Post Seven: Mapping to create change

Working in pairs groups in the week 5 tutorial workshop, many maps were generated that not only showcased different aspects of the data security/online privacy issue but also looked at the issue in greater depth. Drawing on the maps created in earlier tutorials, these new issue maps were able to incorporate new pieces of information as well as tackle new problems that had arisen.

Task 1 – map A

Data stakeholders map incorporating human and non-human actors

The first map revisited work completed in an earlier tutorial when we mapped out the stakeholders for our overall topics e.g data stakeholders. This updated map however was much more specific and included the human and non-human actors in each sector as well as the beginnings of how these sectors relate to one another. We found that a lot of the stakeholders intertwined with each other and shared many of the same points or human/non-human actors. For example, personal users, hackers, and government agencies made use of the technologies available in the cloud and government agencies often worked alongside hackers to better the online lives of personal users.

Task 2 – map B

Polemics map discussing the controversies surrounding terms and conditions

This polemics map discussed the controversies, debates and disagreements while incorporating the main stakeholders involved. The map highlighted the main actors/stakeholders, where the tensions occurred as well as the emotions and motivations of these main actors. Initially this mapping task appeared relatively simple, but once we began to break down the actors/stakeholders and find the relationships between each one the map became extremely busy. However, we were able to use this map to understand that in the real online world, the actors/stakeholders are always intertwining, merging and changing, so we understood that we were getting more informed on topic as a whole.

Task 3 – map C

Data privacy map discussed through an actor template

This map was created in a group of four and used an actor template to categorise a chosen area of data privacy/online security. The information was categories into the following groups: causes, people, objects, emotions, behaviours, identity, laws/regulations, assistance, networks, representations, politics, emotional climate and barriers. Looking at the issue in this way we were able to really seperate the issue and focus on one small aspect at a time – thus, breaking down the issue further created space for an important academic conversation.

Task 4 – map D

Intelligence agencies mapped against categories to determine their actions in society

The final map followed on from the information explored in map C above but focused on just one actor and mapped that actor against hierarchies, issues/challenges, capacities, associates, politics and value alignments. Choosing intelligence agencies as the main actor, we were able to put ourselves ‘in the mind of an intelligence agency’ as such and understand the purpose of this actor in the data security/online privacy world. Similar to map C, this brought up a new conversation and we discussed the purpose of intelligence agencies and the benefits they have on society.


Working in groups can often prove challenging (be it in the initial stages or throughout the process) but it is only in a group setting that the conversation can develop and ideas begin to be thrown around leading to relevant design ideas. As I had only been really focusing on my research idea alone, it was important to go ‘back to the drawing board’ and listen to the ideas of others. Each member in my group was also researching the same topic but the discussion came from very different perspectives, relative to each person’s individual research idea or area. In this scenario I found it critical to actively listen to each member and ask open ended questions to keep the conversation flowing.

On the surface, all the maps created in this class relate to my project as they all fit directly into the category of data surveillance and online privacy. Delving deeper into my refined idea of spam/scam emails and how users interact with these emails, there is still a relationship between the two but it is not as strongly defined as I would have liked. This is possibly due to the fact that the maps were created in a group setting; not everyone had the same research idea and therefore the conversation was not on one idea alone. The techniques and methods used to create these maps however, can be re-used again on my research idea to investigate the topic in greater depth.

By creating these maps the huge benefit in mapping ideas with the techniques used became clear. They create thought-provoking avenues of conversation within a group setting and by doing this, change can occur through any direction or topic discussed. The maps become the starting point as a regular  mind map does and each map created becomes more and more detailed until design problems and solutions are highlighted and the research aspect of the design process can begin.


Rogers, R., Sánchez-Querubín, N. & Kil, A. 2015, Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe, OAPEN, Amsterdam.

Header image
Google 2016, Google Maps, viewed 5 September 2016, <;.

By Chloe Schumacher