I met Lize at the AAG Conference in New York City last week. At the time, I wasn't aware I was talking to one of the chief editor's of An Atlas of Radical Cartography. She was a panelist in our session on The Future of Cartography in the American Security State: Hidden in Plain Sight. The panel discussion was organized by John Cloud from the NOAA Central Library. I had no idea I was getting myself incorporated into a discussion I am so interested about. I originally went to the discussion because it was tagged with the 'Cartography Speciality Group' sponsorship in the AAG program. Alas, the foreshadowing statement of this discussion: Invigorating.
John opened up with some discussion regarding the public federal data coming out of the DC area in which he lives. He spoke on the private contracted organizations working with the government that have access to sensitive and insensitive public data. Millions of datasets are viewed and geoprocessed by official government organizations (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) and third-party organizations like (GeoEye).
Lize introduced material related to Google Earth's raster images that blurred in specific places across the globe (highlighting military bases and bunkers in Nevada, the Netherlands, etc...). Lize also brought hard copies of many radical/alternative maps that depicted uncommon public data. These maps were key examples of how you can debunk the mapping norms of reference, political, economic, demographic, environmental, and topological maps. She also gave me a copy of her work in Sharjah, UAE. The map depicts the local perspective of users/individuals that visited a mobile kiosk during a two-month period in Sharjah.
The third panelist was a professor at the University of South Florida in St. Pete/Tampa. He described the convoluted process on how his GIS students were trying to create a comprehensive campus map. It turns out, he had to endure much bureaucratization on his campus to get data and GIS data in order to build a simple campus map. The "right" to sensitive and insensitive data was subject to administrators even though it is free public data paid by the tax-payers of the cities and the public university.