“Mapping-with”: The Politics of (Counter-)classification in OpenStreetMap

  • Clancy Wilmott RMIT


In this paper I consider how debates in critical cartography about the classificatory and calculative logics of the map might be renegotiated through the concepts of “making-kin,” “sympoesis,” and the chthonic. Between Haraway’s (2014) Staying With The Trouble and Foucault’s (2002) writings on mathesis and taxinomia in The Order of Things, I argue that a more situated understanding of mapping—as an entanglement between people, tools, landscapes, cultures—might realise a more open, and more attentive, way of mapping. I return to the popular case study, OpenStreetMap, to excavate how the use and misuse of taxonomic and mathematical logics through its collaborative and amateur affordabilities shed light on different ways of sorting-with the world. I argue that, in the unexpected emergence of proposed classifications (and despite the disciplining power of cartographic discourses), roots of a new and more inclusive cartography linger in the archive, waiting to be fertilised.

How to Cite
Wilmott, C. (2019). “Mapping-with”: The Politics of (Counter-)classification in OpenStreetMap. Cartographic Perspectives, (92), 43–57. https://doi.org/10.14714/CP92.1451
Peer-Reviewed Articles