[Air-L] AAG 2014 CFP, final call: “Future Directions in Geoweb Research: an alt.conference on Big Data, Theory, and Geography’s Role."

Joe Eckert jeckert1 at uw.edu
Tue Nov 5 12:27:51 PST 2013


Apologies for cross posting.  This is the final call for papers for the
"Future Directions in Geoweb Research: an alt.conference on Big Data,
Theory, and Geography's Role."

This just in: this alt.conference is now sponsored by the GI Science and
Systems, Urban Geography, and Communication specialty groups!  We're also
very excited by both the quality and quantity of responses so far.  We're
set to have a very robust series.

We'd like to call attention to the unique format we are able to facilitate.
We're encouraging submissions for short "lightning panels" that do not
interfere with your ability to present more substantial papers at the AAG.

The lightning talks are organized by theme and will then be discussed by
panelists including Rob Kitchin, Nadine Schuurman, Matt Wilson, Matt Zook,
Jeremy Crampton, Monica Stephens, Mark Graham, David O'Sullivan, Agnieszka
Leszczynski, Renee Sieber, and others.

The purpose of the alt.conference is to give an opportunity for younger
scholars to receive immediate feedback and begin discussions with more
senior researchers. Contributions will then be solicited for potential
inclusion in an edited volume.

Consider submitting a short talk and encouraging others to do so as well.

Future Directions in Geoweb Research: an alt.conference on Big Data,
Theory, and Geography's Role

Call for Participants:
Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
8-12 April 2014 Tampa, FL USA

Organizers (alphabetical by last name):
Josef Eckert, University of Washington
Andrew Shears, Mansfield University
Jim Thatcher, Clark University

Over the last two decades, widespread internet access integrated into daily
life as a platform for information exchange, social networking, and
commercial transactions. The expansive, rapidly changing data sets produced
through these and other digital processes have come to be termed "Big
Data." With an estimated 80% of these aggregated data sets containing
spatial referent information, Geography as a discipline offers a "home
field advantage" in the study of "Big Data" (Pozdnoukhov and Farmer 2012).
The addition of "where" to information that records who is doing what,
when, and with whom opens new avenues for knowledge and capital production
(probably want a citation here). In the eyes of its boosters, the rapid
aggregation and analysis of data destroys the need for social explanation
as the numbers are able to "speak for themselves" (Anderson 2008).

While Big Data and the Geoweb are oft heralded as a veritable gold mine for
private industry and a tantalizing new source of data for social research,
the rapid development of these technologies in the face of the often
personal nature of the derived data is of concern. Studies of the geoweb
call our attention to the ways in which user-generated data come into the
world and are complicit in its unfolding. Scholars have voiced caution
regarding the use of spatial big data, citing issues of accuracy (Liu et.
al 2013), heterogenous data and sources, (Goodchild 2012), surveillance
(Crampton 2013), shifting privacies (Elwood & Leczynszki 2011), capital
investment (Wilson 2012), and urban experience (Thatcher 2013). In spite of
this, urban planners (Torrens 2010), politicians (Morozov 2011), marketers
(LeValle et al., 2011), and even national funding agencies (NSF 2012) are
embracing the modeling of this data as a primary tool by which to
understand society.

This alt.conference will explore many of the broad implications of Big Data
and the Geoweb and its study, including:

- Big Data, the Geoweb, and the Critical GIS tradition
- New methodologies for gathering and analyzing data
- The epistemologies and ontologies of Big Data and the Geoweb
-  Big Data and the Geoweb as tools for education
- Big Data and Geoweb for policy and spatial decision-making
- Big Data and urban experience
- Big Data and Geoweb as a tool for community planning
- Amateur practitioners of Big Data analytics
- Activist appropriation of Big Data platforms
- Geographies of Big Data beyond GIS
- Gendered Big Data
- Big Data as Digital Humanities
- Data mining vs. data exploration
As well as other related topics.

The alt.conference will feature a series of sessions of five-minute
"lightning talks," each followed by panel and workshop sessions that link
the themes discussed to theory and praxis. These sessions will run
consecutively on the first day of the AAG conference, and will be capped by
an evening networking gathering.

Unlike the AAG"s traditional 15-minute papers, a lightning talk is an
engaging five-minute presentation that quickly examines intensive subject
matter by heavy use of simple but arresting graphics and visuals. The goal
is to provide the audience with an entertaining way to absorb information
on a number of topics. Traditionally, the presenter spends roughly a minute
on each slide. Because these talks do not fit into the AAG"s traditional
format, lightning talks do not preclude the presentation of a manuscript or
poster elsewhere in the conference. In other words, a lightning talk does
not preclude you from given a traditional talk elsewhere at the conference.

Scholars interested in giving a lightning talk as part of the
alt.conference are asked to submit an abstract or position paper of no
longer than 500 words, plus any preliminary graphics, to
ashears at mansfield.edu by November 15, 2013. Submissions are particularly
encouraged from scholars early in their career, from disadvantaged
populations and from the developing world.

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