the purpose of the group mapping exercise will be: to collect information,
to identify issues, to begin creating a shared vision, or something
else. The more specific the purpose is, the better the chance of
getting usable, solid feedback from the participants. Also decide
how participants should make notations on the maps; consider creating
a key for them to follow.
2. Plan the
Recruit a facilitator
who may be a trained landscape architect, planner, historian, or
resource expert or just a good facilitator.
Find a facility.
Depending upon the size of the group, it may be necessary to have
space for breakout groups. Eight to 10 participants per group are
the optimal number for mapping. Groups should be able to work at
large tables or at stations posting maps on the wall.
a date, create an agenda, potentially arrange for refreshments,
This might be part of regularly schedule task force meeting, a special
meeting with key stakeholders, or part of a larger multi-day public
workshop. The more diverse the group, the better the results.
3. Get supplies
United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps are most conducive for
group mapping. If there will be multiple small groups or if participants
will be responding to more than one question, get the required number
of maps. It may also be helpful to have local roadmaps on hand for
participants to reference. For recording, markers and pencils are
necessary. Construction paper cut into assorted shapes and colors
may also be used as a pre-defined key; the cutouts can be taped
or glued into place on the map.
4. Get everyone
At the beginning
of the meeting or workshop, the facilitator should carefully explain
the exercise and how the information will be used. Then give instructions
including reviewing the map; some lifelong residents may have never
seen a USGS map of their area before. Pose the question, or questions,
give the time allotment, divide into small groups if applicable,
and get people drawing and talking. It may be a good idea to have
someone act as a recorder in each group.
After time is
up, go over the map. Give everyone a chance to ask questions and
further elaborate. If breakout groups were used, have all of the
groups present their own maps and summarize their conclusions, findings,
or recommendations. Discuss again how the information will be used.