| Edited by A. Bebbington, N. Cuba, and J.Rogan | Special issue of Applied Geography 54: 235-284 |

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In 2013, we issued a call for papers for a session at the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers that would bring together geographers who had experimented with visualization or the use of spatial metaphors as a means of analyzing and communicating the environmental and livelihood implications of extractive industry. The call became more successful than we anticipated and in the end one special session became two, and could easily have been three had not several persons who expressed interest ultimately been unable to attend the meetings. This special issue brings together some of the papers that were initially prepared for that session. Four of these papers present experiences and experiments in the visualization and/or spatial analysis of relations among extractive industry, livelihoods, natural resource use and environment in a range of countries: Ghana, Peru, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone. In the two remaining papers Keith Slack discusses how and why visualization and mapping have become of particular interest for a large development organization concerned with rights and livelihoods, and Kenneth Young offers a critical commentary on the special issue taken as a whole.