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Luke Drake

This chapter explores how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used in diverse economies research by first tracing how debates about GIS methods and associated epistemologies have changed since the 1980s. Although initially seen as a tool limited to quantitative spatial analysis, GIS has since expanded in scope to support and extend a variety of interpretivist modes of knowledge. Participatory, qualitative, and critical GIS emerged as some diverse ways to use GIS and spatial data. Scholars using a diverse economies approach participated in this expansion of the scope of GIS. Increasingly, the potential for GIS in diverse economies research is becoming more evident. This chapter discusses three ways that GIS can align with this framework. Previous literature is reviewed on how GIS has been used to visualize and analyse economic diversity and the commons. Original research is then presented to show how GIS can reveal historical layers of economic diversity.