Mapping and development of networks underpins a lot of our current work on localities as social ecosystems.
We are working on two fronts:
In each instance we are working with both geographic maps and network maps. Here's how we are building network maps.
In local communities maps and online systems may help residents and others find out more about what's happening in the area, share ideas and information, and collaborate on improvements. For example, we are currently developing a pilot system in Thames Ward, Barking, using maps and online systems to complement existing communications and meetings. It will be designed and run by residents, with support from the Thames Ward Community Project. When fully developed, the system could be used to address issues like:
The system won't aim to replace existing communications, like WhatsApp and Facebook groups. It will gather and organise information about the area, and add more methods for connecting, where needed. We will develop live demonstrations on three fronts:
Drew Mackie and David Wilcox are working with Barbara Brayshay to build on the work of JustMap in creating geographic maps. For example, here's an online map of the StARTNetwork in Tottenham. It shows groups, organisations and facilities, with popup information. View it online here.
Network maps can be developed to show who's who, and who connects with who. The map below shows people in London interested in mapping. Drew Mackie is also working with Superhighways on a map of community and voluntary organisations in Kingston.
Network maps can be used to explore collaborations between organisations and individuals working in a particular area or on a project or programme. These maps are not just visualisations - they can be analysed to show clusters of sharing and collaboration, searched to show needs and the availability of skills and resources.
‘Networked City’ map of collaborations across people and organisations engaged in mapping in London and beyond.
We are working on a system where people and organisations who wish to feature on the maps control the input and updating of information.
In July 2017 we worked with a group of pan-London networks to start developing a map showing existing connections, and potential for collaboration. We contributed extensively to the advisory groups for the new London resource centre - London Plus. These contributions helped formulate the job description for a Networks Partner staff post.
We are starting work on a two-year programme funded by Big Lottery with four London networks: details here.