justified by matters of efficiency and give the ethical use of this information technology a serious consideration (Sui, 1993, 271).  In c l o s i n g S u i s u g g e s t e d a c r o s s - p o l l i n a t i o n b e t w e e n G I S theory a n d s o c i a l theory, a feat that w o u l d r e q u i r e " p o s t m o d e r n i s t s to r e l i n q u i s h t h e i r p l a y f u l c y n i c i s m i n t h e i r c r i t i q u e s o n the s c i e n t i f i c c h a u v i n i s m o f G I S " (272). T h e r a t i o n a l e f o r this r e q u i r e m e n t i s that n e i t h e r " m e t i c u l o u s " p o s i t i v i s m or the p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y r e f i n e d " p o s t - p o s i t i v i s t c r i t i q u e s c a n i l l u m i n a t e the entire p i c t u r e o f u r b a n r e a l i t y " (272). Sui's p e t i t i o n that no l e n s o n r e a l i t y c a n e v e r be e n t i r e l y d i s c o u n t e d r e m a i n s an i m p o r t a n t entreaty f o r g e o g r a p h e r s i n the 1990s. P r o m o t e r s a n d a n t a g o n i s t s of a u t o m a t e d g e o g r a p h y -  1993  In 1983, J e r o m e D o b s o n , a G I S researcher at the O a k R i d g e N a t i o n a l L a b o r a t o r y , w r o t e an e n t h u s i a s t i c p i e c e f o r the Professional Geographer e n t i t l e d " A u t o m a t e d G e o g r a p h y . " In an o p t i m i s t i c tone, D o b s o n o u t l i n e d the p h i l o s o p h i c a l v e r s a t i l i t y o f ' a u t o m a t e d t e c h n i q u e s ' ( G I S , r e m o t e sensing, c o m p u t e r g r a p h i c s ) , p o i n t i n g out t h e i r u t i l i t y i n b o t h " n o m o t h e t i c " a n d " i d i o g r a p h i c " studies ( D o b s o n , 1983, 136). H i s e s s a y s p a w n e d e i g h t r e s p o n s e s that w e r e p u b l i s h e d i n a s u b s e q u e n t issue. C o n t r o v e r s y a n d h i g h f e e l i n g are the s t u f f o f c o m p e l l i n g r e a d i n g a n d ten years later another e d i t o r o f P G i n v i t e d D o b s o n , as w e l l as s e l e c t e d critics o f G I S to c o m m e n t o n the o r i g i n a l essay. D o b s o n was the first i n l i n e to c o m m e n t o n his d e c a d e - o l d t e s t i m o n i a l to G I S . W h i l e a c k n o w l e d g i n g that " G I S d o e s not address s o c i a l issues, e s p e c i a l l y those that o c c u r i n a d e c i s i o n s p a c e s o m e w h a t i n d e p e n d e n t o f E u c l i d e a n space." D o b s o n e x p l a i n e d that e m p h a s i s i n g e o g r a p h y " r e f l e c t s p r i o r i t i e s that s o c i e t i e s p l a c e o n v a r i o u s i s s u e s " (435). L a c k o f attention to issues r e l e v a n t to c u l t u r a l g e o g r a p h e r s was not a l i m i t a t i o n o f G I S 40  b u t rather an i n d i c a t i o n o f r e s e a r c h p r i o r i t i e s that t y p i c a l l y f a v o r e d e m p h a s i s o n p h y s i c a l r e s o u r c e s a n d i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l d e v e l o p m e n t . A s e v i d e n c e that G I S c a n be u s e f u l i n h u m a n g e o g r a p h y , D o b s o n c i t e d the success o f its use i n m a r k e t i n g - a m o v e c l e a r l y n o t i n t e n d e d to a s s u a g e c r i t i c s ' c o n c e r n s about the e f f e c t s o f G I S . D o b s o n ' s article was c o n s i s t e n t w i t h a p o p u l a r strategy o f a r t i c u l a t i n g uses o f G I S w h i l e o b s e r v i n g that c u l t u r a l g e o g r a p h e r s h a v e r e m a i n e d i g n o r a n t o f its a p p l i c a t i o n s . H e n o t e d that b y 1993, G I S was a three b i l l i o n d o l l a r i n d u s t r y a n d "to s c i e n c e a n d s o c i e t y at large, G I S is u n d o u b t e d l y the greatest agent o f c h a n g e i n g e o g r a p h i c c a p a b i l i t y a n d a w a r e n e s s s i n c e the R e n a i s s a n c e , " d e s p i t e e a r n i n g l i t t l e r e s p e c t b y c u l t u r a l geographers. W h i l e this c o m m e n t s m a c k e d o f p r o m o t i o n a l i s m , i t d i d testify to a d i s p a r i t y b e t w e e n r e c e p t i o n o f G I S i n s i d e a n d o u t s i d e o f the a c a d e m y . It is a l s o i n d i c a t i v e o f a c l i m a t e i n w h i c h G I S r e s e a r c h e r s p e r c e i v e d the n e e d to a r t i c u l a t e a n d j u s t i f y t h e i r r e s e a r c h to peers. Responses f r o m both John Pickles and E r i c Sheppard augured a m o r e meaningful  debate  b e t w e e n f a c t i o n s . F o r the first time, critics a c k n o w l e d g e d that G I S h a d l e g i t i m a t e a p p l i c a t i o n . B u t S h e p p a r d w o r r i e d that structuralist, i n t e r p r e t a t i v e a n d f e m i n i s t a p p r o a c h e s m i g h t b e d i s c a r d e d i n f a v o r o f e m p i r i c a l ( a n d c a t e g o r i z a b l e ) data (458), i n e f f e c t that " p o s t - p o s i t i v i s t " e p i s t e m o l o g i e s w o u l d b e s i d e l i n e d i n f a v o r o f q u a n t i f i a b l e data. S h e p p a r d f u r t h e r s u g g e s t e d that i n f o r m a t i o n s y s t e m s d o not n e c e s s a r i l y p r o d u c e m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i v e a n a l y s e s a n d that t h e i r l e g i t i m a c y is f r e q u e n t l y s u s p e c t g i v e n the p r e v a l e n t use o f s e c o n d a r y data sets. S h e p p a r d d r e w attention to a l g o r i t h m i c m a n i p u l a t i o n , c e n t r a l to G I S , as a m e a n s o f p r i v i l e g i n g B o o l e a n l o g i c a n d r e d u c t i o n i s t p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g at the e x p e n s e o f " h i s t o r i c a l - h e r m e n e u t i c a n d c r i t i c a l - e m a n c i p a t o r y k n o w l e d g e [ s ] " ( H a b e r m a s c i t e d i n S h e p p a r d , 1993, 459). 41  P i c k l e s ' o b j e c t i o n s w e r e a l s o e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l . G I S was p e r c e i v e d as a m e a n s o f u s h e r i n g b a c k a C a r t e s i a n m e t h o d o l o g y w h i c h was, b y its v e r y nature, a "doomed.:, d i s c o u r s e o n m e t h o d " (451). H e felt that D o b s o n ' s v i s i o n o f a g e o g r a p h y e n h a n c e d b y G I S i g n o r e d the " s t r o n g c r i t i q u e s o f the r e d u c t i o n i s t o n t o l o g y o f s p a t i a l i s m " d e v e l o p e d b y h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s i n the 1 9 8 0 s w h i c h " c h a l l e n g e d g e o g r a p h e r s to r e t h i n k the m e a n i n g o f space, p r o b l e m a t i z e d the d o m i n a n c e o f n a t u r a l s c i e n c e m e t h o d i n the s t u d y o f s o c i a l p h e n o m e n a , a n d r a i s e d q u e s t i o n s about the u n d e r l y i n g o n t o l o g y o f objects, l o c a t i o n , a n d a p p l i c a t i o n o n w h i c h s p a t i a l a n a l y s i s was p r e d i c a t e d " (452). P i c k l e s c o r r o b o r a t e d these a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s o n the part o f c u l t u r a l g e o g r a p h e r s b y l i s t i n g areas o f g e o g r a p h i c r e s e a r c h f o r w h i c h G I S is inadequate. C u l t u r a l g e o g r a p h e r s c l e a r l y o u t w e i g h e d G I S practitioners i n Pickles' methodological The  equation.  