Jonathan Cinnamon

Assistant Professor

Office: ART 312
Phone: 250.807.8014

Research Summary

digital geographies; data studies; GIS and society; science and technology studies; urban studies; surveillance; digital/visual methods; alternative urbanisms

Courses & Teaching

My teaching experience reflects my research interests in digital methods, human experiences of ‘the digital’, and various aspects of human geography. GEOG128 Human Geography: Space, Place and Community; GEOG427 Neogeography; GEOG491 Selected Topics (Digital Geographies)


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies at UBC Okanagan. With an academic background in GIS and human geography, my research program is strategically positioned at the intersection of information science and social science. Working in collaboration with stakeholders and across disciplines, I develop novel spatial data production and visualization techniques, and research the societal conditions that emerge as grassroots, corporate, and government actors invest in digital data and information technologies. Using a theoretically-informed, mixed-methods approach, recent funded projects in Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Africa have advanced conceptual and empirical knowledge of data injustice, digital surveillance, activism in the smart city, and geospatial web technologies for health and development. This research is underpinned by commitments to social justice and knowledge mobilization. Prior to joining UBC Okanagan, I was a faculty member at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON) and the University of Exeter (Exeter, UK), and held visiting positions at Wits University (Johannesburg, South Africa), and Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).


PhD, Simon Fraser University
MA, Simon Fraser University
BA, Ryerson University

Selected Publications & Presentations

Google Scholar

Selected Publications

Cinnamon, J. & Gaffney, A. (In press). Do-it-yourself street views and the urban imaginary of Google Street View. Journal of Urban Technology.

Cinnamon, J. (In press). Power in numbers/power and numbers: Gentle data activism as strategic collaboration. Area.

Ricker, B., Cinnamon, J., & Dierwechter, Y. (2020). When open data and data activism meet: An analysis of civic participation in Cape Town, South Africa. The Canadian Geographer 64(3), 359-373.

Cinnamon, J. (2020). Platform philanthropy, ‘public value’, and the COVID-19 pandemic moment. Dialogues in Human Geography 10(2), 242-245.

Cinnamon, J. (2020). Attack the data: Agency, power, and technopolitics in South African data activism. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 110(3), 623-639.

Cinnamon, J. (2020). Data inequalities and why they matter for development. Information Technology for Development 26(2), 214-233.

Cinnamon, J. (2019). Visual Data Justice? Datafication of Urban Informality in South Africa using 360° Imaging Technologies. Global Development Institute, University of Manchester.

Albugami, S., Palmer, S. Cinnamon, J., & Meersmans, J. (2019). Spatial and temporal variations in the incidence of dust storms in Saudi Arabia revealed from in situ observations. Geosciences 9(4), 1-20.

Bagelman, J., and Cinnamon, J. (2018). Border enforcement and the university: A conversation. Society & Space.

Cinnamon, J. (2017). Social injustice in surveillance capitalism. Surveillance & Society 15(5), 609-625.

Beduschi, A., Cinnamon, J., Langford, J., Luo, C. & Owen, D. (2017). Building Digital Identities: The Challenges, Risks and Opportunities of Collecting Behavioural Attributes For New Digital Identity Systems. University of Exeter.

Cinnamon, J., Jones, S.K. & Adger, W.N. (2016). Evidence and future potential of mobile phone data for disease disaster management. Geoforum 75, 253-264.

Cinnamon, J. (2015). Deconstructing the binaries of spatial data production: Towards hybridity. The Canadian Geographer 59(1), 35-51.

Cinnamon, J., & Schuurman, N. (2013). Confronting the data-divide in a time of spatial turns and volunteered geographic information. GeoJournal 78(4), 657-74.

Cinnamon, J., Schuurman, N. & Hameed, S.M. (2011). Pedestrian injury and human behaviour: Observing road-rule violations at high-incident intersections. PLoS ONE 6(6), 1-10.

Selected Grants & Awards

2019: Commissioned Research Award – University of Manchester Sustainable Consumption Institute (UK)

2016-2018: Research Grant – Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)

2016: Atlas Award for research with the potential for significant social impact, for the Geoforum article “Evidence and future potential of mobile phone data for disease disaster management”.

2017: Visiting Research Fellowship – National Research Foundation (South Africa)

2016: Research Grant – Economic and Social Research Council (UK)

2015: Research Grant – Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development (UK)

2013-15: Postdoctoral Fellowship – SSHRC

2009-2012: Canada Graduate Scholarship (PhD) – SSHRC

2009: Accelerate Award – MITACS

2009, 2011: Community Support Grant – CIHR


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