{post 7} the process of mapping.

mapping process. reflection. judith tan.

(Julie 2016)

Before I scraped the web, for over a period of two to three weeks, the homelessness collaboration group I am working with went through several brainstorming sessions to write and map out what we had individually learned thus far. The purpose was to gain different and broader perspectives from each other’s research and points of view.

Continue reading “{post 7} the process of mapping.”


Type 1 Diabetes: Issue Mapping

Post 7 by Lucy Allen

The first mapping exercise we undertook as a group was looking at and categorising different word associations to the topic ‘Obesity and Healthy living’. Working collaboratively we collected a mammoth range of words that covered the entire topic. It was so fascinating to see what words we all wrote and which came to mind in relation to our individual topics we’ve been exploring, enabled us to come up with a diverse range of words.

The many words we came up with as a group:


After writing the antonym of each word on the back, we were then given the opportunity to ready through the words of other groups to choose five words that we felt related strongly to our personal topics.

The chosen words that I felt related most strongly to my area of interest:

FullSizeRender 2FullSizeRender 3FullSizeRender 4FullSizeRender 5




Then bringing out individual words together as a group it was interesting to see that we all had quite a few in common such as ‘motivation’ and ‘support’. As a group we then voted again to draw out the key words from which we could all relate too.

The group’s collection of key words:



The final collection of words that we voted on as a group: 


The next section of the mapping task was my favourite. We were asked to collect the words and make maps based on what type of word it was and what it evoked. The categories we worked with were; emotive, disruptive and factual. It was this section of the mapping that really saw us working as a team and questioning each others decisions. If someone didn’t agree with the categorisation of  a certain word we would have a discussion as a group to decide. Everyone’s opinions were respected and we had some fantastic discussions about word associations and meaning within this field.

Categorising word by Its impact and type:


We next undertook an exercise in ranking our key words on a spectrum of positive to negative. Again the group had differing ideas of where these words should be placed on a spectrum however we were able to discuss this and make an informed decisions. I noticed that our negative vs. positive associations were quite influenced by our individual focus areas. For example, for me and my focus on Type 1 Diabetes, the word ‘drugs’ ranked quite positively on the spectrum as without drugs, Type 1 Diabetics couldn’t survive. In opposition to this, a group member who’s area of focus is sugar consumption, the word ‘drug’ is associated with sugar as a drug and ranked quite negatively on the spectrum. When it came to these conflicts of interest we were able to compromise by thinking about the topic holistically and from a broad sense.



Working on this word mapping with my group I came to understand something that is really vital to my own research and work based on the varied responses and understanding of words from my group members. I realised that even when it comes to medical terms and disease names there are still areas of opinion and perspective. For example, smoking is an easy to define, specific word however people have individual associations with that word and their own opinion as to whether it is negative or positive. This is important to keep in mind when analysing and judging people’s opinions and understanding of Type 1 Diabetes.

Looking at the issue mapping my group completed in class the week I was away it was interesting to explore the process they’d undertaken when mapping the actors. From my understanding the started by brainstorming all the contravercies within the topic of Obesity and Healthy Living before choosing ‘steroids’ as a topic to persue. They then mapped out all actors in this system under the subheadings of value alignment, hierarchies, politics, associations, capacities, issues and challenges

Group Brainstorm of Steroids:

14203287_1586948571600585_8422511435685955541_n 2.jpg

Group Actor Map of Steroids:

14192028_1586948731600569_5136552330196248348_n 2.jpg


I’ve noticed that all members of my group have worked in quite unique and specific areas of Obesity and Healthy Living, meaning that the work and mapping we do in class needs to have a broad approach. Not only does this mean we’re all exploring other areas but it gives us a chance to work and map broadly and then take our learnings and apply it to our own more specific topics. It gives me new perspectives to look at my issue from as well as an ever-expanding knowledge of different areas such as steroid use and the impact this has with my own topic of Type 1 Diabetes.

Taking the process and mapping work of my group, my learning’s from this weeks readings as well as my own knowledge,  I sought to create my own actor map on Type 1 Diabetes. For my issue mapping I wanted to focus on the issue of knowledge and people’s lack of understanding of Type 1 Diabetes. From here I could map out this issue space by looking at key actors to form a greater understanding of the issues surrounding Type 1 Diabetes itself. I identified the key actors as being Government, Sufferers, Health Professionals and Wider Society.

Individual Actor Maps:


After creating these individual actor maps I would ideally collate them into a larger issue map to begin drawing relationships and the cause and effect between different actors and their differing values, actions and abilities.

