Published in ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Volume 4, Issue 1, January 1, 2006, pages 131-144.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Amy Propen was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
This paper aims to extend the purview of critical GIS to also account for what would be akin to a critical GPS by examining two cases where GPS technology is used as a similar means to two decidedly different ends. I look at Acme-Rent-a-Car’s use of GPS technology to track the driving speed of their customers and then fine their customers for speeding, and the Amsterdam Real-Time Project’s recent use of GPS technology to create, for aesthetic purposes, maps of the real-time movements of individual Amsterdam citizens. I examine the social implications of a consenting or nonconsenting subject who is always already locatable. I suggest that the questions raised by each of these two cases are indicative of a social dilemma in GPS, and thus advocate for a critical engagement with GPS technology.
English Language and Literature
2005 Amy Propen. First Published by ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies.