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Jonathan Cinnamon

Cinnamon, Jonathan


Assistant Professor




JOR 630


416-979-5000 x6171

Email Address:



Geography and Environmental Studies


Geographic information science; critical GIS; digital geographies; data studies; science and technology studies; health, development, and urban geographies

Research Interests:

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 attend to the ethical and political implications of data and technology use by grassroots, corporate, and government actors. 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 inequalities and injustice, digital activism in the smart city, and mobile and geospatial Web technologies for health and development. This research is underpinned by commitments to social justice and knowledge mobilization. Prior to joining Ryerson, I was a faculty member at the University of Exeter in the UK, and held visiting positions at Wits University in Johannesburg, and Ohio State University.

Professional Affiliations:

Canadian Association of Geographers

American Association of Geographers

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Selected Publications:

See my Google Scholar page for an updated list:

Ricker, B., Cinnamon, J., & Dierwechter, Y. (In press). When open data and data activism meet: An analysis of civic participation in Cape Town, South Africa. The Canadian Geographer.

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

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. Development Informatics Working Paper no. 75. 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.

Thatcher, J., Bergmann, L., Ricker, B., Rose-Redwood, R., O'Sullivan, D., Barnes, T. J., Barnesmoore, L. R., Beltz Imaoka, L., Burns, R., Cinnamon, J., Dalton, C. M., Davis, C., Dunn, S., Harvey, F., Jung, J.-K., Kersten, E., Knigge, L., Lally, N., Lin, W., Mahmoudi, D., Martin, M., Payne, W., Sheikh, A., Shelton, T., Sheppard, E., Strother, C. W., Tarr, A., Wilson, M. W., & Young, J. C. (2016). Revisiting critical GIS. Environment and Planning A 48(5), 815-824.

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.

Frank, R., Dabbaghian, V., Reid, A., Singh, S., Cinnamon, J., & Brantingham, P. (2011). Power of criminal attractors: Modeling the pull of activity nodes. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 14(1), 1-27.

Cinnamon, J. and Schuurman, N. (2010). Injury surveillance in low-resource settings using geospatial and social web technologies. International Journal of Health Geographics 9, 1-13.

Cinnamon, J., Rinner, C., Cusimano, M.D., Marshall, S., Bekele, T., Hernandez, T., Glazier, R.H., & Chipman, M.L. (2009). Online map design for public health decision-makers. Cartographica 44(4), 289-300.

Schuurman, N., Cinnamon, J., Crooks, V.A., & Hameed, S.M. (2009). Pedestrian injury and the built environment: An environmental scan of hotspots. BMC Public Health 9, 1-10.

Cinnamon, J., Schuurman, N., & Crooks, V.A. (2009). Assessing the suitability of host communities for secondary palliative care hubs: A location analysis model. Health & Place 15(3), 792-800.