GIGAMAPPING

Reinventing the wheel

Sometimes, people ask me what differentiates SOD and gigamapping from other approaches and techniques such as service design, mind-mapping and rich picture in soft systems methodology. For each of those similar approaches and techniques, there are specific answers. Several times, people have mentioned reinventing the wheel – comparing gigamapping to mind-mapping. This made me ask what it means to reinvent the wheel, and what kind of wheel is gigamapping?

The wheel is a very old invention, and it has been with us for such a long time that it has grown to have numerous connotations and uses. There are countless variations of the wheel, and new wheels are constantly invented.

It occurs to me that reinventing the wheel is a big achievement! Standing on giants’ shoulders is a central idea in science. We can only dream of making a fundamental invention; the idea of the new is relative because we always work in a pre-existing social and systemic context.

Realising this makes me feel honoured instead of slightly annoyed when thinking of reinventing the wheel and Gigamapping in this case.

Wooden wheel image by Randal J, licensed under creative commons, edited by BS. Segway by Gawrish, licensed under creative commons. Gigamap wheel by Birger Sevaldson licensed under creative commons.

GIGAmap map small
TricycleAntique
Segwaygreen

What kind of wheel is Gigamapping?

I briefly produced a draft of the elements included, merged and forged in gigamapping. Here is the first version, and there is much more to be mapped out in the next versions. But it is clear that gigamapping is not only about big information-rich maps but also about merging many different approaches, techniques and tools together.

Gigamapping is a multi-purpose all-terrain wheel that has the potential to take you to places you did not think existed.

About Gigamapping

Testimonials: SOD & Gigamapping

Testimonials: SOD & Gigamapping

"For me, systems approach has been most significant as to providing a direction towards interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary design. More specifically I use it for bridging biology and architecture in problem solving, I believe Systems approach is a powerful way...

Gigamap Exemplars

Gigamap Exemplars

This is a collection of exemplars, not a typology.The intention of this collection is to inspire you and to show 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...

Sense Sharing

Sense Sharing

Gigamaps are about more than just mapping out facts, entities and relations 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...

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

By Sigrun Lurås 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...

Gigamapping Discussion

Gigamapping Discussion

Are there also ideas embedded in this complex visual structure that may be discovered after the map is complete or while it’s being built? Here is an email exchange between George Shewchuk, a student at OCADU Toronto and me. The students at OCADU are often very...

What is Gigamapping?

What is Gigamapping?

Gigamapping is super extensive mapping across many sections, layers and scales with the goal of investigating relations between seemingly separate things, categories, and silos.Gigamapping is a design tool, however, anybody can gigamap. It has a very low initial...

Gigamap Samples

Gigamap Samples

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...

Gigamaps are designed artifacts

Gigamaps are designed artifacts

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? The gigamap is a designed artefact. It is not meant to be an accurate record of complex systems “out there”. When working with...

Why gigamaps are fuzzy

Why gigamaps are fuzzy

Most of infographics have an intention to sort, frame, tame and simplify information so as to make it accessible for anybody. Evaluating gigamapping as we practice it according to these criteria misses the point.

Gigamapping Gallery

Gigamapping Gallery

Gigamaps are process-visualizations, not to be compared with information visualization that is for communication Design and design engineering students make the maps shown here. They are from AHO and HIALS NTNU, HIOA, by advanced students from Estonia Technical...