GIGA-maps Samples

Mar 2012 | Gigamapping, News & Notes

By Birger Sevaldson

Here are some samples of gigamaps. Clicking the pictures below will open up very large size maps.
Remember to click the maps to zoom in. To zoom in and out, use ctrl & + or ctrl & – or ctrl + mouse wheel.
A collection of exemplars
This is a collection of exemplars, not a typology. The intention with this collection is to inspire and you, showing that there are many ways of designing a Gigamap and that there are many uses and functionalities of the maps. Therefore, the maps were not chosen because of their quality, but rather to demonstrate as many different arrangements as possible.>

Each map involves a design process to reach a graphic interpretation that is tailored bespoke for the particular situation.The maps are design artefacts produced in nested design processes. They are expressions of the designer’s constructed (or designed) knowledge.

This implies a reference to constructionist learning, which means that learning is not a one-way process or to be compared to filling a vessel of wisdom or a hard disk with information.

Constructivism implies that we actively construct our individual knowledge. This implies that knowledge is internalized and individualized when shared. We suggest moving from using a metaphor of constructing knowledge to using a metaphor of designing knowledge. The Gigamaps are devices for designing knowledge and they are the designed artefacts representing our knowledge about complex systems, and how they might be changed.

The Gigamaps are devices for actively co-design our shared knowledge according to the needs of the individual designers and their clients, experts and stakeholders involved and according to the needs of the projectWHAT IS HERE?

collection shown below is organised according to two main groups. The first group displays different organisational or structural principles to inspire you to develop your own organisation and structure.

The second group displays Gigamaps designed for special functions showing examples of adapting gigamapping to special content so to inspire you to design the maps to be especially made for its purposeswhat is here

The samples are from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Chalmers Technical University and others.


Maps according to structure

General Maps

These are maps that demonstrate a ballanced use of information types (images. texts, inforgraphics etc) with depicting relations.

Cong LI hioa 2016 s

(Cong Li, HIOA 2016)

Stroke patients and their world in public health services, new tecnologies and rehabilitation.
MAPD5200 Levi Arnt GIGAMAP HIOA 2016 gallery s

(Arnt Kåre Sivertsen and Levi Lynau Celius HIOA 2017)

Product design: Investigating the world of motor cycles as both a product range system maching a diverse user system. The map moves from being descriptive (left) to becomming generative (right) where new potential user groups are genrated


Relational map

We tend to be object oriented and less oriented towards the relations. This map demonstrates a relations oriented mapping. The map is developed according to the library of systemic relations. This map was made by Young Eun Choi under the guidance of Birger Sevaldson.

To see the Library of Systemic Relations follow this link >>>>>

urban habitat design young01302 web2

(Young Eun Choi, Birger Sevaldson, AHO 2013)


Relational map

This Gigamap shows several of the mind switches of SOD. It started with the entities or objects which were networked with relations. Already from the start the objects were written down in relatively small text. Then the first object oriented network map was dampened with a layer of transparent foil.  Further analyses of existing relations and new created relations were done with colour coded threads as a new layer. This indicates a move from object oriented to relation oriented design. The map is at this stage no longer emphasising the reading of the singular elements but it indicates a holistic reading of the picture or figure of the system, the gestalt. The map is a process tool and not meant for communication beyond the two students who produced it. For them the map is fairly familiar also on a detailed level.


DSC 0367 web2

(Karin Backlund, Maxwell Kevin Otieno, Evelina Peterson, Chalmers Architecture, 2015)


Relational Map

A slightly simpler and more tidy relational but a bit more object oriented map. The question is what is lost and what is gained.


Thumb Giga map fina2l web2

(Romain Briant, AHO 2011)

Link to project page >>>>>


Timeline map

This map is inspired by service blueprints. It is very detailed and is also generative, depicting a redesigned process. The theme of this investigation is the caregivers, the family and friends of severely ill people and how to build services to support them.


Ingrid Heringstad Marianne Sælensminde Caring for caregivers 2014 web2

 (Ingrid Herigstad and Marianne Sælensminde, AHO 2014)


Semi spatial map combined with timeline and network

This project developed new solutions for the Sexual Assault Center at Legevakten Emergency Hospital in Oslo. Winner of prize for Social Innovation by Norsk Form. This map is based on a mix of spatial organization and mapping out of operations.


Giga Map 01 web2

(For Legevakten, Manuela Aguirre Ulluoa and Jan Kristian Strømsnes, AHO 2012)


Network map

Developing a concept for redesigning new first line offices for the Norwegian Immigration Authorities. A map where there is a balance between the objects and the relations though the relations could be diversified better.

This map is network and object oriented.


GIGA map thumb2

(For UDI by Lea Brochard, Nicoletta Aveni, AHO 2011)

Link to project page >>>>>


Map based on systems dynamics modelling

0ExhibitionGigaMap PalakDudaniwithoutSolution small

This map sorts and relates information and problematiques according to a system dynamics approach with positive and negative relations. The study reveils patterns in the housing poplicy of Norway that reinforce a powerty gap.

See the project page here >>>>>>>


Maps according to content

Semantic maps

These maps use language as relations. They are an expression of reasoning systems rather than an expression of world systems.

How is News Spread Map Anthony Saul Lopez small

Anthony Saul Lopez 2018


How is News Spread Gigamap Anthony Saul Lopez small

Anthony Saul Lopez 2018


Image maps

Davidova suggest using images instead of abstract symbols, will add a greater level of detajl, emotions, associations. Images wil also support sense sharing.

