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Countermapping

  • By: Sebastian Cobarrubias
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Countermapping refers to the use of cartographic tools and maps to correct or denounce injustice. It is usually carried out in opposition to maps or spatialities produced by powerful interests, be they from the state, the private sector, or elsewhere. Countermapping's uniqueness comes from its focus on explicit politics, advocacy, and activism. In geography, countermapping has most often been associated with questions and struggles over land use and conservation. Use of the term in the discipline began to pick up rapidly after the mid 1990s, with Nancy Peluso's work on countermapping in Indonesian forests. Despite the recent emergence of the term in Anglophonic geography, one could trace a countermapping tradition at least as far back as the Geographical Expeditions of William Bunge in the 1970s.

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