sum of the (initial) difference  B y 1993, w i t h the p u b l i c a t i o n o f the s e c o n d f o r u m o n a u t o m a t e d g e o g r a p h y , sides h a d b e e n taken. W h i l e i n i t i a l c r i t i q u e s o f G I S c o v e r e d a r a n g e o f p e r c e i v e d  shortcomings,  p o s i t i v i s m or, m o r e g e n e r a l l y , e p i s t e m o l o g y h a d e m e r g e d as a b a s i s f o r s c r u t i n i z i n g o f G I S . H u m a n g e o g r a p h y critics felt that G I S f a i l e d to a c c o m m o d a t e less r a t i o n a l , m o r e i n t u i t i v e a n a l y s e s o f g e o g r a p h i c a l issues, a n d that its m e t h o d o l o g y , b y d e f i n i t i o n , e x c l u d e d a r a n g e o f i n q u i r y . G I S s c h o l a r s m e a n w h i l e saw the v a l u e o f t h e i r t e c h n i q u e s b e i n g d e n i g r a t e d w i t h o u t r e a l l y r e a l i z i n g why. A s D o b s o n i n s i s t e d , G I S p r a c t i t i o n e r s r e c o g n i z e d the v a l u e o f i d i o g r a p h i c study. T h e i m p l i c i t q u e s t i o n o f w h y h u m a n g e o g r a p h e r s d i d n ' t r e c i p r o c a t e w i t h an a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t o f the p o w e r o f G I S h u n g i n the air. A n either/or t h e m e to d i s c u s s i o n s about m e t h o d o l o g y p r e v a i l e d .  42  G I S , as a n e m e r g i n g t e c h n o l o g i c a l p h e n o m e n o n , was i t s e l f c h a n g i n g . S o f t w a r e p r i c e s , t h o u g h s t i l l h i g h b y today's standards, w e r e d r o p p i n g as c o m m e r c i a l v e n t u r e s i n t r o d u c e d c o m p e t i n g e n v i r o n m e n t s . G I S was a l s o u n d e r g o i n g a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , i n a c a d e m i c c i r c l e s , f r o m b e i n g a t o o l f o r l a n d use p l a n n e r s to g e o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n s c i e n c e . T h e t e c h n o l o g y r e f l e c t e d a b r o a d e r shift i n the w a y that g e o g r a p h i c a l ( a n d all) i n f o r m a t i o n " i s c o l l e c t e d , p e r c e i v e d , m a n a g e d a n d used, a n d G I S [was] as g o o d a n u m b r e l l a l a b e l as a n y f o r w h a t [was] h a p p e n i n g " ( G o o d c h i l d , 1991, 336). I n f o r m a t i o n was i n c r e a s i n g l y a v a i l a b l e i n d i g i t a l format, a n d to m a n y a d v o c a t e s o f G I S i t s e e m e d i n e v i t a b l e that c o m p u t e r i z e d spatial a n a l y s i s w o u l d f o l l o w . In as m u c h as t e c h n o l o g y is a s o c i a l p r o c e s s , G I S was a s i g n o f p r o g r e s s i o n t o w a r d s an i n f o r m a t i o n s o c i e t y . C r i t i c s w e r e c e r t a i n l y a w a r e o f this transition, b u t t h e y p e r c e i v e d its p o t e n t i a l d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n d i d t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s i n G I S . D o b s o n , O p e n s h a w a n d G o o d c h i l d saw G I S as a t o o l w h i c h c o u l d e x t e n d the r a n g e o f g e o g r a p h i c a l a n a l y s i s b y i n c o r p o r a t i n g l a r g e r d a t a sets a n d a l l o w i n g g e o g r a p h e r s to ask q u e s t i o n s a b o u t spatial r e l a t i o n s h i p s that w e r e u n r e s t r i c t e d b y the n u m b e r o f v a r i a b l e s o r p r o c e s s i n g p o w e r . It w a s a t o o l that e x t e n d e d the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f r e s e a r c h a n d e n q u i r y . P i c k l e s , b y contrast, was a n x i o u s that G I S n o t b e u s e d to e x t e n d a c y b e r n e t i c " g r i d o f c o n t r o l o n the p l a n e t " ( H a r a w a y , 1991, 54). H e d r e w s e l e c t i v e l y f r o m D o n n a H a r a w a y ' s f a m o u s essay, " A C y b o r g M a n i f e