Marie Davidova physic giga map 20 web2

Image map with timeline mapping used as a process map. See also below. (Davidova et. al. 2014)


UniversityOfArizona 1200px

An image map where relations are constructed with the use of threads. ( From a workshop at the University of Arizona, Davidova 2016)

Note, several other maps have collections and images as part of their design, but they are not systematically used as replacement for the abstract icons normally used in relational networkmaps to represent entities.

Composite map

A object oriented map where relations are missing. Not all GIGA-maps are developed to be systemic.

The map puts together different aspects and perspectives to draw a sufficient knowledge base.


thumb 20111019 map2

(Kathinka Magnus and Maren Moe Stokke, AHO 2011)


Composite map 

Here the map consists of four different pasts that are displayed together to help creating a reading of the information from four different perspectives.

The map assembles four different more or less systemic maps


thumb Jan Kristian Kwant Controls2

(For Kwant Controls, Jan Kristian Strømsnes, AHO 2011)

Link to project page >>>>>


Mixed  relational map 

A mixed map of information fields that are related through drawing relational connections. The map is information oriented where “information containers” like lists, statistics, references and diagrams are interrelated within a overreaching network.

thumb 12 secondGIGA MAP2

(Linda Blaasvær, Renata Mikalauskaite, Manuela Aguirre Ulluoa, 2011)


Link to the project page >>>>>


Mixed composite map

A mixed information oriented map where there are some subfields that are developed more towards systemic models.


(For SALTO, Christian von Hanno, AHO 2011)

Link to the project page >>>>>



A map that is interesting in the way it creates sub fields of layered information sets.

gigamap future is fiction thumb2

( Linn-Hege Øverstad, Rebecca R. Larsen, Ulrikke Pedersen, AHO 2011)

Link to project page >>>>>


Axial-relational map

A clearly structured map that builds an ordered model of the information. The structure imposes a strongly guided interpretation that provides for some advantages but also comes at a cost. The structure gives the shared picture a strong and recognizable as well as easy navigational “Gestalt”.


thumb structure web2

( Phuc-Tan Nguyen, Pia Fleng Sandal, AHO 2011)

To see more maps and information from this project go here: >>>>>



Maps according to function

Value map

A map that defines a set of core values (for the Norwegian police) and maps out how these corevalues are related to the global system.


Bente.Moen GIGAMAP.2014 Police.Identity Public web2

 (Bente Moen, HIOA 2014)


Evaluational map

This map is made to evaluate the systemic impact of a long series of ideas in relation to a range of personas representing different customer types for a ban service.


DnB.skoog.romslo web2

(Anna-Lisa Skoog and Beate Romslo, AHO 2014)


Total organisational map


This map was designed to give a total overview of a companies organisation and activities.

thumb Timeline Medema webgallery2

( For MEDEMA, Julian Guribye and Christian von Hanno, AHO 2011)


Link to project page here >>>>>



Comparative map

Here is a “comparative map” comparing two different businesses along a timeline with major operations. One company is in the upper half of the map and the other in the lower half of the map. The interesting issue here is how the map is easily navigated because of the color coding despite the density of the relations. You don’t need to follow the lines to see the connections, just follow the color. The lines are still needed to render the relation density. The map is shown both in the hand drawn draft version and in the digital version.

ElkjøpRottefella web2

n44W5311 web2

 (HIOA 2014)


Implementation Map

This map shows an implementaiton map for implementing a teaching collaboration coupoled with an aid program. The map is cisrcular indicating that the program is run in cycles and that it needs reimplementaiton for each cycle.


implementation terese charlotte aarland web2

( Terese Charlotte Aarland, AHO 2009)


Implementation Map

Another implementaiton map here more as a network. It is difficult for outsiders to follow the path through the implementation process.


implementation map edvin klasson web2

( Edvin Klasson, AHO 2014)



A process map and “discussion board” and an “Action Map”

This map systematises, developes and relates a documentation of a building process of an experimental installation. It worked as the central communication device and as a continuous discussion board.

The physical GIGA-map is a team work design tool. It is also timeline based and responsibility based while using prints for design questions. So, it is in fact semi-digital or if you want collage based.

See the project here >>>>>


Marie Davidova physic giga map 20 web2

 (Davidova et. al. 2014)

Action map

This map organizes and designes a design and conctruction process also showing computaitonal processes and other actions.

Project page here: >>>>>


Marie Davidova Giga map web2

  (Davidova et. al. 2014)

Credits: Marie Davidova, Šimon Prokop, Martin Kloda (Tutors) Jiří Pokorný, Anna Hrušová, Alena Novotná, Antonín Hůla, Barbora Slavíčková, Jakub Kopecký, Jiří Fáber, Petr Tůma, Tereza Jílková, Radim Sýkora, Eliška Antonyová, Tereza Lišková, Filip Janata (Students), Universities of Liberec and Prague, 2014.

Analyses maps

These maps are demonstrating how mapping can be useful in data analyses.

IUVO rapport pg8 9 analyses map user intervjuvs Salto 2017 1200

This map shows an analyses of an interview of eight users of electrical vehicles. (Raoul Koreman, Suzanne Ofte Solås, Tord Stenstadvold, Helene Falstad, SOD bachelor studio 2017)


IUVO rapport p11 analyses of robotic system SALTO 2017 1200

Map showing the analyses of a robotic transportation and delivery system at the Akershus University Hospital, Norway. (Raoul Koreman, Suzanne Ofte Solås, Tord Stenstadvold, Helene Falstad, SOD bachelor studio 2017)


Future Scenario Map

IUVO gigamap future scenario map 2017 1200

Map showing a possibl future scenario for robottic charching of electrical cars.
Read the full report here >>>>>
(Raoul Koreman, Suzanne Ofte Solås, Tord Stenstadvold, Helene Falstad, SOD bachelor studio 2017)


Cong LI hioa 2016 s