Jeremy W. Crampton

  • Professor of Geography
  • Director, Committee on Social Theory
  • Geography
  • Health, Society and Populations
  • Social Theory
867 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-4377
Research Interests:

Ph.D The Pennsylvania State University, 1994. Geography.


I was born in Ghana (Dormaa Ahenkro to be precise) but spent most of my childhood almost directly due north and 3,000 miles away in Cheshire and Shropshire along the Welsh borders.

Following my undergraduate education at Liverpool University, I studied at Penn State, getting my PhD in Geography in 1994 under the supervision of Roger Downs.

I've held positions at Portsmouth University (UK), George Mason University, and Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. I came to Kentucky in 2011 as Associate Professor and was promoted to full Professor in 2016. Also in 2016 I was appointed Director of the Committee on Social Theory.


I work on the intersections of critical cartography/GIS and political geography. I'm interested in mappings, security, and political geographies. More broadly I work on critical mapping (including the geoweb) as offering alternatives to the surveillant security state. Along with Matt Zook and Matt Wilson I co-founded the New Mappings Collaboratory (New Maps).

I am very interested in working with graduate students on these or related areas. 

My recent work has explored the implications of Big Data and algorithmic governance.

I also maintain interests in intelligence, or more colloquially, spying. How do security, geographical intelligence (GEOINT) and governmentality enroll geographical knowledges, mapping and GIS as technologies of government? I often draw on the work of Michel Foucault to gain insights into these questions, especially on surveillance and biopolitics.

The history of mapping and the state has very important to me. In the long term I'd like to write a book on a historical genealogy of spatial and geographic knowledges, especially around geographic knowledge and the state. This would concentrate on the modern period and exploration of contemporary developments in the spatial geoweb that afford new possibilities of open geographies.

I am working with Susan Roberts on a project we are tentatively calling "Drone Economies." Funding for this project was provided by the College of Arts and Sciences at UKY.

A good way to see my current interests is at my blog, OpenGeography.

Selected Publications: 
My most recent book is Mapping: A Critical Introduction to Cartography and GIS. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, Oxford and New York, 2010.
I am an editor for the journal Dialogues in Human Geography.
And editor for the forthcoming 2nd edition of the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Elsevier). Audrey Kobayashi Editor in Chief.

Recent Publications

(Forthcoming) "Geopolitics" In  Digital Geographies edited by James Ash, Rob Kitchin, Agnieszka Leszczynski. SAGE Publications.

2017 Crampton, J.W. and Miller, A. (Eds.) “Algorithmic governance.” Intervention for Antipode Journal (online). Special section with contributions by Louise Amoore, Emily Kaufman, Ian Shaw, Andrea Miller and myself.

2017 Crampton, J.W., Kaufman, E., and Huntley, E. “Societal Impacts and Ethics of GIS.” In Comprehensive Geographic Information Systems (2 vols) (B. Huang, Ed.). Elsevier.

2017 "Digital Mapping.” In. R. Kitchin, M. Wilson, T. Lauriault. (Eds) Understanding Spatial Media. Sage.

2016 Crampton, J.W. and Leszczynski, A. (Co-Editors). Special Theme issue for Big Data & Society on “Spatial Big Data and Everyday Life.”

2016 “Assemblage of the Vertical: Commercial Drones and Algorithmic Life.” Geographica Helvetica, 71: 137-146. doi:10.5194/gh-71-137-2016.

2016 “The Social Power of Big Data.” In L. Coles-Kemp (Ed.) TresPass Summer School, pp. 15-16.

2015. "Collect it All: National Security, Big Data and Governance." GeoJournal, 80, pp. 519-531.

2015 Crampton, J.W. and Wilson, M.W. “Harley and Friday Harbor. A Conversation with John Pickles.” Cartographica, 50(1): 28-36. doi: 10.3138/carto.50.1.06. 

2014. "The New Political Economy of Geographical Intelligence." With Susan Roberts and Ate Poorthuis. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104, pp. 196-214.

2013. "Foucault on Space, Territory, Geography." In A Companion to Foucault (C. Falzon, T. O'Leary, & J. Sawicki, Eds). Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 384-400.

2013. Mappings. In The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography (N.C. Johnson, R.H. Schein, & J. Winders, Eds). Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 423-436. doi:10.1002/9781118384466.ch35

2013. "Beyond the Geotag: Situating 'Big Data' and Leveraging the Potential of the Geoweb." With Mark Graham, Ate Poorthuis, Taylor Shelton, Monica Stephens, Matthew W. Wilson, Matthew Zook. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 40(2), pp. 130-139. doi:10.1080/15230406.2013.777137

2011. “Cartography: Cartographic Calculations of Territory.” Progress in Human Geography, 35(1), pp. 92-103. doi:10.1177/0309132509358474.


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