s t o , " to c a l l a t t e n t i o n to w a y s i n w h i c h c o m p u t e r a p p l i c a t i o n s e x p r e s s s o c i a l relations. P i c k l e s , f o l l o w i n g H a r a w a y , a r g u e d that t e c h n o l o g y is a s o c i a l p r o c e s s and, as i n d i v i d u a l s , w e h a v e a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to e n g a g e w i t h n e w t e c h n o l o g i e s i n o r d e r to e n s u r e that t h e y d o not p e r p e t r a t e u n e q u a l r e l a t i o n s o f p o w e r o r o t h e r injustices. H e r e . P i c k l e s , w i t h S h e p p a r d a n d others, m a k e s a n i m p o r t a n t i n t e r v e n t i o n o n t w o c o u n t s : (i) b y d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n to w a y s 43  i n w h i c h t e c h n o l o g y is e n m e s h e d i n s o c i a l relations; a n d (ii) b y d e m o n s t r a t i n g that g e o g r a p h e r s are n o t e x c u s e d f r o m r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r w a y s i n w h i c h G I S is d e v e l o p e d a n d a p p l i e d . D e s p i t e the p o w e r a n d v a l i d i t y o f this argument, a g u l f o f l a n g u a g e s e p a r a t e d critics f r o m practitioners o f GIS. C r i t i c s o f G I S g e n e r a l l y e x p r e s s their c o n c e r n s i n s o c i o - t h e o r e t i c a l terms, d i s t a n t f r o m the l a n g u a g e o f the t e c h n o l o g y . N o r is there e v i d e n c e that m a n y o f t h e m r e a d G I S j o u r n a l s . T h e m a t r i x o f l a n g u a g e i n w h i c h their c r i t i q u e s are situated b a f f l e s m a n y G I S r e s e a r c h e r s w h o s e philosophic training ended with K a r l Popper and T h o m a s K u h n . G I S practitioners are n o t w e l l - v e r s e d i n the l a n g u a g e o f s o c i a l t h e o r y u s e d to d i a g n o s e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l o r e t h i c a l s h o r t c o m i n g s i n their f i e l d . It is fair to a d d that G I S r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e r e f r a i n e d f r o m u s i n g l a n g u a g e s p e c i f i c to G I S a n d its d i g i t a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l s y s t e m s w h e n r e p l y i n g to c r i t i q u e s . O p e n s h a w ' s (1992) i n t i m a t i o n that l a n g u a g e d i v i d e s G I S a n d its c r i t i c s to a g r e a t e r e x t e n t t h a n s u b s t a n t i v e i s s u e s m a y w e l l b e true but, i n the e a r l y 1990s, neither side was interested i n any ameliorative conclusions. T e x t u a l j o u s t s o n the part o f critics a n d p r a c t i t i o n e r s o f G I S b e t w e e n 1 9 9 0 a n d 1994 l a i d the g r o u n d - w o r k f o r c o n t i n u i n g a n t a g o n i s m , t h o u g h u l t i m a t e l y , as w e s h a l l see, a total s c h i s m was a v o i d e d . A c o n f e r e n c e d e s i g n e d to b r i n g t o g e t h e r a n t a g o n i s t s a n d d e f e n d e r s o f G I S w a s o r g a n i z e d at F r i d a y H a r b o r i n W a s h i n g t o n state i n N o v e m b e r 1993. It m a r k e d the b e g i n n i n g o f i n c r e a s e d c o o p e r a t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o g r o u p s . Friday Harbor: laying it on the table  A s u r g e o f p u b l i c a t i o n s , b e g i n n i n g i n 1995, o n the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l , e c o n o m i c , a n d d i s c u r s i v e u n d e r p i n n i n g s o f the t e c h n o l o g y r e p r e s e n t e d a s e c o n d w a v e o f i n t e r r o g a t i o n s o f G I S , m a n y o f w h i c h w e r e b o t h m o r e s u b s t a n t i v e a n d e n g a g e d w i t h the t e c h n o l o g y . 