Seminar (TURBA Lab): "From the margins of Geographical Information Systems"

IN3’s Urban Transformation and Global Change Laboratory (TURBA Lab) is pleased to invite you to the Seminar: «From the margins of Geographical Information Systems: Limitations, challenges, and proposals», given by Núria Font-Casaseca, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Assistant Professor at the Universitat de Barcelona, and Maria Rodó-Zárate, Professor and Researcher at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

The seminar will be held, virtually and in person, on Friday, June 14 at 12:00 h (CET) in Can Jaumandreu (Building U - Room U2.1).


Can Jaumandreu (Building U - Room U2.1)
Rambla del Poblenou, 154
08018 Barcelona


14/06/2024 12.00h

Organized by

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, IN3's Urban Transformation and Global Change Laboratory (TURBA Lab)



In this presentation, we argue that the notions of space sustaining mainstream GIS not only condition its potential to effectively analyse, represent, and communicate spatial knowledge but also fail to incorporate other ways of knowing, interpreting, and representing informed by diverse forms of theory and praxis. We explore the potential of proactive engagement with mapping technologies from peripheral positions, such as humanist, feminist, decolonial, queer, and black perspectives, to overcome what we identify as five intrinsic challenges of GIS: (a) how to represent complex meanings of place; (b) how to collect and represent emotions; (c) how to include scales such as home or the body; (d) how to address time and change; and finally, (e) how to integrate relational approaches. For each challenge, we provide examples of innovative and alternative approaches and initiatives that challenge, rework, and reimagine other ways to engage with spatial technologies.

Contributions from outside cartographic traditions provide opportunities for formally trained GIS users, who are still strongly attached to specific spatial structures, cartographic symbolization, and fixed scales when representing and analysing spatial data. Approaches from the margins may precisely challenge some conventions in GIS, which restrict and narrow its functionality. Additionally, they may reproduce structures of domination and invisibility in the production of geographical knowledge. Acknowledging the partiality of mainstream GIS conceptions and recognizing the diversity of perspectives coming from the margins can contribute to a more precise understanding of the world.

Nuria Font-Casaseca

PhD in Geography (Universitat de Barcelona). Her main research interests include critical cartography, feminist mapping methodologies and urban socio-spatial inequalities. She is currently a Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University and Assistant Professor at University of Barcelona.

Maria Rodó-Zárate

PhD in Geography (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), is professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where she coordinates the Research Group on Gender and Inequalities (GRETA). Her research focuses on the study of social inequalities from an intersectional, spatial and emotional perspective. She has also developed specific methodologies for the study of geographies of intersectionality, such as the Relief Maps.