For geographical imagination systems

Luke Bergmann, Nick Lally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


For many, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related libraries for programming languages define the terrain of geographical computing today. But what if GIS were locales within wider realms of geographical imagination systems (gis), realms more adequate to diverse theoretical commitments of geographical thought? Examining how various thinkers in spatial theory have conceived of phenomena, space, knowledge, and their entanglements, this article advocates for geographical imagination systems that change the infrastructures of geographical computation and broaden its associated objects of intellectual inquiry. In doing so, it centers questions such as: What if knowledge were understood as interpreted experience? What if phenomena were represented as individuated out of process and internal relations? What if spaces and coordinates were coproduced with phenomena? Interludes juxtapose such considerations with concrete possibilities realized by an experimental prototype geographical imagination system under development. As the article also argues, though, crucial to the future of geographic computation adequate to geographical inquiry will be diverse creative conversations in code (valued alongside and) intellectually interwoven with scholarly interventions made through mediums such as the written word.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by American Association of Geographers.


  • GIS
  • absolute space
  • geographical imagination systems
  • gis
  • relational space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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