| SOD | GIGAMAPPING

Gigamaps are designed artefacts

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.

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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.

What does it mean to approach the complexity of the world as a designer? How do we work with rich information in a designerly way?

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Testimonials: SOD & Gigamapping

Testimonials: SOD & Gigamapping

SOD testimonial – Defne Sunguroglu Hensel, PhD fellow, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo For me, systems approach has been most significant as to providing a direction towards interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary design. More specifically I use it for...

Gigamap Exemplars

Gigamap Exemplars

These gigamap exemplars are organised into three main groups: content maps, functional maps, and structural maps. They are from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Chalmers Technical University and...

Sense Sharing

Sense Sharing

Gigamaps are about sharing a sense of complexity. If the team members have a diverging sense of the complexity of the task, this is a problem. The person who thinks it is a simple task will allocate far fewer resources to the project than the person who thinks it is a...

Related Approaches

Related Approaches

There are three related approaches that are derived from gigamapping: synthesis maps, layered scenario mapping, and metaphor maps. Common to them is that they are narrower framed than the gigamap and are more specialised towards a purpose. The gigamap is intentionally...

Layered Scenario Mapping

Layered Scenario Mapping

Layered scenario mapping is a technique used to gain insight into the ‘situation one designs for'. It is a systemic technique and emphasises presenting information in different layers going from an overview to very detailed information. The technique proposes a...

Reinventing the Wheel

Reinventing the Wheel

"Reinventing the wheel" has come up – especially when people compare gigamapping to mind-mapping. This made me ask what it means to reinvent the wheel, and what kind of wheel is gigamapping? People ask what differentiates SOD and gigamapping from other approaches and...

How to Gigamap

How to Gigamap

There are some useful rules of thumb for how to gigamap that have emerged through producing gigamaps and instructing students and professionals.

Gigamapping Discussion

Gigamapping Discussion

This gigamapping discussion is the transcript of an email exchange between George and Birger Sevaldson. The discussion was based on the map "Age-related Obesity Trends and Factors." Are there also ideas embedded in this complex visual structure that may be discovered...