Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Discussion Prompts


Privacy and the Geospatial Revolution

Have a look at a map that was created by students who took this class in 2015. This map shows student's self-reported locations and some basic demographic information. It's incredibly interesting and helpful for me as the instructor, because now I have a better sense of all of the amazing places where people were experiencing this course. Some shared what seem to be very specific locations (down to a specific house, for example). Others shared locations that seem to be much more generic. People have always had conceptions of private and public space, but geospatial privacy is more relevant than ever due to the proliferation of ways in which your personal location can be shared.

Here are some prompts you can use to discuss what you've learned in this lesson:

  • Why did you feel comfortable sharing what you shared?
  • What is scary about potentially losing control over your geospatial privacy?
  • What are some positive things that could come from openly sharing your personal location with others?
  • What about geospatial privacy has really changed over time? 200 years ago, would it have been possible to live in your current location without your friends and family knowing where you were most of the time?
  • Have a look around at what people submitted for answers to the question “How do you use maps?” Are there spatial patterns associated with certain types of answers?