I can however already see in these maps possibilities for action to greater change, particularly in the areas of actor’s values and connections. I think that if all actors could exercise greater empathy and strengthen their connections to other actors there would be a better communication of information, education as well as understanding around the subject of Type 1 Diabetes. As the issue is so complex and involves such a range of actors, it would involve taking action within multiple actors to have a long-lasting impact. In saying this, most disconnections within the issue can be traced back to the Government’s lack of strategy and commitment to the awareness, treatment and education of Type 1 Diabetes. This is a potential point of intervention when thinking about an emergent practice in response to the issue.



Reference List

Rogers. R, Sanchez-Querub. N, Kil. A, C. 2015, ‘Issue Mapping for an Aeging Europe’,  Amsterdam University Press B.V., Amsterdam 

Digital Methods Initiative, C. 2016, ‘Ageing Places: Digital Methodologies for Mapping the Issue of an Ageing Europe’, University of Amsterdam, 2015

Schultz. T, C. 2015, ‘Cognitive Redirective Mapping: Designing Futures That Challenge Anthropocentrism Design and It’s Wild Cards’, Design Ecologies, No. 6

Post 7 – Issue Mapping

Co-creation has always been a slightly terrifying concept. However, it is also sometimes a relief. This post will explore my experience with co-creation in mapping controversies and actor profiles, in the data privacy sector.

The first task to work through was yet another mapping exercise around data privacy and its stakeholders. Except this time, in pairs. While this was an easy enough task to complete, both of us had slightly different understandings of what we were to do. With our previous individual and group maps by our sides, my partner was just recreating it with the same stakeholders, while I was trying to be more specific. Who exactly interacts with data and online privacy, and what specific parties are affected by all its facets. Part of this process was helpful as it provided me with a different perspective on the issue and those involved, but the other part of it was also difficult as no two people think alike, so instructions got lost in the mix.

Remapping the stakeholders

The next task was to map the controversies surrounding the topic of data and privacy. This task was a better use of the co-creation as it really explored many different facets of the topic. While my research was looking into ownership and the internet of things, my partner’s research was delving into personal data, especially with regards to mobile applications. Therefore, many different specific issues were being covered, and the controversies–or polemic–map could be all inclusive. What worked the best here was just writing it down on the paper. What do they feel? What do they feel that way? What would the opposite side of this polemic feel and why? A confirmation that is was relevant to the topic was often stated, however the process just called for as many controversies as were possible. This ‘no-judgement’ policy was accepted throughout the tasks.

Polemic map

Following the polemic map, the co-creation took on a more hands-on approach with the mapping of a particular polemic. ‘Ownership’ was the chosen polemic, as it had more possibilities in terms of where it lied in context, and who it affected. This stage of the co-creation workshop proved to be a little difficult. It was excellent to have another person’s ideas and train of thought, however, like earlier, we had slightly different notions on what was to be mapped. A conclusion was made here that even though it was a ‘co-creation’ task, someone needed to take the lead to keep the thoughts flowing, and pens moving. So while I took charge over the task, the ‘no-judgement’ policy was still in effect. However, the process of mapping the stakeholders, emotions and motivations to a specific polemic assisted in the development of a facet of data privacy. In other words, it helped develop an understanding of a specific situation.

‘Ownership’ polemic map

The next stage brought in another couple, building the co-creation group. While this initially seemed like a worse outcome giving the slight problems of just being in a couple, it actually proved to be easier. The conclusion early on was that the more hands (or brains) the more possibilities that can be created. And in terms of the task itself, it was enlightening to think of all the actors that play a role, or are affected in the data privacy sphere. Selecting the polemic of ‘ownership’, the task was to categorise all the actors present in the issue in terms of objects, emotions, representations, identities and other groups. What was interesting with this process was that it was thinking about the same human and non-human stakeholders, but going beyond what they are and looking at what they do. As Rogers, Sánchez-Querubín and Kil explore in ‘Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe’, controversies should be taken as the starting point, and from there the focus is on the struggle, the action and the movement (p. 16). In other words, going beyond just what the stakeholders are, and looking at how they affect or are effected by particular polemics. It was also interesting to think of this map as a connection between human and non-human actors. As Rogers, Sánchez-Querubín and Kil pharaphrases Latour, ‘map not just human-to-human connections or object-to-object ones, but the zigzag from one to the other.’ (p.17). And that is where the interesting lies.

