Humanistic GIS: An Individual's Pursuit of Poetic Dwelling on Digital Earth

Authors: Bo Zhao*, The University of Washington - Seattle
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Geographic Thought
Keywords: GIS, humanistic geography, phenomenology, space, place
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 9
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


A new research agenda ‘Humanistic GIS’ is proposed to incorporate the human experience into the process of GIS design, development, and critique, and scrutinizes GIS by its consistent mediation between human and place. Through the examination of various GIS-mediated experiences, the intentionality of GIS is revealed and further exemplified by four major types: embodiment, hermeneutic, autonomous, and background. The implications of GIS is then examined through a magnification-reduction structure, especially when uncovering those unintended but vital influences, including but not limited to, physiological discomfort, fake geospatial information, competition with GIS and surveillance. It must be noted that this research agenda is not to replace today’s prosperity of GIS. Instead, to improve it on the basis of both technological advances and by adding the humanistic perspective. Thus, a sustainable pathway can be paved by GIScientists to ultimately reconcile the ever-increasing livelihood demands and rapid proliferation of contemporary GIS.

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