Coffee Hour: Geography, Harvard, and Digital Mapping

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.


Geography, Harvard, and Digital Mapping

About the talk

The origin stories that surround geographic information systems focus in on the 1960s, as a period of intense advancements in computer-supported cartography. In this presentation, I examine one site of such innovation: the Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics (and Spatial Analysis), founded by Howard Fisher in 1965. By examining the growing interest and expansion of computational methods in the analysis and representation of spatial data, I reconsider and rescale what we might mean by innovations in digital mapping.


Suggested reading

New lines? Enacting a social history of GIS in The Canadian Geographer

About the speaker

Matthew W. WilsonMatthew W. Wilson is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky and a visiting scholar at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. He co-founded and co-directs the New Mappings Collaboratory which studies and facilitates new engagements with geographic representation. His research in critical GIS draws upon STS and urban political geography to understand the development and proliferation of location-based technologies, with particular attention to the consumer electronic sector. He has previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his current research project focuses on the founding of the Laboratory for Computer Graphics at Harvard in 1965, a catalyzing moment in the advent of the digital map.

Angela Rogers