‘Ownership’ actors map


The following and final task further expands on the actors’ map, however more puts us (the researcher) in the shoes of an actor. The task: to choose an actor, and portray them through certain characteristics. Who do they associate with? What are they responsible for? Whose values do they align with? This exercise certainly put you in the shoes of the actor you choose, mine being the hacktivist group Anonymous. While I had some idea of who they were and what they did, having the platform of co-creation helped develop a good character for Anonymous, and discover things that generally wouldn’t have been common thought such as their feelings, communications and motivations. Below is the collection of all actors mapped out in our group.

Specific actors maps

The particular section on social mapping in the ‘Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe’ reading also assisted in understanding this task. It was the paragraph about the two types of actors: the intermediator who is predictable and doesn’t transform anything, and the mediator, whose outcome is unpredictable and includes transformation, distortion or translations of meaning and elements. Such things as hardware can generally be called an intermediator, but change something about it, or alter its state, and it can become a mediator. This is known as an ‘action to create change’. In terms of data and privacy, as well as ownership, this action could be that further education is needed in to the issue. This could be in the form of a poster or flyer, or even an additional screen before application logins that explicitly asks whether you want to be tracked or not. It could be an opt-out form that allows you to no donate data you don’t want to. The action to create change could be as simple as a login screen or a blocking product, or as complicated as a system or service that acts as a data trust to protect your data that you ultimately create. The possibilities could be endless.



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

Following the completion of this class and mapping exercises, I wanted to go back and try some of these tasks again. Further along in the process, my focus in data and privacy was becoming a little clouded, so I used these tasks to bring myself back into focus. Below are image of those efforts.

Remapping the stakeholders
Remapping the stakeholders
Remapping the stakeholders
Remapping the stakeholders

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, <https://www.google.com.au/maps&gt;.

By Chloe Schumacher

Post 7 – Collaborative Issue Mapping for Global Warming

By Vicky Lam

“Global Warming is a social issue and controversy”

In the tutorial of this week, we work together as a group to map the key issues and controversies related to global warming. Global warming is one of major future challenges and subject to heated debates over decades and requires rational and decolonial thinking for getting a sustainable future.

As such, global warming is a social issue and controversy. The first step is to identify who are the actors involved in this controversial issue and what are the things connected between them. Bruno Latour in his Actor-Network Theory (Roger et al 2015, pp. 16 & 17) highlights some key concepts, which are relevant to issue mapping:

  1. “Social” is defined not as structure or substance but the movement of actors constantly in the process of (re)assembling, (re)associating and (dis)agreeing.
  2. “Actors” include both human and non-human actors in a given controversy.
  3. To be mapped are the actions and associations that compile different actors together into a state of affairs, i.e. social is the trail of associations or connections.
  4. The emphasis is not on pre-existing group but instead group formation, which may change over time depending on behaviours and actions being performed between actors.
  5. The actor-network so traced helps us to describe the state of affairs composing of actors and things that could enhance other actors do something. Here “things” can refer to events as well as objects, that is, something that is performative (Schulz et al 2015, p.4).

As the first step, we apply Latour’s concepts in the mapping of global warming, and trace who are the interacting actors (humans and non-humans) and their associated group formations as well as the living and environmental things concerned with them (see Image 1 below).

Image 1: Issue Mapping composed of human actors and non-human actors and associated living and environmental things connected with them.


We also find Tommaso Venturini’s concepts on“controversy mapping” (Rogers et al 2015, p.18) very helpful in identifying the key controversies or polemics associated with global warming that form the complexity of disagreements in which actors claim and debate. When we draw controversy mapping, Venturini’s concepts remind us to avoid showing cold controversies (where only little movement occurs), boundless controversies (where demarcation difficult to achieve), and underground controversies (where accounts not public or suppressed). Image 2 below, as generated by our group in the tutorial, shows the key polemics of global warming, which are related to the controversial debates whether the impacts of global warming or climate change as highlighted are really induced by human activities or whether they are just natural fluctuations in the Earth’s temperature. We also enlist some key emotions that may associate with the actors in each polemic in Image 2.

Image 2: Polemics and emotions associated with global warming


“A mapping of risk: a world risk which cannot be calculated, predicted or compensated”

The next step is dedicated to a mapping of risk. Ulrich Beck’s theory help us to differentiate two types of risks – a “calculable and contained risk” and its consequences could be predicted, prevented or compensated and a “world risk”, which is a worldwide global threat and cannot be calculated, predicted or compensated (Rogers et al 2015, pp.20 & 21). Climate change and global warming are examples of world risk. World risks populate the space of collective emotions that need to be discussed or debated, which in turn provide a drive for transformation with fresh possibilities for action or response. Another approach we learnt is the “risk cartography” introduced by Gerald Beck and Cordula Kropp (Rogers et al 2015, pp.22-24), which seeks to trace the associations and norms (such as routines, political path dependencies) that are often overlooked. As suggested by Beck and Kropp, there are a series of questions to be considered and mapped in risk cartography (Rogers et al 2015, p.23):

  1. Who is involved?
  2. What are the matters of concern?
  3. What are the knowledge claims and what are we afraid of?
  4. What can be done?

