The Internet, Cartographic Surveillance, and Locational Privacy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

9 Scopus citations


As a medium of geospatial surveillance, Web maps raise a variety of privacy concerns. This chapter explores the concept of locational privacy, the scope of Web-based cartographic surveillance, and the range of ethical and public policy issues raised by GPS-based tracking systems, community notification of sex offenders, crime mapping, traffic mapping, and online cadastres. In some cases, the Internet is an indispensable element of a potentially invasive system. In others, a website is a secondary component that raises privacy issues by promoting easier, more immediate access to information that otherwise would be substantially less invasive. If used to organize information about complaints against the police, Web cartography could even be useful in combating racial profiling, excessive use of force, and other abusive practices. Although Web maps of traffic conditions have little to do with locational privacy as long as specific vehicles cannot be reliably tracked, they have a prominent and an important role in cartographic surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaps and the Internet
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780080442013
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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