Physical digital labour and the commoditisation of cultural sites

Mediatising tourism through social mapping

Authored by: Kathleen M. Kuehn , Michael S. Daubs

The Routledge Companion to Media and Tourism

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138366282
eBook ISBN: 9780429430398
Adobe ISBN:


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By extending Marxist theories of digital labour to the production of the tourist experience, Google’s user-generated mapping ‘Trekker’ project illustrates how the firm relies on user-generated content to redefine space and place according to a market logic. We show how the practice of social mapping and mediatising tourism problematises existing digital labour critiques by constructing a convergent, novel form of ‘physical digital labour’ through which significant cultural and sometimes sacred sites are produced as mediatized tourist destinations mainly for the goals of consumption.

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