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Despite our apprehension about surveillance technology, Spying with Maps is not a jeremiad, crammed with dire warnings about eyes in the sky and invasive tracking. Monmonier's approach encompasses both skepticism and the acknowledgment that geospatial technology brings with it unprecedented benefits to governments, institutions, and individuals, especially in an era of asymmetric warfare and bioterrorism. Monmonier frames his explanations of what this new technology is and how it works with the question of whether locational privacy is a fundamental right. Does the right to be left alone include not letting Big Brother (or a legion of Little Brothers) know where we are or where we've been? What sacrifices must we make for homeland security and open government?
With his usual wit and clarity, Monmonier offers readers an engaging, even-handed introduction to the dark side of the new technology that surrounds us—from traffic cameras and weather satellites to personal GPS devices and wireless communications.
Excerpted from Spying With Maps: Surveillance Technologies and the Future of Privacy by Mark S. Monmonier Copyright © 2002 by Mark S. Monmonier. Excerpted by permission.
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