Narrative Hunger: GIS Mapping, Google Street View and the Colonial Prospectus

Main Article Content

Ross Gibson


There are millions of maps like the one Wislawa Szymborska describes.  But in this essay I’ll be looking at another kind: geographical information systems, which do get stirred when people engage with them.  Arrayed on screens, the surfaces of these interactive maps are designed to get unsettled.  There’s electricity and constant data-accrual agitating them, letting them change with context and consultation.  They are still accounts of space, these new kinds of maps, but they do not stay still.  They alter from moment to moment, tracking time, showing  --  albeit mainly at the somewhat occluded level of metadata  --  a record of everyone who visits them, who gets folded into them.

Article Details

Review Essay (Peer Reviewed)