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Amber J. Bosse

I’m Amber J. Bosse (pronounced ‘boss’), a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Geography. My work intersects human geography, critical cartography, and participatory GIS to explore the ways to best translate community challenges into generative maps/mappings. In collaborations with more than a dozen grassroot organizations throughout the past five years, I have repeatedly observed how maps that ‘break all the rules’ of functional cartography can work to successfully gain the attention of local, state, and federal leaders.

 As such, my dissertation explores the emancipatory potential of current conceptualizations of cartographic efficacy through an examination of design practices taking place in participatory mapping projects.

I’m also a freelance cartographer and have made maps for purposes ranging from historical tourism plaques and books to art and political campaigns.


M.S. Georgia State Univeristy, Geosciences, 2015
B.S. University of North Dakota, Geography, 2013

Selected Publications:


Boll-Bosse, Amber J., and Katherine B. Hankins. 2017. “These Maps Talk for Us:” Participatory Action Mapping as Civic Engagement Practice. The Professional Geographer 70 (2): 1–8.


Bosse, Amber J. 2018. “After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century by William Rankin.” Southeastern Geographer 58 (1): 136–38.


Shannon, Jerry, Katherine Hankins, Taylor Shelton, Amber Bosse, Dorris Scott, Daniel Block, Heather Fischer, LaToya Eaves, Jin-Kyu Jung, Jonnell Robinson, Patricia Solis, Hamil Pearsall, Aileen Nicolas. Community Geography: Toward a Disciplinary Framework" to Progress in Human Geography


Bosse, Amber J. Participatory Cartography. The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge. Invited by editor Robert E. Roth

Bosse, Amber J. An Examination of Cartographic Efficacy in Participatory Mapping. Cartographic Perspectives

Kelly, Meghan and Amber J. Bosse. Pressing Pause. Accepted for submission to special issue on Doing Critical GIS (edited by Dillon Mahmoudi and Taylor Shelton) for ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies

Bosse, Amber J. Participatory GIS and the Uncanny Valley of Maps. For submission to Cartographica

Bosse, Amber J., Matthew W. Wilson. For the Essentially Subjective Elements of Cartography, 1953-1995. For submission to the Annals of the American Association of Geographers.

Barrett, Emily and Amber J. Bosse. Inclusivity, Objectivity, and Responsibility: Tensions in Community Geography. Accepted for submission to special issue Engagement and Action in Community Geography (edited by Jerry Shannon, Timothy Hawthorne, Kate Mariner, and Hannah Torres) for GeoJournal