Maps for Advocacy
Smog, fast-vanishing forest space, protest marches, human rights abuses and myriad such events and activities need constant attention and backing. Highlighting such issues is no more a herculean task for advocacy groups. Information, communication and digital technologies have smoothened out processes and systems and contain techniques and tools which, if appropriately used, can easily bring about phenomenal change.
Geographical maps are the latest transformation tools that the technological revolution has enabled.
The Darfur project (http://www.ushmm.org/maps/) undertaken by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) where mapping was used to expose a humanitarian crisis in Sudan is a prime example. Combining mapping and rich content, witness testimonies, satellite imagery, data and other information placed on a Google Earth map, the USHMM raised awareness of the reality of incidents in the Sudanese region.
ALTSEAN-Burma, a network of organisations and individuals working to support the movement for human rights and democracy in Burma, also utilised mapping techniques to indicate details of the uprising in 2007. Protest details and 'hot spots' for activists (http://www.altsean.org/Photogalleries/ProtestsMap.ghp) were listed on a Google Map and the artful effort acted as an effective eye-opener to target audiences.
Recognising the power of maps, we have published a booklet - Maps for Advocacy - which is an introduction to Geographical Mapping Techniques.
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.
Hosting a map on your website can now become a reality as the guide takes the reader through the specifics of the process. Examples of valuable data sources like youtube, facebook, flickr, socialight etc have been cited along with a brief outline of their mapping features.
The fold-out offers an illustrative sketch of the inside story while the fold-in lists a swift and easy method to create a map.
The purpose of the booklet is to enable advocacy groups explore the potential of maps to effectively send out their message. It was written in collaboration with Sean O' Conner with the support of the Open Society Institute.
For more information or to order a copy, please write to mapping AT tacticaltech DOT org