44  A u g u r e d b y the c o n f e r e n c e i n F r i d a y H a r b o r , this s e c o n d set o f e x c h a n g e s w a s i n i t i a t e d as a r e s p o n s e t o t h e d i s c i p l i n a r y f r i c t i o n d o c u m e n t e d i n the e a r l y 1990s. F r i d a y H a r b o r b r o u g h t critics o f G I S a n d its p r o p o n e n t s to the table, e n d i n g the o v e r t a n t a g o n i s m o f s q u a b b l e s i n the first w a v e o f G I S debates. T h e m e e t i n g at F r i d a y H a r b o r w a s o r g a n i z e d b y T o m P o i k e r , a l o n g s t a n d i n g G I S r e s e a r c h e r , i n a d e l i b e r a t e effort to r e c o n c i l e f a c t i o n s i n g e o g r a p h y . T h e o r g a n i z i n g committee included both Eric Sheppard and John Pickles. W i n d o f John Pickles' f o r t h c o m i n g Ground Truth h a d b l o w n t h r o u g h the g e o g r a p h y c o m m u n i t y , a n d t h e r e w a s i n c r e a s i n g r e c o g n i t i o n that the p u r p o r t e d r i f t i n g e o g r a p h y d e m a n d e d attention. T h e m e e t i n g u l t i m a t e l y l e d to a p r o p o s a l f o r a n N C G I A ( N a t i o n a l C e n t e r f o r G e o g r a p h i c I n f o r m a t i o n A n a l y s i s ) Initiative 19 to s t u d y the s o c i a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f G I S . It a l s o m a r k e d a shift i n the t o n e o f the debate. T h e g r o u p a s s e m b l e d at F r i d a y H a r b o r b r o u g h t t o the t a b l e a r a n g e o f p e r s p e c t i v e s a b o u t G I S , a n o p p o r t u n i t y f o r i n t r a - d i s c i p l i n a r y c o m m u n i c a t i o n w h i c h h a d thus far e l u d e d d e b a t e s o v e r G I S . T h e c o n f e r e n c e a n d the N C G I A Initiative w h i c h c a m e o u t o f i t w a s s u m m a r i z e d b y E r i c S h e p p a r d i n Environment and Planning A . S h e p p a r d ' s text is w o r t h y o f c l o s e a t t e n t i o n as a b a r o m e t e r o f c r i t i c s i n 1995. W h i l e i t m a r k e d the b e g i n n i n g o f c l o s e r c o o p e r a t i o n b e t w e e n G I S a n d its dissenters, i t also e l u c i d a t e d the t e r m s o n w h i c h critics u n d e r s t o o d the a l l i a n c e t o b e b a s e d . S h e p p a r d m a d e t h r e e m a i n p o i n t s a b o u t the d e v e l o p m e n t o f G I S . F i r s t , t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e s i g n s h a v e f a r - r e a c h i n g a n d l a s t i n g effects. I n the c a s e o f G I S , i n a d v e r t e n t b i a s e s i n the s y s t e m affect " a c a d e m i c c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s o f g e o g r a p h y " ( 1 9 9 5 , 1027). S h e p p a r d ' s i m p o r t a n t a r g u m e n t a b o u t the s o c i a l a n d c o n t i n g e n t n a t u r e o f G I S ( a n d a l l t e c h n o l o g y ) s u m m a r i z e d the c o n c e r n s o f m a n y critics: " t h e f u n d a m e n t a l 45  q u e s t i o n is w h e t h e r the l o g i c o f G I S , as a result o f d e s i g n d e c i s i o n s ... p r i v i l e g e s c e r t a i n v i e w s o f the w o r l d o v e r o t h e r s " (1027). S h e p p a r d ' s s e c o n d p o i n t c o n c e r n e d w a y s that G I S p r i v i l e g e s c e r t a i n c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s a n d w o r l d v i e w s . H e reiterated that " G I S d e v e l o p m e n t i s d o m i n a t e d b y p r i v a t e s e c t o r f i r m s rather t h a n p u b l i c a g e n c i e s ... a n d G I S f i n d s g r e a t e r u s e i n the c o r p o r a t e p l a n n i n g d e c i s i o n s o f e s t a b l i s h e d p u b l i c a n d p r i v a t e i n s t i t u t i o n s " ( 1 0 2 7 ) . S h e p p a r d ' s t h i r d a r g u m e n t