‘Come support the locals!’: mediating peripheral spaces on Google maps via user-generated content

Shirley Druker Shitrit, Chaim Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

New media platforms offer diverse modes of mediation of every day and tourist places and communities. Spatial social media now augment older forms of mediation, partly by enabling contributions from ‘ordinary’ users, who create and share spatial discourses. This study examines the discursive construction of peripheral places, produced through user-generated content. Employing qualitative methodology, we sample and analyze 1,053 texts, shared on Google Maps in southern regions of Israel. The key conclusions suggest that compared to traditional media discourses depicting peripheral spaces in Israel, the findings demonstrate a shift from homogeneous depictions to more diverse and multilayered ones. Digital affordances result in more actors and stakeholders partaking in discursive construction, including private and institutional local players, visitors and tourists. Theoretical contributions are offered to the field of digital placemaking, by considering the subjective, evaluative and ideological layers that augment geographical data digital maps provide (‘bottom-up’ perspective), and to the fields of study of marginalized peripheral and rural communities and tourism crisis in peripheral (post-Coronavirus) locations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConvergence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • Google Maps
  • commenting platforms
  • digital placemaking
  • peripheries
  • qualitative research
  • spatial discourse
  • spatial turn
  • user-generated content

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