‘The New Cartographers’

In These Times has a wide-ranging article on “the new cartographers” — i.e., the popular use of new mapping technologies.

For some, mapping has become a vibrant new language—a way to interpret the world, find like-minded folks and make fresh, sometimes radical, perspectives visible. For others, maps portend threats to privacy and freedom of movement. …
In many ways, these mapping tools are re-locating us as the center of our personal universes. We no longer go to maps to find out where we are. Instead, we tell maps where we are and they form around us on the fly, a sensation that can be comforting or stifling. After all, while finding the right map can orient you, having dozens can threaten to tip the signal-to-noise ratio toward cacophony.
On balance, though, the democratization of mapping and visualization tools generates possibilities for self-expression and social action.

Via All Points Blog.