Mapping: Culture and Geographical Information Science (MCGIS)

The Mapping: Culture and Geographical Information Science (MCGIS) research group seeks to facilitate collaboration between colleagues with research interests from a variety of geographical sub-disciplines that involve GIS and mapping.

Graffiti in Cyprus.

The group includes a combination of creative, cultural and critical scholars alongside geographical information scientists, remote sensing specialists and physical geographers with interest in spatial analysis.

This unique combination of researchers allows a holistic view of mapping to be taken, in which we are able to draw upon both technical and critical skill sets in the development of new methods and applications.

Map of Manchester.

Our focus, therefore, lies in areas such as emergent technologies, data analysis, data visualisation and software development in a wide variety of application drawn from both human and physical geography.

The group benefits from the use of university facilities such as the University Map Library, which houses one of the most significant map collections in the UK, and equipment for mapping, surveying and data collection including both fixed-wing and rotary UAV’s.

Amongst other activities, MCGIS recently hosted the 25th GIS Research UK (GISRUK) conference, held in April 2017.

Our research


  • Developing the use of geospatial analysis in multi-disciplinary teams to instigate more sustainable outcomes of human-environment interactions, with the ongoing exploration of with urban air pollution, climate adaptation and urban ecosystem services
  • Digital cartographic theory and experimentation
  • Exploring the representation of vague geographical entities in GIS, new approaches to participatory mapping, and the application of new technologies to geographical data collection
  • Humanitarian health-focused mapping in the Global South
  • Investigating disruptions in the flow of cartographic reason by focusing on the indeterminacies of mobile mapping practices and other digital geographies
  • Investigating the novel use of Earth observation data across a range of temporal and spatial scales, from the collection of laboratory and in situ field spectroscopy data to the analysis of airborne and satellite imagery.
  • Multi-sensory mapping
  • Researching the historical relationships between digital technologies and the production of space by mapping software spaces and software in space, surveillance and securitisation and personal data shadows in everyday mobilities
  • The affordances and materialities of digital, analogue and hand-made mapping
  • The application of novel remote sensing techniques to understand ecosystem processes and functions
  • The development and application of novel PGIS and VGI approaches
  • The development of tools and methods informed by GIS
  • The potential of playful approaches as mapping methodologies
  • The use of advanced spatial analysis, including for understanding spatial pattern and process in urban environmental processes, ecosystems and human-environment interactions
  • Unpacking the changing affordances and social contexts of map deployment with critical, playful and ethnographic approaches

Our people


PhD students