Public Lab Research note

How to ... make your own community annotated map!

by julia_e_masters | June 09, 2021 21:01 09 Jun 21:01 | #26778 | #26778

Creating an annotated map of your community can be an accessible way to connect deeper to your surroundings, and help to understand your neighborhood, region, or network. Annotations are drawings, arrows, or words placed on the map that highlight or further explain what the map shows. By working locally, this can also be used to advance local advocacy goals, collect data on particular metrics, and more.

Materials needed

  • If making a digital annotated map: a computer with internet access, printer
  • If making a physical annotated map: printed out map, writing utensil

Step 1

Create a baselayer map to start with

  1. Create your own custom baselayer map by capturing aerial photos of the place you want to map. Learn more about how to do this on the aerial photography wiki page
  2. Use existing online tools to create a digital baselayer map. Example tools include OpenStreetMap and Green Map

Step 2

Gather as a group and determine your goals for an annotated map (see examples here)

Step 3

Use drawings, arrows, words, and icons to represent things we know and what we have. Here's some example ideas of "what we know":

Where we live/donde vivimos (apartments, homes, shelters, etc/ apartamentos, casas, refugios, etc)

Where we play/donde jugamos (parks, recreations centers, etc/ parques, centros de recreacion, etc)

Where we workshop or pray and places that are sacred/donde rezamos y sitios sagrados

Where we learn and study/donde aprendemos y estudiamos (schools, daycares, libraries, etc/ escuelas, bibliotecas, guarderias, etc)

Other places we want to protect and strengthen/otros lugares que queremos proteger y fortalecer (community centers, police and fire stations, etc/ centros comunitarios, estaciones de policia y de bomberos, etc)

image description

Annotated Map Examples:

Power tag: notes:annotated-maps

Wrap Up

How did this exercise help you understand your surroundings? What new ideas or questions do you have about your community? How might you use this map in your personal or professional life?

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@eustatic @mathew @eymund check this out -- an activity for annotating maps. Would love to hear from you with ideas and approaches --

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@denissebn_06 check out this resource!

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