Featured Panelist: Jim Thatcher

Jim Thatcher is an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma. His research examines relationships between extremely large geospatial data sets and the creation and analysis of those data sets and society, with a focus on how data has come to mediate, saturate, and sustain modern urban environments. Often referred to as Critical Data Studies or Digital Political Ecologies, Jim’s work has been featured in media outlets including NPR and The Atlantic. His first edited volume, Thinking Big Data In Geography: New Regimes, New Research, is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press.


Featured Panelist: Britta Ricker

Britta Ricker is an Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies program at the University Washington Tacoma. Ricker teaches a wide variety of courses related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Science and Urban Research Methods. Her research interests convergence around spatial information collection and dissemination opportunities afforded by mobile computers. She is interested in applying these tools for spatial learning related to emergency preparedness and environmental communication initiatives. Her professional experience includes acting as a Hazard Mapping Analyst for Dewberry and Davis, a consultant for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She has also acted as a cartographic consultation for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), and cartographic services (on paper!) for MapQuest.

Britta was also just featured in Wired Magazine.

Introducing Resistance GIS

Are you interested in using or do you already use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or geospatial technologies to help the world?  Do you oppose the exploitation of these technologies for applications of war, surveillance, marketing, and unsustainable resource extraction?  Do you want to know how to apply your knowledge to support social movements?

What is Resistance GIS?

Resistance GIS is a free mini-conference taking place on May 20th, 2017 at Portland State University.

This conference aims to build a new critically informed framework for applications of GIS by providing a space for GIS experts and non-experts to exchange radical ideas that challenge the dominant paradigm of GIS as neutral tool.  Students, academics, organizers, professionals, and the general public are welcome to join, learn and share tips, skills, and visions for how geospatial technologies, open data, and data visualization can empower communities and support civil resistance struggles and social movements.

Why Resistance GIS?

GIS are ubiquitous. They have helped our world with efficiency, saving money, making better decisions, communication, and visualizing our complex lives.  Perhaps expectedly, applications of these powerful advancements have most significantly benefited government agencies and large corporations.  And while many results of their institutional applications have led to great advancements in the way humans live and interact with the world around them, many others have enabled unbridled capitalism, invasive marketing, resource exploitation, culling, surveillance and war.

But as geospatial technologies become cheaper and more publicly accessible, control of the spatial narrative is shifting.  Resistance GIS is a forum to explore this shift and develop a framework for how GIS can be used a tool of empowerment for community organizations and social movements.