was t w o - f o l d : (i) G I S is, at present, n o t a 5  d e m o c r a t i z e d t e c h n o l o g y i n that it is n e i t h e r a c c e s s i b l e p h y s i c a l l y o r t e c h n i c a l l y to t h o s e o n the f r i n g e s o f i n d u s t r y o r l a r g e institutions; a n d (ii) e v e n i f G I S w e r e a v a i l a b l e to e v e r y o n e w h o o w n e d a c o m p u t e r , it w o u l d s t i l l n o t b e a d e m o c r a t i z e d t e c h n o l o g y as it w o u l d c o n t i n u e to e m b o d y a l g o r i t h m i c t h i n k i n g , itself l i m i t e d . The s e c o n d w a v e : a chorus of (measured) objection t o GIS  P r o c e e d i n g s o f the c o n f e r e n c e at F r i d a y H a r b o r w e r e p u b l i s h e d i n a s p e c i a l i s s u e o f Cartography and GIS (CAGIS) i n 1995. T h e y w e r e f o l l o w e d i n the s a m e y e a r b y Ground Truth, a c o l l e c t i o n o f e s s a y s e d i t e d b y J o h n P i c k l e s . T h e s e t w o v o l u m e s c o l l e c t i v e l y  m a r k e d a second wave o f c r i t i q u e s o f G I S . I f earlier r e p r o a c h e s e v o l v e d as c o n v e r s a t i o n s b e t w e e n critics a n d p r o p o n e n t s o f G I S , the s e c o n d w a v e was a c h o r u s . A s a r e s u l t o f the p u b l i c a t i o n o f b o t h Ground Truth a n d the CAGIS a n t h o l o g y , t w e n t y e s s a y s i n 1995 w e r e b a s e d o n e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l a n d e t h i c a l f l a w s p u r p o r t e d to b e i n h e r e n t i n G I S . W i t h f e w e x c e p t i o n s the c o n t r i b u t o r s f o u n d m u c h amiss. T h e a n t a g o n i s m e x p r e s s e d i n e a r l i e r  5  It should be noted that the shift to private support for GIS is limited to the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Sheppard did not address the issue of how GIS has been affected by this shift from public to private development.  46  debates was, h o w e v e r , r e p l a c e d b y m o r e subtle, p o l i t i c a l l y s a v v y a n d s u b s t a n t i v e analyses. Issues s u c h as e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l integrity, gender, c l a s s , l i m i t a t i o n s o f v i s u a l i z a t i o n , C a r t e s i a n p e r s p e c t i v a l i s m a n d r a t i o n a l i s m w e r e addressed. T h o u g h m a n y o f these i s s u e s h a d b e e n r a i s e d i n the first w a v e o f c r i t i q u e s , they w e r e n o w m o r e t h o r o u g h l y t h e o r i z e d than h a d p r e v i o u s l y b e e n the case. O r i g i n a l l y a p r o j e c t e n v i s a g e d b y b o t h P i c k l e s a n d the late B r i a n H a r l e y , Ground Truth was a set o f s o c i a l c r i t i q u e s o f G I S . It was t h e o r e t i c a l l y i n f l u e n c e d b y the g r o u n d b r e a k i n g w o r k o f H a r l e y o n the r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n m a p s a n d p o w e r . H a r l e y c l a i m e d that m a p s h a v e a l w a y s b e e n a m e c h a n i s m f o r d e p i c t i n g a n d p r o d u c i n g s o c i a l relations. It is t a k e n f o r granted, he m a i n t a i n e d , that the king's c a s t l e s h o u l d b e d e p i c t e d i n a l a r g e s i z e o n a f e u d a l m a p w h i l e w h o l e c l u s t e r s o f f e u d a l cottages are absent. T h e m a p i s not a n e u t r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f territory, but a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s ( H a r l e y , 1992, 2 3 3 - 2 3 8 ) . P i c k l e s e x t e n d e d this a n a l y s i s to G I S , d e c l a r i n g that G I S s o f t w a r e a n d r e s e a r c h p r o g r a m s are m a r k e t e d w i t h the p r o m i s e o f b