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Offered By ITC

GeoTechE: Introduction to Geotechnology Ethics

Explore power dynamics and ethics related to everyday geographic data with "Critical Data Studies." Learn about individual and collective modes of engagement by reflecting on real-world examples.

28 hours to complete
Online course
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Teaser Module: Critical Data Studies and Data Justice

Units: Individual Modes of Engagement; Collective Modes of Engagement

Welcome to this teaser module, entitled Critical Data Studies and Data Justice. You will have the chance to study two units from this module: Individual Modes of Engagement, and Collective Modes of Engagement.

In these units, you will explore critical issues surrounding power dynamics and ethical considerations in the realm of geographic data and consumer technologies that shape our daily lives.

The first unit begins by outlining some key ethical concerns, such as privacy and security - both from a legal and ethical standpoint, as well as agency and equity – taking into account how the effects of data are unevenly distributed across society.

As you progress, you will gain insights into the valuation and utilization of user geographic data in the marketplace, unravel the workings of targeted advertising, and understand the pivotal role users play as data producers.

The unit then explores several individual modes of engagement with data production and collection, ranging from 'acceptance' to 'active resistance', 'making present', and 'escape'.

The second unit will explore collective modes of engagement, including data regulation and the concept of 'drifting' —a semi-intentional exploration of space to identify places for solidarity or change.

Discover the power of detournement as a tool for repurposing data for political and cultural ends, exploring examples from art to counter-mapping. Uncover the concept of data strikes, where coordinated withholding of user data impacts company profits to drive positive change, exemplified by the #DeleteUber movement.

Throughout the course, learners will be invited to reflect on the context framing these concerns, and how factors of privilege and status affects the feasibility of a particular mode of engagement.

By the end, you will emerge equipped with a nuanced understanding of the power dynamics and ethical considerations surrounding these everyday technologies, ready to critically engage with and influence the evolving landscape in which they're embedded.

Curious about the course? Try this free preview!

Is this course for you?

  • Target Audience

    Anyone who:

    • Is interested in ethics issues and the dynamics of power involved with everyday geographic technologies
    • Is involved in the development of everyday geographic technologies
    • Uses a smartphone and wants to know how they can become more engaged and aware of the data they’re producing
    • Is giving classes on technology ethics or critical theory and wants to use up-to-date case study materials
    • Students or professionals involved in the geospatial sciences
  • Knowledge prerequisites


  • Any other prerequisites

    Basic computer access, ability to stream/watch online lectures.

Course content

Unit 1: Modes of Individual Engagement

Unit 2: Modes of Collective Engagement

Learning outcomes

About online learning at ITC

Geoversity courses aim to engage learners, be authentic to their subject matter, exhibit evidence based course design, represent ITC educational themes and expertise, and ultimately inspire and empower the next generation of game changers in the field of Geoscience.

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License information

Course Materials of this course are Copyright University of Twente under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license unless specified otherwise.


For questions, please email: info@geoversity.io

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