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Conforming (to) the opposition: the social construction of geographical information systems in social movements

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This paper proposes a new framework to understand the use and value of GIS by social movement groups and to transcend the contested debate over how and whether GIS should be adopted. It frames the debate in terms of the conforming properties of GIS. The proposal is that conservation GROs must conform to GIS to ensure effective usage; however, in the process of that use, they mould the GIS to their own objectives. Various examples from the North American conservation movement illustrate the properties of GIS conformity and likely outcomes of research. This paper asks the reader to rethink PPGIS and GIS diffusion. It also poses questions for further research that frames adoption as an issue of conformity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and School of the Environment, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, QC H3A 2K6, Canada

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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