Coming of age in the geospatial revolution: The geographic self re-defined

Roger M. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Intellectually, emotionally, and practically, our relationship to the geographic world has been changed by the geospatial revolution. Through technologies for data acquisition, analysis, and representation, we have access to real-time data about the locations and properties of people and places. Our sense of the world-what we know about it, how we see ourselves in relation to it, and how we behave spatially-is being irrevocably transformed. The impacts are experienced differentially as a function of birth year. Cohorts born in the last two decades are growing up immersed in geospatial information. The experiences of these cohorts, Generation M, are qualitatively different from those of preceding cohorts. From a life-span developmental perspective, what does it mean to grow up in a world in which we can always know our location and in which others can also know that location?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-57
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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