Combating hegemonic cartographic discourses with drones


Britta Ricker 30min

University of Washington Tacoma
This talk was transcribed.

Access to aerial and satellite imagery combined with mobile computers have had a profound impact on what information is digitized and represented in OpenStreetMap.

The aerial imagery used as base maps are temporally static, and the time stamp of that imagery which influences how place is represented and perceived based on that fixed moment in time. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are a technology becoming increasingly accessible to the general public due to their diminishing costs and improved ease of use.

Through initiatives such as OpenAerialMap, this novel area of application could provide significant benefits for marginalized communities conventionally subjectified by hegemonic cartographic discourses.

Here I reiterate the value of OpenAerialMap and discuss potential work flows to improve the process of raster data processing and sharing. Through two proof of concept examples, I demonstrate how the use of UAVs and associated software can be utilized to quickly collect aerial photos to build orthophotos, that can be shared via OpenAerialMap used to digitize reality in OpenStreetMap. The capture and processing of the images can be instrumental in environmental learning, contextual awareness and to better facilitate accurate digitization in OpenStreetMap.