STEP 6. DEFINING THE LEGEND
6.1 Community History of Disaster Events
Before proceeding with the mapping of community information, the prerequisite task is to generate and identify the data that should be plotted on the 3D map. This task basically consists in defining the legend. A legend consists of a series of symbols represented by lines (yarns), points (pushpins of different shapes and colors) and polygons (paints). The points symbolize individual features such as houses, health centers, schools, public buildings, and other important landmarks. The lines represent linear features such as rivers, roads, trails and political borders. Finally, polygons depict land-uses and landforms.
As much as possible it is important to anchor such data in people’s life and experiences so that the information to be plotted on the 3D map is tangible.
Such table is expected to produce information on hazards and their specific locations (1st and 2nd column) as well as the most vulnerable people – e.g. women, children, elderly, sick individuals, people with disabilities – and resources which make up livelihoods (4th and 5th columns). Columns 6 and 7 should point to the resources and stakeholders upon which/whom the community relied to cope with and recover from the disaster (Figure 24). The facilitator should make clear that this table emphasizes strengths (capacities) and weaknesses (vulnerabilities) of the community and that this is essential to understand these to eventually proceed with the planning of any actions to reduce disaster risk. Therefore, these data will be the basis of all eventual activities to be conducted as part of the training, including those to be displayed on the 3D map using different shapes, colors and sizes of pushpin, yarns, and paints. The table should also be hung near the map as it will serve as a permanent reference throughout the next activities.
This activity may be conducted as a carousel and/or community drama to make it faster, more dynamic and lively. In the former, each column of the table provides the basis for a station of the carousel. In the latter, some members of the community act as in a real disaster situation to emphasize the impact of different natural hazards and the way people cope and recover (Figure 25).
Again, a participant should serve as facilitator or moderator of the discussion. A local facilitator is much more knowledgeable when it comes to local history, context, language, and effective methods of communicating with the local people. This also emphasizes the capacity of the local people to discuss by themselves and learn through their own skills.
6.2 Classifying the data into General Categories
The different data identified in the previous table should be organized into general categories. It makes the plotting of information more systematic and faster. For instance, a group of participants may plot all the map features associated to one general category while the other groups may do the same for the other categories. In addition, these categories help map readers later to easily search in the legend the meaning (or label) of certain pushpin, yarn or paint plotted on the 3D map.
Hazards also need to be differentiated in terms of magnitude and probability of occurrence to define high, medium and low levels of danger. Depending upon the local context, there may be one, two, three or more categories.
To come up with such categories the participants need to reflect upon the occurrence of disasters associated with these different hazards in the foregoing history of events in the community.
Table 9 provides an example of categorization as defined by some communities in the Philippines.
|Political Boundaries||Political boundaries of the village, political boundaries of the quarters, hamlets, or zones within the village, etc.|
|Natural resources||Rivers, waterfalls, springs, ocean, mountains, forests, etc.|
|Land uses||Residential, commercial, agriculture, etc.|
|Landmarks and public buildings (or government owned facilities)||Village hall or community’s meeting point, church or temple and other religious, cultural, or sacred places, schools, market place, boundary markers, health centers, sports field, shops and stores, etc.|
|Lifelines and infrastructures||Roads, electric networks, water system, sewage system, irrigation facilities, water tanks, weighting posts, driers, bridges, fire extinguishers, etc.|
|Houses and other buildings||Differentiated based on type building materials or structures such as:· Palm or wood
· Light materials
|Vulnerable people||Vulnerable people such as children, malnourished children, pregnant women, older people, people with disabilities and long term illness, gender minorities, as well as marginalized ethnic, religious and caste groups depending on local cultures.|
|People with particular capacities||Local leaders such as village officials, village police officers, forest rangers, health workers, volunteers, midwives, nurses, doctors, firemen, etc.|
|Other household information||Vehicles (trucks, 4×4, cars, motorcycles, etc.), number of people leaving in each house, main source of incomes, animals (cows, buffalos, horses, piggeries, poultries, etc.)|
|Organizations within the community||NGO’s, people’s organization, government agencies, and other associations within the community|
|Land tenure and exploitation||Ownership, tenancy, rental, wage labor, etc.|
|Hazards (these may be further classified into natural or man-made hazards)||Earthquakes, volcanic hazards, floods, tsunamis, cyclones, droughts, landslides, etc.Fires, epidemics and other health related issues, road accident prone areas, hunger, etc.|
Table 9– Possible categories of data
6.3 Assigning Symbols to each kind of data (table 10)
Symbols (pushpin, paint and yarn) need to be assigned to each kind of data that will be plotted on the 3D map (Figure 26). If the facilitator may orient and suggest potential choices the ultimate decision for selecting the symbols to be assigned to each category of data must be that of the participants. It may be influenced by local culture (e.g. meaning of colors) and preferences, which the facilitator has to appreciate and respect.
The followings are some suggestion in assigning symbols for each kind of data.
Pushpins are used for features that may be represented by single point reference such as houses, buildings, location of vulnerable people (Figure 27).
Large and distinct pushpins are usually picked for public buildings and major infrastructures such as village halls, community centers, schools, churches, etc. This enables to easily locate those major landmarks on the 3D map, especially when they stand amidst hundreds of other pushpins.
