Resources and key readings to support the consideration of ethical issues in GIS
When using GIS and spatial data, consideration of ethical issues and implications is as important as when collecting, analysing, presenting and using any other form of data. The following list of online resources is dynamic. If you know of other resources you think we should be sharing, we’d be happy to hear from you at email@example.com
The Society does not accept responsibility for the content of the external sites. Inclusion on this list does not equate to an endorsement of any content or organisation. Please contact the external site for questions regarding individual resources.
EthicalGEO, American Geographical Society (USA)
Developing an international set of principles and guidance for the ethical use of location data.
Watch the launch event
Ethical guidelines for GIS professionals (an a requirement of URISA members).
AAG/ University of California Santa Barbara/ Esri (USA)
A series of webinars to discuss many of the major ethical issues raised by locational information.
Mark Altaweel/GIS Lounge
A short discussion of the place of ethics in GIS.
Omidyar Network/ Ordnance Survey (UK)
A programme aiming to increase awareness of the many potential risks of using location data, to identify ethical principles, and to promote good practice.
This note highlights some of the unique characteristics of spatial data within the broader realm of ethical use of data.
Gabrielle Berman, Sara de La Rosa and Tanya Accone/UNICEF
UNICEF working paper on the role of GIS and other technologies by humanitarian organisations and ethical considerations when doing so.
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
A discussion of the balance between mapping features and mapping the land, oceans, and communities who live and are stewards of that space, decolonizing open data and open mapping, and representation and power in humanitarian mapping.
Blatt, A.J. (2012) Ethics and Privacy Issues in the Use of GIS, Journal of Map & Geography Libraries, 8(1), pp. 80-84, DOI: 10.1080/15420353.2011.627109
Crampton, J. (1995) The Ethics of GIS. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 22 (1), pp. 84-89, doi:10.1559/152304095782540546.
Davis, M. (2014) What to consider when preparing a model core curriculum for GIS ethics: objectives, methods, and a sketch of content, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 38(4), pp. 471-480, DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2014.956298
DiBiase, D., Harvey, F., Goranson, C. and Wright, D. (2012) The GIS Professional Project: Practical Ethics for GIS Professionals, in Unwin, D.J., Foote, K.E., Tate, N.T. and DiBiase, D. (ed.) Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education, pp. 109-209.
Elwood, S. and Wilson, M. (2017) Critical GIS pedagogies beyond ‘Week 10: Ethics’, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 31(10), pp. 2098-2116, DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2017.1334892
Holler, J. (2020) Teaching critical open GIS, The Canadian Geographer, 64(4), pp. 484-494.
Miller, R.P. (1995) Beyond Method, Beyond Ethics: Integrating Social Theory into GIS and GIS into Social Theory, Cartography and Geographic Information Systems, 22(1), pp. 98-103, DOI: 10.1559/152304095782540582
Scull, P., Burnett, A., Dolfi, E., Goldfarb, A., et al. (2016) Privacy and Ethics in Undergraduate GIS Curricula. Journal of Geography, 115 (1), pp. 24-34, doi:10.1080/00221341.2015.1017517.
Featured image: Dan Roizer/Unsplash
Resources to help create an accessible and successful eventmental health and wellbeing issues in higher education.
Considerations for organising and running writing events.
The Council of Heads of Geography in UK Higher Education Institutions' (CHGHEI) principles for planning and delivering undergraduate fieldwork, guided by evidence and good practice.
David Matless (University of Nottingham) discusses ways of encouraging curiosity and further independent research/study in historical geography.
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