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Visualizing Manipulation and Provenance of Maps in Social Media

Authors: Anthony Robinson*, Pennsylvania State University, Xi Zhu, GeoVISTA Center, Department of Geography
Topics: Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: cartography, social media, visual analytics, digital geographies
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Contemporary tools make it easy to create and share maps among broad digital audiences. Maps are frequently invoked in social media conversations to support different viewpoints, and such maps appear to capture the public's trust in a way that most cartographers would critique. One impediment to researching these maps is that it is often quite difficult to discern original from derived works in current social media platforms. In this presentation we show how reverse image search services can be combined in new visual analytics systems that can help reveal the provenance of socially-shared maps. We highlight examples which show the tendency for original works to be quickly modified and shared, as well as examples where a viral map has been clearly derived from previously disseminated work.

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