Validating gigamaps requires that attention is paid to the information build-up of the project. The methodology of gigamapping and the supporting methods and techniques have several ways of validating the work; however, this is not enough to make sure the maps are valid. If conducted well, the modes described below construct the evidence found on the gigamaps.
Markus Gundersen, NTNU 2016.
MODES of validating gigamaps
How reliable is the information? Have we interpreted the interrelations in the best way possible?
Gathering information: Make sure you check and double-check information. Information given by singular informants should be triangulated by asking others or by using other types of data.
Framing: The gigamapping process is great for framing the project and research area because of its flexible boundary critique. The strategy of first mapping without filtering out seemingly irrelevant issues ensures you will cover a wider territory than what you assumed from the start. To withdraw from these territories after checking them, draw a relevant boundary in an informed way. Another effect is that during the process, one becomes more knowledgeable about the bigger field at hand. This influences the conception of the system’s boundaries. Reframing the boundaries by enlarging or shrinking them during the process ensures a reflected development and boundary critique.
Coding of information value: We advise using colour or font coding or annotations to target, describe and rank information quality on the map. Such coding can distinguish among the a priori given, hard facts, well-triangulated qualitative data, common knowledge, interpretations, informed guestimations and sheer assumptions. Because the information is coded on the gigamap, it is contextualised and situated. Therefore, it is possible to analyse the importance of the information and if it needs improvement. The coding can then be used to refine and triangulate crucial information.
ZIP analysis: The zoom in the ZIP analysis helps to improve the resolution of information on the map and to distinguish between less essential areas to zoom in on and those that are crucial. Additional information gathering and interpretation must be made.
IMP analyses: Repeating the Impact and THreshold analyses throughout the project, first for helping to rank concepts and ideas and later to galvanise and crystalize them.
Expert co-designing: Building expert networks are central to SOD. The experts should be knowledgeable about different types of information. For example, experts from health care should be interpolated with expert patients.
Back-checking: The information gathered is always situated on the gigamap. When starting to work with design resolutions and interventions, you can back-check in detail how the suggestion fits the research and where it leaves uncertainties that require additional investigations.