The shoemaker's son always goes barefoot: Implementations of GPS and other tracking technologies for geographic research

Noam Shoval, Mei Po Kwan, Kristian H. Reinau, Henrik Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The past decade witnessed dramatic grow in the implementation of GPS, smartphones and other tracking technologies for collecting high resolution space-time data. These highly accurate data can be analyzed and displayed by various tools and techniques that bring forth new insights about the space-time movements of people and objects such as private cars or taxis. Those analytical tools allow researchers to undertake more accurate temporal and spatial research, resulting in hundreds of journal articles that report findings using tracking technologies and data. But as was found in a meta analysis we conducted, only a small proportion of these papers were published in geography journals or involve geographers as collaborators. We discuss several possible reasons for this trend and see this neglect of such highly useful geographical tools by geographers as a missed opportunity. We encourage geographers to pay more attention to the new possibilities offered by these technologies in light of their immense potential for the advancement of geography in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeoforum
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • GIS
  • GPS
  • Geography's future
  • Time geography
  • Tracking technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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