Getting your Data: Community Mapping

Research for Organizing. (2011-2016). “Getting your Data: Community Mapping.” Website.

Mapping is the visual representation of data by geography or location, the linking of information to place.  Community mapping does this in order to support social and economic change on a community level. Mapping is a powerful tool in two ways: (1) it makes patterns based on place much easier to identify and analyze and (2) it provides a visual way of communicating those patterns to a broad audience, quickly and dramatically. This website has activities, training, sample canvassing sheets, case studies, and other concrete tools to help begin community mapping.


Tactical Mapping: How Nonprofits Can Identify the Levers of Change

Johnson, Douglas A.  & Nancy L. Pearson, Tactical Mapping: How Nonprofits Can Identify the Levers of Change, The Nonprofit Quarterly 92 (2009)

Human rights tactical mapping is a method of visualizing the relationships and institutions that surround, receive benefit from, and sustain human-rights abuses. Mapping helps human rights advocates to plan possible intervention methods and to decide on the target audience. The main argument is that since multiple groups can use the tactical map for their target audiences and interventions the tactical map becomes a coordinating tool that is more comprehensive than when groups work independently. The article then outlines how the tactical mapping technique developed through a project by the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT). Tactical mapping helps human rights defenders to understand the complexity of relationships involved, potential targets for intervention, and potential allies and opponents. The article also outlines how to map relationships with simple tools at the grassroots level such as a paper with coloured pens and Post-its. Development in technological tools has made it easier to map the relationship between institutions and individuals. The tactical map provides not only a means to visualize the web of relationships in which human-rights abuses occur but also concrete new tactics to combat these violations.

Participatory Mapping to negotiate indigenous knowledge used to assess environmental risk

Robinson, C. J., Maclean, K., Hill, R., Bock, E., & Rist, P. (2016). Participatory mapping to negotiate indigenous knowledge used to assess environmental risk. Sustainability Science, 11(1), 115-126.

Covers a method where participants, Aboriginal People from Northern Australia, painted and drew maps of their values, knowledge and management aspirations for water and native vegetation. The article describes a participatory research methodology focusing on two case studies to show how indigenous people can share knowledge in environmental risk assessment and management responses. To design an effective methodology the article first focuses on the definitions of indigenous rights and knowledge. A co-research approach between the leaders of the indigenous people and scientists was used in various projects where the community leaders worked with the researchers to select participants and design the participatory mapping workshops. In these workshops the people came up with participatory maps that were effective in designing knowledge partnerships for given environmental issues. During this mapping process the complexities of different indigenous knowledge in the region emerged; a challenge in participatory action research as well as decolonized methodologies approach in research.
Ethics: the article focuses on how to develop ways of knowledge sharing, debating and co-producing while maintaining the integrity of each knowledge system and the respective responsibilities of the individuals involved in this process.