Different colors of pushpins are normally used to differentiate houses based on type of structures or building materials, number of storey/ floor, or even structural design. The participants might have mentioned in the community history of disaster events that particular types of houses are often damaged by particular types of hazards. For instance, concrete houses are much prone to earthquakes while houses made of light materials are easily damaged by cyclones and strong winds. Also, houses with second floor are important during flood events. This should be pointed by the facilitator as important information that needs to be depicted on the 3D map using different types and colors of pushpins.
The smallest pushpins are usually kept for vulnerable people and those with particular capacities. Since there often are many of them to associate to a particular house they need to be tiny enough to fit between different houses, especially in densely populated urban areas (Figure 27).
In addition, some pushpin may be marked using a fine marker pen to associate additional information to a particular house or building. This is often used to indicate the number of people living in each house or the main source of financial income or the religion of the household (Figure 27).
However, some color, shape and size of pushpins may be limited in terms of quantity. In that case, the facilitator may suggest using the kind of pushpin which is available in greatest quantity for the kind of data which is to be plotted in highest number. If pushpins are lacking, the facilitator should ask the participants for possible alternatives (refer to figure 7 for some of the examples on how to cope with lack of shapes and colors of pushpins). It is thus important at the beginning of the activity to make assumption of what data to be depicted and their quantity especially the point features.
Popsicle or similar sticks / pieces of base map materials may be particularly useful to describe flows, migrations and directions as shown in Figure 28. These may be carved to form arrows and make the map more dynamic.
Yarns are intended generally for linear features such as political boundaries, rivers, roads, lifelines, etc. (Figure 29). Yarns, however, can be replaced by paint as more permanent symbol for that data depending on the preference of the participants. For instance, rivers may be plotted first using yarns for the purpose of discussion and obtaining everyone’s agreement about their location. Yarns can also be used to plot polygon data on top of other aerial features, such as land use. This is to allow overlaying of different information. For instance, a parcel of green paint in the 3D map may depict a rice farm. To show that this farm is prone to flood participants need to overlap a yarn of a particular color (Figure 29).
Yarns are also used for delineating hazard-prone areas (Figure 29). Different colors should be used for distinct hazards. In addition different shades of the same color should be utilized to differentiate the different level of danger. For example, areas highly prone to floods may be delineated using a dark red yarn, while locations of medium danger enclosed with light red yarns and low danger places encircled with orange yarns.
Paints are used to plot polygon features which cover a particular area on the 3D map (Figure 30). It fits best to depict patterns of land-uses and features which are too big to be showed with a pushpins (large sports fields, major buildings, etc.). To depict two overlapping aerial information, it is possible to use shadings (patterns of straight or intersecting lines, small crosses or whatever other symbols) drawn using paints (or marker pens) (Figure 31a).
The color of paint should be defined by the participants according to their own preferences and cultural references. Sometimes, existing norms in mapping should also be considered, not necessarily preferred, especially if the purpose is to integrate knowledge from outsiders such as government officials who are used to deal with official topographic maps. If some of the participants are those government officials, then initiate a debate amongst all participants. Government officials may explain, for instance, that they have already been using green and blue for agricultural farms and rivers, respectively, in official maps. For the purpose of integrating the 3D map into existing government maps, it may be useful that the colors be more or less the same. The important point is that everyone agrees without unbalanced power relationships.
Table 10 – Suggested symbols for a particular categorization of data
6.4 Integrating time into the legend
Integrating time and temporal patterns is a difficult task on every map and P3DM is not different. A map is by definition a picture of one place at a certain point of time and creativity is needed to incorporate daily and seasonal patterns as well as long trends.
For daily and seasonal variations in hazards, vulnerability and capacities both push pins and yarns can be used. Push pins may be used to locate particular features or resources which vary over time, e.g. fishing grounds, trees. Then, a series of yarns may be tied around the push pins to identify harvest seasons or vulnerable periods. For example, twelve yarns of different colors may be selected to depict the twelve months of the Western calendar. The yarns of the corresponding colors may be tied around the pin of a tree to indicate that fruits are harvested in particular months of the year (Figure 31b). Similarly, yarns of different colors may delineate farm lands which harvests are due in particular months. A common approach may be used too to identify features which are particularly vulnerable during daytime or at night.
Long-term trends should be monitored through detailed records of the map and regular updates (see step 16). These records may be photographic or written if a camera is not available locally. Keeping record of every update helps members of local communities in reflecting upon continuity and changes in their village. These changes pertain to hazards but also to vulnerability and capacities.
6.5 Crafting the legend
It is essential that each symbol is clearly indicated on a legend which is agreed upon by all participants. Temporary, ‘working’ legends can be made using spare pieces of polystyrene, carton or whatever material was used for the blank model (Figure 32). Each data to be plotted through pushpin, yarn or paint should be on the legend and clearly labeled using markers or paints (Figure 33).
For instance, a black yarn is chosen to plot the political boundary of the village. Before putting the black yarn onto the 3D map, first cut a small piece of yarn and affix it to the legend board and label it accordingly. It must be intelligible to everyone so local language should be preferred. The same procedure should be followed for pushpins and paints.
This way, all the pushpins, yarns, and paints are certainly indicated on the legend. Ideally, the legend should be complete before proceeding with the plotting activity. However, creating the legend is often a fastidious activity which may prove boring for some participants. In that case, the participants may be invited to plot each kind of data after symbols have been assigned to it. This procedure allows to work back and forth between the map and the legend.