Mapping is most often a tool used by institutions holding power or seeking control over a certain geography. Yet, from critical cartography to open-source mapping to different analysis methods, there have been numerous attempts to explore mapping’s democratizing potential. In this session we are interested in discussing the socio-political potential spatial mapping has and how that relates to the different methodologies and techniques it utilizes, particularly in research. When has mapping made a difference and how? When was it able to contribute to people’s lives? We are hoping that by studying specific mapping initiatives in Detroit we will be able to answer these questions and others. Speakers are Andrew Newman and Conrad Kickert.