*This project was inspired by David Woodward, who encouraged me to see maps in an entirely new light. As a thesis advisor, he was a thoughtful mentor and a model of personal and scholarly integrity. I see David's commitment to interdisciplinary understanding and social justice embodied in the potential of community mapping. I also thank the Portland Greenmap volunteers, who were generous with their time and tenacious in their commitment to producing a green map. Finally, I extend my appreciation to Jamie Peck and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.
Constructing Community Through Maps? Power and Praxis in Community Mapping*
Version of Record online: 20 OCT 2006
The Professional Geographer
Volume 58, Issue 4, pages 470–484, November 2006
How to Cite
Parker, B. (2006), Constructing Community Through Maps? Power and Praxis in Community Mapping. The Professional Geographer, 58: 470–484. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9272.2006.00583.x
- Issue online: 20 OCT 2006
- Version of Record online: 20 OCT 2006
- Initial submission, March 2003; revised submissions, December 2004, June 2005, and December 2005; final acceptance, March 2006.
- community-based map;
- community mapping;
- green map
Despite the growing practice of community mapping, empirical research remains limited. Extant studies have focused primarily on “counter-maps” and indigenous maps, leaving many locally produced maps and their authors' perspectives unexplored. This article identifies the mapping process as critical to the definition and understanding of community mapping. It links critical cartography literature to goals of community-mapping practitioners through themes of inclusion, transparency, and empowerment. The discussion highlights the social construction and practice of “community,” the relationship between maps and power, the definitional difficulties associated with community mapping, and the figurative and literal boundaries that constrain community cartography. Finally, it points to areas for further research and exploration.