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 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.  – Birger Sevaldson

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.

The gigamap can be thought of as reinventing the wheel
Antique tricycle is one way of reinventing the wheel
Segwaygreen is a modern way of reinventing the wheel

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.


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.

Gigamap Gallery

Gigamap Gallery

The gigamap gallery includes work from AHO, HIALS, NTNU, HIOA, and advanced students from Estonia Technical University in Tallin, Chalmers in Sweden, OCADU, Canada and IIT, India and other places and by professionals around the Oslo area. Gigamaps are process...