Gigamaps are designed artefacts – they are not meant to be an accurate record of complex systems “out there.” When working with gigamapping, one works with information as a designer in a constructivist way.
When gigamapping, the information is designed through several iterations, creating a deep knowledge and internalisation and building a rich worldview of the problematique. This design process is a knowledge-building and constructing process where we go through many iterations, from rough sketches to refined, ordered, and beautiful information visualisation via dialogues and incubations. The refinement process is where the information is reprocessed and transformed through and by design. Through this process, richness is maintained by juxtaposing and layering different categories or types of information – bringing seemingly unrelated information together and finding or better constructing their interrelations is central.
Most gigamaps are process tools and are not meant for communication except between their owners. One becomes an owner by creating them. Clients and partners can be co-owners of these visualised processes, but the output is not meant to communicate with external receivers. Only towards the end of the process, the information visualisation might move towards a communicative mode where it becomes more inclusive to people who have not been involved in the process.
Including experts, stakeholders and clients at early or later stages is a highly effective way of dialogic design and deep involvement.