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Teaching Ethics with GIS

Maps and the GIS behind those maps are powerful tools for informing the present and making plans for the future.  How can ethics be effectively taught in geography, GIS, health, planning, engineering, business, and other courses in which the “where” question is being asked?  I believe that the very same GIS tools that present ethical …

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Mapping Covid-19’s impact and response in communities in Kenya

As cases of coronavirus continue to mount in Kenya, Map Kibera has launched the Kenya Covid-19 Tracker Ushahidi instance in order to track cases in the country and resources available, especially in the slum areas of Nairobi such as Kibera.  Those who live in and work with residents of informal settlements and refugee camps are …

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Data Privacy: Legal Landscape in the United States

The issue of data privacy is not a twenty-first century concept: it is a debate that goes back more than a century. In an increasingly interconnected world with rapidly developing technology, it is important to take a step back and realize what is happening with the information we provide when we type on a keyboard …

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Bad Data Always Leads to Bad Ethics

The COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced some very important ethical questions. Particular to this space is using geolocation to track individuals and respond to the crisis. Yet there is a connected, although broader, concept that concerns me more than the compromised privacy that comes with tracking. I’m concerned that we are making important decisions based on terribly …

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Towards a collaborative future, the silver lining amidst the crisis

In recent weeks, we have all started to increasingly populate our daily reads with news about COVID-19. As an EthicalGEO Fellow, I have been on top of reports about how governments are accessing geolocation data of diagnosed patients to trace back their activities and identify other potential cases. This idea has raised many concerns about …

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The Practical Application of the GIS Code of Ethics – A Case Study

For those who live in the Seattle area or for those who visit Seattle, SeaTac is a curious name but also the most frequent gateway to the Pacific Northwest. A few years ago it was also the location of an interesting case in the practical application of the GIS Code of Ethics. The ethical use …

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Robots Save Elephants and Rhinoceros

Artificial Intelligence continues to be a very controversial issue fueling a multitude of ethical questions on surveillance, data security, the potential loss of human jobs, and, in the most extreme, the fear of “the rise of the robots”. Could this same technology that is alarming to some also be used to benefit wildlife conservation? Recent …

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EthicalGEO in the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development

The UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (Decade) represents a global effort to reverse the trend of declining ocean health observed in the last decades. Through it, stakeholders around the world representing research institutions, UN organizations, business, technology, NGOs, philanthropy and many other sectors, will come together focused on a shared interest, our …

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YouthMappers + EthicalGEO

YouthMappers, an organization working to “cultivate a generation of young leaders to create resilient communities and to define their world by mapping it,” has taken extraordinary steps to ensure their work does no harm to the communities they serve. Check out the vlog from YouthMappers Director and Co-founder Dr. Patricia Solís, discussing considerations the organization …

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Productivity vs. Privacy: Tracking Workers On (and Off) the Job

In February of 2018, Amazon was awarded two patents for a new wristband device that could track the locations and hand movements of warehouse workers in real time. The wristband was described as part of a “haptic feedback” system that would sense the location of a worker’s wrist in relation to some external equipment — …

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