When Bill Bunge mapped out the locations of car/pedestrian collisions in Detroit (Detroit Geographical Expedition, 1968) he and the map were advocating a way of thinking about what was happening to the black community in Detroit – and advocating for change.
All maps advocate.
To advocate means to “to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.” The word derives from the Latin advocate: “to call to one’s aid.”
What map does not advocate, or argue for something? We are always calling maps to our aid.
Three free books on maps and advocacy have been made available for download recently, and are worth a look.
Two New PDF Books [added June 6 2009]:
A review of participatory mapping methods.
This report will review existing knowledge related to participatory mapping and recent developments. Specifically:
- Section 1 will define the main features of participatory mapping;
- Section 2 will discuss key applications of participatory mapping;
- Section 3 will present specific tools used in participatory mapping, including their strengths and weaknesses;
- Section 4 will identify good practices and explore the significance of process in participatory mapping initiatives.
A overview of concepts and methods for community mapping, focused on vulnerability.
Within the research and project context it is aimed to provide the local communities with appropriate maps of their communities. The maps should enhance planning and decision making processes within the communities in regard to reduce local vulnerabilities and allow appropriate planning of disaster response measures. It is the first time in Mozambique that maps have been produced with such an accuracy (high resolution data) and for disaster risk management through the integration of participatory practices.
Succinct, well-designed, with many good examples of maps and information graphics for advocacy.
…a manual aimed at helping NGOs and advocates strengthen their campaigns and projects through communicating vital information with greater impact. This project aims to raise awareness, introduce concepts, and promote good practice in information design – a powerful tool for advocacy, outreach, research, organization and education.
A great overview of maps and advocacy with many examples and resources.
The booklet is an effective guide to using maps in advocacy. The mapping process for advocacy is explained vividly through case studies, descriptions of procedures and methods, a review of data sources as well as a glossary of mapping terminology. Scattered through the booklet are links to websites which afford a glance at a few prolific mapping efforts.
A textbook for using maps and GIS in humanitarian work. The Guide provides detailed information on data collection (GPS) and the use of Google Earth and MapWindow (free mapping software).
The guide was written to meet the need for practical, step-by-step advice for aid workers who wish to use free and open-source resources to produce maps both at field and headquarters levels. The first edition contains an introduction to the topic of GIS, followed by chapters focused on the use of two recommended free software tools: Google Earth, and MapWindow. However much of the guidance is also relevant for users of other software.
Some related resources:
- the Tutor/Mentor Collection’s GIS and Mapping Resources Page.
- slides & text from Erik Hersman’s Activist Mapping presentation at Where 2.0.
- the Atlas of Radical Cartography.
- Counter-Cartographies Collective & 3C’s Blog.
- An Introduction to Critical Cartography (176k PDF) by Jeremy Crampton & John Krygier (2006)
- “Protest Maps” (292k PDF) by Denis Wood & John Krygier (2009).
- Mapping: A Critical Introduction to Cartography & GIS by Jeremy Crampton (2009).