e i n g a b l e to e n h a n c e u n d e r s t a n d i n g  and  i n c r e a s e p e o p l e s ' c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r o w n a n d others' l i v e s ( 1 9 9 5 , 6) - a p r o c e s s that he r e f e r r e d to as the " c o l o n i z a t i o n " o f e v e r y d a y l i f e (224). G I S p r a c t i t i o n e r s w e r e not, h o w e v e r , i g n o r a n t o f the w a y s that m a p s c o u l d b e u s e d i n the interests o f p o w e r . M a r k M o n m o n i e r ' s b o o k How to Lie With Maps ( 1 9 9 1 a ) t a c k l e d p r e c i s e l y the s a m e issues, i l l u s t r a t i n g that m a p s are a m e a n s to e x e r c i s e a n d e n f o r c e r e l a t i o n s o f p o w e r . C r i t i q u e s o f G I S had, b y 1995, taken H a r l e y ' s a n a l y s i s a step further, a s s e r t i n g that G I S not o n l y represents but perpetrates c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n s o f p o w e r . T h i s v i e w c o r r e s p o n d e d to s o c i o l o g i s t J o h n L a w ' s c o n t e n t i o n that the v i s i o n o f m o d e r n i t y orders societies, a d r e a m  47  s u s t a i n e d b y the b e l i e f that they can be o r d e r e d (Law, 1994). T h e p u r p o r t e d p r o p e n s i t y o f G I S to o r d e r s o c i e t y has h i s t o r i c a l roots. L a w n o t e d that b e t w e e n 1400 a n d 1800, E u r o p e w i t n e s s e d the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f new a p p r o a c h e s to s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i n w h i c h m a p s w e r e c r i t i c a l f o r the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d i m p o s i t i o n o f the 'truth' (Law, 1994, 7). P o w e r m a y  be  i n t e r n a l to m a p s , b u t critics l i n k e d i t e x p l i c i t l y to G I S . H a r l e y ' s l e g a c y was an a b i d i n g interest i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n m a p s a n d p o w e r a m o n g c u l t u r a l g e o g r a p h e r s . T h i s was c o n s o l i d a t e d w i t h the r i s e o f G I S a n d a p e r c e i v e d n e e d to g a i n s o m e c o n t r o l o v e r its e f f e c t s w i t h i n the d i s c i p l i n e o f g e o g r a p h y . B y 1995, then, s u b s t a n t i v e i s s u e s w e r e i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h r e s p o n s e s to the specter o f an a s c e n d a n t G I S . A r h e t o r i c a l shift was a l s o evident. R a t h e r than f o r u m s , these a r g u m e n t s w e r e d o m i n a t e d b y critics o f G I S t h o u g h , s i g n i f i c a n t l y , a n u m b e r o f G I S p r a c t i t i o n e r s h a d j o i n e d t h e i r ranks. W h i l e p o s i t i v i s m was s t i l l r e g a r d e d as the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l b a s i s o f the t e c h n o l o g y , a m o r e v a r i e d a n a l y s i s o f G I S was e m e r g i n g . C r i t i c s c o v e r e d a g a m u t f r o m r e p r e s e n t a t i o n to e t h i c s , f r o m g e n d e r to d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , f r o m p o s i t i v i s m to i n s t r u m e n t a l r a t i o n a l i s m . M o r e p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y r e f i n e d than t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s , m a n y a r g u m e n t s i n t r o d u c e d i m p o r t a n t s o c i a l q u e s t i o n s about G I S . T h e l a n g u a g e o f these c r i t i q u e s r e m a i n e d , h o w e v e r , that u s e d i n c u l t u r a l studies a n d s o c i a l t h e o r y - a l a n g u a g e that d i d l i t t l e to b u i l d a l l i a n c e s w i t h G I S a d v o c a t e s w h o f r e q u e n t l y c l a i m e d that t h e y c o u l d b a r e l y d e c