Viral Cartography: Design, Dissemination, and Disinformation

Authors: Anthony C Robinson*, The Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Social Geography
Keywords: cartography, social media, visualization, disinformation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Roosevelt 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Making and sharing maps is easier than ever, and social media platforms make it possible for maps to rapidly attain widespread visibility and engagement. These maps can be considered examples of viral cartography. In this presentation we describe a framework for evaluating the design and social dissemination characteristics of viral maps. We apply this framework in two case studies of viral maps shared on Twitter. We then analyze large collections of maps derived from and inspired by viral maps using image analysis and machine learning to characterize their design elements, sources, and dissemination. Based on our initial work to conceptualize and analyze virality in cartography, we propose a set of new research challenges to better understand viral mapmaking and its potential for spreading information as well as disinformation.

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