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Home > Community (Participatory) Mapping Services

Community (Participatory) Mapping Services

This section explains the practice of Community / Participatory Mapping. the best way for enabling disparate communities (ie. a group of people with common interests) to identify and define the issues, ideas and experiences that are important to them and their community through representation on maps.

Background Information
 About Community (Participatory) Mapping

About Our Community (Participatory) Mapping Services



Background Information About Community (Participatory) Mapping


Particpatory mapping, also known as community mapping, is a process that allows people with a common interest but who may never have actually physically met each other before, to get together in an organised and facilitated way to identify and define the issues, ideas and experiences that are important to them and their community through representation on maps. 

For participants, participatory mapping can lead to new understandings of an issue, of a locality and the influences of the wider social, political and economic forces that shape their community. The resulting maps - initially produced in a bespoke way specifically to facilitate discussion, and then amended and annoted by the participants over the course of the meeting - enable the group to record all the contributions, come to a shared understanding and, crucially, agree a way forward.


The videos in this short YouTube playlist show what participatory mapping is in pratice.



About Our Community (Participatory) Mapping Services


Our twin digital skill-sets of knowledge working with both geographic and information ("mind") maps is an ideal and very powerful combination for facilitating community mapping sessions.

Using Knowledge Mappers to facilitate your community mapping sessions has many advantages:-

  • the bespoke resources required to facilitate the meeting can be quickly and easily created as a combination of information ("mind") maps and geographic maps. Certainly a "master mindmap" is a must for indexing and listing all the available resources, hyperlinking through to the digital ones.

  • using our existing catalogue of knowledge maps and our information hunting and information cartography skills, we can create bespoke mapping resources that make sure all participants are "up to speed" on the current situation so they can have maximum participation. As well as increasing the collective knowledge of the community, it makes sure that everybody is "singing from the same hymn sheet" as far as the facts and figures are concerned. This will greatly improve the quality of the collective decision making and agreed outcomes.

  • great though digital working is, participatory mapping is very much a physical, here-and-now process and so there is usually always a requirement for maps on big bits of paper. Here at KnowledgeMappers HQ we have a large format (up to 42" wide) Designjet 4500 printer so we can easily produce all the paper-based resources required.

  • it gets round the problem of what to do with all those bits of paper afterwards. Once all the post-it notes etc. have been "captured" on the map, there is no need to keep them.

  • the facilitator can turn things around as quickly as possible after the meeting to keep all participants on-board and to take the group action to the next stage.

Contact us to ensure your next particpatory mapping session a rip-roaring success!


This video from the BiggerPlate Unplugged Conference is a barnstorming presentation by Jim Mather about the power of collaborative mapping in the community. Jim is a former member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Argyl and Bute and Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism in the Scottish Government. He successfully used MindGenius mindmapping software to facilitate nearly 200 particpatory mapping sessions across Scotland during his time as a politician to enage with geographic and economic sector communities.