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Come in Neogeography Your Time is Up

We are currently writing a technical report on all things geographic and coming to write the term 'Neogeography' has to be honest become painful. Sure, we have written many papers and book chapters on the topic but perhaps its one to lay to rest as we try to explain below...

The ability to mine data via new emerging methodologies for the collection, analysis and leverage of spatially related information is gathering pace and entering the main stream of social science. The key to this is three fold, firstly the move of information into the digital domain with datasets previously limited to corporations or local government organizations becoming available online, this is a recent trend. Secondly the rise of Neogeography, volunteered geographic information, crowd sourcing and citizen science above and beyond the traditional geographic domain. Thirdly the development of new toolkits that take advantage of various application programming interfaces (API’s) to allow non-programmers to quickly and easily mix, match and visualize datasets which would of previously been prohibitively technical. Such activites as a whole can be defined as Neogeography, the term derives from Eisnor (2006) one of the founders of where she defines it (Neogeography) as ‘…a diverse set of practices that operate outside, or alongside, or in a manner of, the practices of professional geographers.

Rather than making claims on scientific standards, methodologies of Neogeography tend towards intuitive, expressive, personal, absurd, and/or/ artistic, but may just be idiosyncratic applications of ‘real’ geographic techniques. This is not to say that these practices are of no use to the cartographic/geographic sciences, but they just usually do not conform the protocols of professional practice’. We see this as key to the renaissance of geographic information, the term Neogeography is perhaps of its time, in a similar manner that ‘Cyberspace’ is now rarely used. The importance is the trend towards the intuitive, expressive, personal, absurd, and/or/ artistic use of data without worrying, or indeed caring, about standards. A term to replace Neogeography? Perhaps there is not a need for one, its all about visualising spatial data, is there a need for a term that distinguishes between the professional and the non-professional, we would argue not.

Neogeography was 2006-2009, perhaps its time to leave it there.


  1. You last paragraph is so Cool!

  2. Itis a mapping activity that tracks where the things we buy are from. Intended for the home or workplace, this world map helps reveal the geography of our shopping in a fun and beautiful way. It is a kit that comes with a beautifully illustrated world map and color coding stickers.
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  3. I think it is aslo necessary ti integrate the use of virtual spaces as a tool of "pre-experiment" space. The virtual globes are slowly replacing the guide and paper map. This phenomenon is probably also part of new uses geographical cyberspace. It is also important to note that this neogeography is constructed and consumes increasingly on mobile devices ans mobile phone becomes a key to the future of our discipline.

    Maybe he should replace neogeograpy by "rookie geography', 'unprofesssionals (géographie amateur). "Rookie" does not mean a geography for dummies, but a geography is constructed and consumed outside of traditional professional channels.

    But the world of neogeography is complexe and multifaceted and certainly it simply illustrates the changing of geography. A natural outcome of the evolution of technology...that does not require a new concept..... ?

    Sorry for my english

  4. Neogeography does not apply to the techniques or tools - nor to professional or non-professional. I agree that any discussion along these lines is unnecessary and besides the point.

    The concept of neogeography is about the application of these tools. You can call it personal cartography, meaningful geography, or whatever you want. There is definitely a change in how people interact with spatial data and platforms - providing a moniker in which to refer to this concept is useful as a means to converse around the ideas.

    In the end, it's about building useful tools that people find engaging and a means to express themselves.

  5. "In the end, it's about building useful tools that people find engaging and a means to express themselves."

    A sort of naive geography ?? :

    "Naive Geography is the field of study that is concerned with formal models of the common-sense geographic world. It comprises a set of theories upon which next-generation Geographic Information Systems (GISs) can be built. In any case, Naive Geography is a necessary underpinning for the design of GISs that can be used without major training by new user communities such as average citizens, to solve day-to-day tasks. Such a scenario is currently a dream. Most GISs require extensive training, not only to familiarize the users with terminology of system designers, but also to educate them in formalizations used to represent geographic data and to derive geographic information. Naive Geography is also the basis for the design of intelligent GISs that will act and respond as a person would, therefore, empowering people to utilize GISs as reliable sources, without stunning surprises when using a system. This paper defines the notion[1] and concepts of Naive Geography."

  6. As usual - very interesting.

    ? RIP Neogeography 2006-10 - the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long ?

  7. Anonymous6:40 PM

    it's not Naive Geography because in its description:
    "..Naive Geography is not a replacement for GIS.."
    and, i got into this page by reading the text at this digital urban says: "...Terms come, terms go. Cyberspace, Virtual Reality, World Wide Web are all terms that nowadays look aged, perhaps its time to add GIS to the list..."

    its controversial to say that its the end of GIS and call it Naive by this readin...