Based on the concepts of world risk and the approach to risk cartography, we map the protagonists associated with the polemics, and show what is at stake, how are their emotions, and what things can be done (see Image 3 below as generated by our group in the tutorial).

Image 3: A map of polemics with a network of their associated protagonists and emotions


“Maps as ways of making spatial knowledge rather than ways of mirroring a territory”

Because of limited time in the tutorial and if time allows, I think further elaborations can be made in the collaborative issue mapping with regard to what is at stack, who are the winners and losers for each controversy, and what things can be done for each protagonist. As Jeremy Crampton defines maps as ways of making spatial knowledge rather than ways of mirroring a territory (Rogers et al 2015, p. 25), Lisa Park’s insights of using “layering” in critical cartographical mapping is particularly relevant and could be practiced by the group and use this technique to visually capture the key information by layers in order to engage the viewers, to enable opening of conversations and to promote global attention and reporting that may lead to redirective practice (Schultz et al 2015, p.5) or change in global policy in response to the threats of global warming (Rogers et al 2015, pp.27 & 28).

As a whole, this group exercise of issue mapping as a design thinking approach enable us not only to learn from one another the background information researched by each one on the heated global topics of climate change and global warming, and from the insights of the authors and scholars regarding issue mapping captured in the assigned readings but also to brainstorm, practise and draw together the patterns of information and trace the relational impacts of actors and things by hand and pen through open discussion and view sharing. This is the greatest thing I could learn from this joint-participating and democratizing process.



  1. Rogers R., Sanchez-Querubin N. & Kil, A., 2015, “Mapping theory: Social cartography, risk cartography, and critical neo-cartography” in Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe, Amsterdam University Press, OAPEN, pp. 14-29
  2. Schultz T. & Barnett B., 2015, Cognitive Redirective Mapping: Designing Futures that Challenge Anthropocentrism, Paper delivered at Nordes 2015




Issue mapping for sedentary lifestyle

Blog post 7. Issue mapping

Written by Hyunjoung You

In week 5, our group shared each thought about obesity, and we created mapping for the actor in controversy, which is related to obesity issue. It was opportunity to expand and obtain the knowledge about controversial issue of obesity. We are divided into 5 sections: people, emotion, behaviour, barrier, and environment. The mapping is shown below:

Mapping for the actor in controversy

Mapping actor in controversy.png


After finished the above mapping, I narrowed down the topic to ‘sedentary lifestyle’. I found ‘Active lifestyle’ as opposite side to my topic, and I figured out the controversy between sedentary lifestyle and active lifestyle by classifying into 6 categories: people, emotion, behaviour, barrier, environment, and society / network. While I created this mapping, I recognized there are lots of associates and causes of sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, I discovered the associates were busy modern people, disabled people, and people who have sedentary work. This means that busy lifecycle and their environments bring about sedentary lifestyle except disabled people. Therefore, I would like to do further research about work environment since I have thought it is hard to do physical activities after hard work. I believe that their workplace environment is the most effective solution to people escape from sedentary lifestyle. Hence, I decided to make actor mapping using sedentary work.

Controversy mapping

Controversy mapping.png

To create actor mapping, I should think about different aspects of sedentary work: trigger, capacities, associates, politics, value alignments, weak connections, hierarchies, issues and challenges.

Actor mapping

Issue mapping.png

It helped me to organize diverse factors surrounding sedentary work properly: the associates are related to sedentary work, the results by sedentary work, and issues and challenges. Especially, issues and challenges was useful aspect to come up with the possible actions to change. Also, it made me consider the barriers would come along to practice these possible actions. Here are possible solutions to sedentary work:

– The companies provide the employees with some programs or work environment to promote their physical activities such as morning yoga program, team sports activities, and standing desk.

– Creating info graphic poster to help the employees being aware of the importance of physical activities to prevent from being obese.

– Short animation or visual narrative about how sedentary lifecycle affects negatively to people.

{post 3} navigating homelessness + the juxtaposition in society.

mapping. image archive. analysis. judith tan.


I started to attempt to navigate the issue of homelessness by mapping out the actors in this issue, with a focus on what causes people to transition into homelessness, what helps them to transition out of homelessness, and what prevents them from moving back to permanent housing.

Continue reading “{post 3} navigating homelessness + the juxtaposition in society.”