A set of mapping activity cards introduces the breadth of 'data' and understandings that can be generated by map-making and map-use. The different mapping practices are research methods that can be used separately, or alternatively the cards provide guidance on how to use different mapping practices together. These activities can be led by researchers, practitioners or community members from any background, whether quantitative, qualitative or arts-based research methods are preferred.

Multi-method Mapping
Multi-method Mapping
Mapping activity cards
Multi-method Mapping

For my PhD, I facilitated the use of contrasting mapping practices together - 'Multi-method Mapping' - with a team of collaborating transdisciplinary researchers. The aim of Multi-method Mapping here was to get collaborators involved in each other’s methods. In Multi-method Mapping, collaborators need not aim for a 'finished' map – it may be that it is what happens in the process of creating or engaging with maps that is the focus of exploration or learning. This what may relate to discussions, stories, sensory apprehension or visceral experience.

A 'How-to guide' on Multi-method Mapping can be downloaded from Aspect's Methods for Change

Creative mapping is one mapping practice described in the mapping activity cards. This mapping practice can make use of any arts-based methods; for example, free-hand map-drawing, as well as mapping with craft/modelling materials, textiles and photography.

In this approach, creative maps are the medium within which understandings of place and environment are generated. This mapping is concerned with participants’ creative interpretation of place and space in the maps they make. It enables researchers/participants to explore decisions on the 'view' of the map; scale; how features and phenomena are placed in relation to one another, and within the map as a whole; and how features or symbols are grouped together.

We explored our personal experiences of the RGS conference space using this method of creative mapping at RGS-IBG 2023.

Creative mapping
Creative mapping at RGS-IBG 2023
Creative mapping at RGS-IBG 2023
Sensory mapping

As part of my PhD, I facilitated a form of sensory mapping, ethnographic sketch mapping. The 'data' here was what we felt and observed during the process of drawing, rather than what was drawn in our maps per se. This practice of sketch mapping aimed to engage the senses together, especially the kinaesthetic and visual; e.g. movement of hands across our paper, movement of bodies within the fieldsite, and what we saw. This approach is influenced by anthropologist Andrew Causey. Such maps are not a presentational device; they are for personal use only.

A not-for-presentation' map: an ethnographic sketch map
A not-for-presentation' map: an ethnographic sketch map

[Sketch mapping] helps you [because] you… the fact that I’d dwelled on this bit first and drew it, meant that I then noticed the contrast there. But I wouldn’t have normally done that if it wasn’t for the activity... And then you start to look at your map more and look around and think of things that either you’ve not documented yet or are similar or different so it certainly … I think it affects your thought process ... I could just look around and go ‘yeah, yeah, I know this place, it’s that and that’, but you build on what you’ve already put down. - Participant sketch mapper

MAPPING

Here you can find information on some of the mapping methods and resources that I have developed: