The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Matthew Hanchard

Postgraduate Research Student


In his PhD, Matthew is developing a digital sociology of maps, focussing on: how digital maps such as Google Maps and Bing Maps, and OSM are engaged; how users engage with the specific web-based affordances they offer for user-generation of content, for collaboration, alongside their entanglement with other media resources; and to what extend (if at all) digital map engagement might anchor or order wider bundles of social practice. To address these questions, Matthew draws on an empirical grounding in semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and a survey. He also draws literature cartographic theory and map studies, digital sociology, practice theory, and media Studies.

Alongside his PhD, Matthew has worked in various industries ranging from social housing to software development (SharePoint) and railway infrastructure maintenance planning. He currently works for Newcastle University (GPS) as research assistant on a project called 'Beyond the Multiplex'). Since 2014, he has also contributed toward the work of COST Action TU1305 on 'Social networks and travel behaviour', drawing on social network theory and Mobilities literature to do.  

Mathew is social media friendly and open to discuss any aspect of his research:

Topics of interest include:

  • Digital Maps / Web Maps / Neogeography / Geoweb / GIS / PPGIS
  • Internet of Things / Quantified Self
  • Digital Sociology / Digital Methods
  • Internet and Web History / Media Archaelogy / STS 
  • Social Network Theory (Network Society / Information Society)
  • Transport Studies / Mobilities
  • Structuration Theory / Field Theory / Practice Theory / Theories of Practice
  • Audience Studies / Audience Reception Studies
  • Visual Sociology / Film Theory / Photographic Theory
  • Urban Sociology / Spatial Justice / Right to the City 


Hanchard, M. (2015) Location-based services and urban navigation: a qualitative investigation of transport use in Oslo (STSM Scientific Reports), Brussels: COST Office.


Undergraduate Teaching (Sociological Studies) - University of Sheffield

  • Social Divisions
  • Understanding Social Inequality
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Globalisation and World Cultures
  • The Sociological ImaginationrnWelfare Politics and the State

Undergraduate Teaching (Faculty) - University of Sheffield

  • The State of Sheffield: Super-diverse Sheffield
  • Facilitated/taught the winning student team for: Faculty award for Best Artefact 2016.

Postgraduate Teaching (Management School) - University of Sheffield

  • Critical Theories and Concepts in the Creative and Cultural Industries

I have extensive experience in developing and delivering professional training material in applied environments (notably on Microsoft SharePoint for Power-users). I also hold an OCN Level 3 qualification in Delivering Training.


  • Hanchard M. Digital maps and anchored time: the case for practice theory. In: Chris, P; Lammes, S; Gekker, A; Hind, S; Wilmott, C; Evans, D, ed. Time for mapping Cartographic temporalities. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018, pp.Ch. 7. In Preparation.
  • Julsrud T, Hanchard M. Organising travel activities through social network media: Insight from a qualitative study of urban dwellers. In: Plaut, P, ed. Social Networks in Mobility and Urban environment. London: Routledge, 2018, pp.Ch. 15. In Preparation.