Mapping – for the future of communities.

What can maps do for communities? This seemed to be the underlying question from yesterday’s LivingBridgesPlanet discussion on Mapping for the Future.

One point that seemed important for me from early on in our discussion was that while maps and visualisations are useful – and powerful – they are always just one possible perspective – it is data parsed through a certain lens, so to speak.

I was specifically asked how mapping could be used in urban planning and mentioned a method which I developed in Denmark a couple of years back. Using a pencil with two colours, I asked participants in a community group are each asked to colour in resources and challenges in their neighbourhood using two different colours. The resulting bi-coloured maps served as a point of departure for what resources were available in a neighbourhood. In addition it also gave discussions around hidden resources and more important about what was seen as assets and liabilities respectively.

Two coloured pencil

 

My main take-away from our discussion during LivingBridgesPlanet was:

Complacency – in cities and while using maps don’t ever think the maps are static. They are ever chaning and should ony be seen as a useful snapshot of the moment.

Please also check out fellow participant Yatin Seti’s blog post on our discussion:
http://yatinsethi.blogspot.dk/2013/04/mapping-and-visualization-to-connect.html

You can find a link to the video from our discussion and read more about the participants and their backgrounds here:
http://livingbridgesplanet.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/living-bridges-talk-05-2013-04-02-mapping-forward/

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2 Responses to Mapping – for the future of communities.

  1. Pingback: Living Bridges Talk #05 (2013-04-02) – Mapping forward! | LIVING BRIDGES Planet

  2. Thanks for writing your summary of the Google Hangout and for participating and sharing your ideas. It was great to meet you and the others. This is an example of how people in different cities can connect and share ideas. It can lead to cross city collaborations and team-building where skills, talents and resources come from different places and the products and ideas generated are used in many places.

    I have been using maps since 1993 to show the distribution of non-school, volunteer based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. I’ve had no city, university or philanthropic leadership supporting my efforts, but have help from volunteers in many different ways. Thus, what I show on my web sites is more of a model that other cities might learn from than proof of concept. I created this concept map to not only show what I was trying to build, but to show challenges and opportunities for others to help. http://cmapspublic.ihmc.us/rid=1K1C0C0NS-1JL8NVK-21B9/four%20part%20strategy%20-%20needs.cmap

    I’d like to see versions of this created in different cities, by people I connect with on-line, to see how they might map similar strategies, and how the might find resources to do the work shown on the map. I’ll look forward to expanding our connections via Facebook, Skype and other formats.

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