Late 15th century. From gē 'earth' + -graphia 'writing'.
[ OED ]

Matthew W. Wilson, PhD, is Chair and Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky and an Associate at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. He directs Mapshop. He is an editor at cultural geographies, an international, peer-reviewed quarterly journal.

He co-edited Understanding Spatial Media (SAGE, 2017) and his most recent book is New Lines: Critical GIS and the Trouble of the Map (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).

He has previously taught at Ball State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his current research examines mid-20th century, digital mapping practices. He earned his PhD and MA from the University of Washington and his BS from Northwest Missouri State University. His childhood was spent in Pumpkin Center, Missouri, a small farming community in Nodaway County, where his family has farmed for over 170 years.

He lives in the historic Aylesford neighborhood of Lexington, Kentucky.


Exploring the Affordances of Drawing and Tracing

research blog at

teaching blog at


critical GIS, mapping, GIScience, urban geography, cultural geography, digital geography, science and technology studies, community-based and participatory research

Digital Mapping

Histories of Experimentation

Archival research examines the histories of mapping in the lead-up to mid-20th century developments in computation.


Digital Geographies of Platforms

Qualitative research asks questions of current and emerging digital cultures, with specific attention to location-based services.

Representational Rhythms

Analyzing Cartographic Speed

Research addresses the role of mapmaking in geographic education in works by Edith Putnam Parker and Erwin Raisz, in the 1930s-1960s.


Intervening in Systems of Care

Collabortive and community-based research projects experiment with forms of engagement, outreach, and partnership through radical cartography.

Connect, y'all

Department of Geography
University of Kentucky
817 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506

in person: 8th Floor of
Patterson Office Tower, Office 815

office phone: 859-257-8851