i p h e r c r i t i c s ' m e s s a g e s ( P h o e n i x , 1998; C l a r k e , 1998; M a r k , 1998, p e r s o n a l interviews). P r o b l e m s w i t h p o s i t i v i s m r e m a i n e d an u n d e r l y i n g m o t i f o f the 1995 critiques. A c c o r d i n g to P e t e r T a y l o r a n d R o n a l d J o h n s t o n , G I S was a c o l l e c t i o n o f q u a n t i t a t i v e t o o l s f o r d a t a a n a l y s i s c o n s t i t u t i n g c l a s s i c a l e m p i r i c i s m . C r i t i c s r e g a r d e d the t e c h n o l o g y as h a v i n g 48  e m e r g e d f r o m a p o s i t i v i s t t r a d i t i o n w i t h a n e m p h a s i s o n s o l v i n g t e c h n i c a l p r o b l e m s as w e l l as i m p r o v i n g t e c h n i c a l i n t e r f a c e s ( M i l l e r , 1995). P i c k l e s s u b s t a n t i a t e d these c l a i m s i n Ground Truth: " W e c a n g l i m p s e here the u n c o n s c i o u s p r o c e s s o f m y t h - m a k i n g t h r o u g h w h i c h the i n v e n t i o n o f a p o s i t i v i s t past is u s e d to j u s t i f y a p r o g r e s s i v e p o s i t i v i s t p r e s e n t " ( P i c k l e s , 1995a, 19). G I S ' r e l a t i o n s h i p t o p o s i t i v i s m w a s l i n k e d b y critics t o t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e r e v o l u t i o n ( T a y l o r a n d J o h n s t o n , 1995). T h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a ' p r o g r e s s i v e ' p o s i t i v i s t f u t u r e w a s g e n e r a l l y r e g a r d e d s k e p t i c a l l y . G I S was, b y i m p l i c a t i o n , a m e a n s o f l i m i t i n g the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f e p i s t e m o l o g i e s i n g e o g r a p h y . T h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n o f G I S is a p o i g n a n t i l l u s t r a t i o n o f w h y s o m e r e s e a r c h e r s m a y h a v e felt i t e n c u m b e n t u p o n t h e m t o p r o m o t e g e o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n science. P o s i t i v i s m , i n this context, s e e m e d v e r y v a g u e , g i v e n that s o m u c h r e s e a r c h c o u l d f a l l u n d e r its r u b r i c . M o r e s p e c i f i c e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s o f G I S w e r e better substantiated. C o m p u t e r s , as H o w a r d V e r e g i n p o i n t e d out, d o i m p o s e l i m i t a t i o n s o n q u e s t i o n s that c a n b e a s k e d b y v i r t u e o f their a r c h i t e c t u r e (1995). D a t a structures a l s o restrict w h a t k i n d s o f i n f o r m a t i o n c a n b e c o d e d ( C u r r y , 1995b); e t h i c a l statements, f o r i n s t a n c e , are d i f f i c u l t to c l a s s i f y as are e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n . C r i t i c s a l s o i d e n t i f i e d a n u m b e r of ethical shortcomings of predominant applications of GIS. T h i s line of criticism focused o n under-representation o f marginalized peoples ( N C G I A , 1996; R u n d s t r o m , 1995; S h e p p a r d , 1 9 9 5 b ) ; s o c i a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f m e a n s - d r i v e n t e c h n o l o g y ; s u r v e i l l a n c e e n h a n c e m e n t ( G o s s , 1 9 9 5 ; C u r r y ; 1995a; R o b e r t s a n d S c h i e n , 1995); u n r e g u l a t e d d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f G I S i n t o m a r k e t i n g ( C r a m p t o n , 1 9 9 5 ; G o s s , 1995); l a c k o f a t t e n t i o n t o u n d e r l y i n g s o c i a l f a c t o r s ( T a y l o r a n d J o h n s o n , 1995); b l a c k - b o x i n g o f a l g o r i t h m i c p r o c e s s e s ( C u r r y , 1 9 9 5 b ; G o s s , 1995); s u b j e c t - o b j e c t d i s j u n c t i o n ( V e r e