STEP 7

STEP 7. PLOTTING DATA ON THE 3D MAP

Once the legend is ready data may be plotted on the 3D map. The following paragraphs provide suggestions on how to proceed with the plotting of data on the 3D map. This is an activity which is usually very lively and enjoyed by the participants whose knowledge is emphasized. Therefore, the facilitator must be very careful in respecting momemtums and participants’ initiatives as to how to sequence and organise the plotting of the different data. At any time, however, the facilitator should monitor the legend and make sure that the participants use the correct symbols.

Plotting data needs to be a collective activity which involves everyone in the community, young and old, men and women, farmers and employees. All collaborate and contribute their own knowledge to the map together. However  as  indicated  in  7.4  some  specific  sessions  may  be  required  for specific  groups  of  people  or  when  schedule  of  daily  activities  does  not allow gathering all participants at the same time.

Building  a  3D  map  is  a  collective  learning  experience  which  stimulates  the exchange of information through the continual search for consensus among the participants about the type and location of information to be plotted on the 3D map. P3DM thus facilitates the exchange of information and dialogue within and between members of the local community, especially those who are usually excluded from policy planning because they are marginalized, e.g. children, elderly, women, people with disabilities, etc (Figure 34).

Figure 34: Member of a lower caste (wearing a red shirt) collaborating in a P3DM activity with  participants of an upper caste (wearing grey and orange and white shirts) in Odraha, Nepal (JC Gaillard,  April 2012)

Figure 34: Member of a lower caste (wearing a red shirt) collaborating in a P3DM activity with participants of an upper caste (wearing grey and orange and white shirts) in Odraha, Nepal (JC Gaillard,
April 2012)

7.1 Plotting pushpins for punctual features

Placing pushpins to depict point features is one of the most laborious tasks of  P3DM  (Figure  35).  The  sequence  of  plotting  may  be  suggested  by  the facilitator but ultimately must up to the participants.

Figure 35:  Plotting pushpins on a 3D map in San Mateo, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2011)

Figure 35: Plotting pushpins on a 3D map in San Mateo, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2011)

Often  it  starts  with  major  landmarks  in  the  community  such  as  the village hall (or community’s meeting point), church or temple (and other religious or sacred places), schools, marker place, boundary markers, etc. The  precision  of  the  location  of  this  first  information  is  crucial  since  the location of the next information (other types of pushpins) will depend on it. If the participants struggle to plot these landmarks, the facilitator may step in the discussion and refer to GPS points (see step 3.5). However, this is always an unsatisfying strategy as it tends to induce a bias towards the facilitator’s knowledge and technology.

After plotting landmarks, the participants often proceed with their houses and then the vulnerable members of the different households. At that stage, the participants often gather according the hamlets or areas they live in. To facilitate the plotting process it is therefore recommended to distribute small  sets  of  pushpins  at  different  locations  around  the  3D  map  so  that small groups of participants can plot on their own (Figure 36).

Figure 36: Simultaneous plotting of pushpins on a 3D map in Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January  2010)

Figure 36: Simultaneous plotting of pushpins on a 3D map in Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Participants eventually proceed with other man-made and natural features such as vehicles, animals, springs, waterfalls, etc.

When the 3D map becomes too crowded it is possible to resort to small pieces of carton / polystyrene to gather specific information for a particular area of the map. For example, plotting all vulnerable people is often difficult, especially in densely populated urban areas. In that context, a small piece of carton / polystyrene may be used to list the number of children, pregnant women, elderly, etc., for a particular ward (Figure 37).

Figure 37: Piece of carton compiling some data (elderly, children, people with disabilities, sick persons  and pregnant women) for a crowded area of a 3D map in San Mateo, Philippines (J. Cadag, Dec. 2010)

Figure 37: Piece of carton compiling some data (elderly, children, people with disabilities, sick persons and pregnant women) for a crowded area of a 3D map in San Mateo, Philippines (J. Cadag, Dec. 2010)

At  that  stage  too,  participants  often  decide  to  identify  their  hamlet  or wards on the 3D map. If need arises, they may use small pieces of carton / polystyrene / crepe sole to make small sign board indicating the name of the places (Figure 38). This usually helps in enhancing the appropriation of the 3D map by the participants.

Figure 38: Place name (Durian) indicated with a small piece of carton on a 3D map in Josefina,  Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Figure 38: Place name (Durian) indicated with a small piece of carton on a 3D map in Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

7.2 Defining land-use through yarns and paints

Plotting land-use follows a two-step process. It first necessitates delineating the extent of the area covered by a specific land-use. Then, only, the paint may be applied on the 3D map. Do not apply the paint directly to the 3D map. There are always chances of mistake and disagreement among the participants whether the information is properly located or not.

Yarns, affixed on the map using dressmaker pins, should therefore be used first to trace or to enclose the area covered by a particular feature (Figure 39). For instance, instead of directly painting blue paint to represent a river, a blue yarn can be used to trace it. It makes it easy to locate and relocate each feature in order to find a consensus amongst participants.

Figure 39: Delineating land-use on a 3D map in Borongan, Philippines (JC Gaillard, August 2007)

Figure 39: Delineating land-use on a 3D map in Borongan, Philippines (JC Gaillard, August 2007)

Once everyone agrees that the river is indeed in such location, then that is the right time to apply the blue paint. Remove the yarn after the application of paint (Figure 40). The reason for this is to facilitate the discussion between the participants in finalizing the location of the information and to serve as guide during the application of the paint. Ideally the entire map is painted to provide the overall land-use pattern.

Figure 40: Marginalized women doing painting for the first time in their life during a P3DM activity in  Mondulkiri, Cambodia (JC Gaillard, January 2011)

Figure 40: Marginalized women doing painting for the first time in their life during a P3DM activity in Mondulkiri, Cambodia (JC Gaillard, January 2011)

Painting areas which have been already plotted with pushpins may require to carefully removing those pushpins first to facilitate the process. Conversely, it is obviously better to wait for the paint to dry before proceeding with the plotting of pushpins.

7.3 Stretching yarns for linear features and additional areal features

Major linear features such as rivers and roads are usually plotted early in the  mapping  process  as  they  often  help  in  locating  further  pushpins  and land-use. Yarns are stretched and affixed on the map using dressmaker pins. They are easy to move and are often readjusted throughout the activity.

Other linear data such as electricity lines, pipelines, telephone lines, etc. are  frequently  plotted  later  in  the  process,  often  after  houses  and  other punctual infrastructure (Figure 41).

Figure 41:  Plotting electric lines on a 3D map in Irosin, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Figure 41: Plotting electric lines on a 3D map in Irosin, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Defining  hazard-prone  locations  usually  comes  last  in  the  process  of plotting data on the 3D map as people often need other features to identify areas which have been affected in the past or may be affected in the future. In addition, scientists may step in the process at that stage (see step 8) or alternatively the participants may resort to available scientific hazard maps and confront outsiders’ knowledge to their own awareness of hazardprone  areas.  This  may  prove  important  in  facing  rare  phenomena  or  the potential effects of future changes in the climate patterns.

7.4 Special sessions

As mentioned in step 3, on top of the collective sessions which facilitate dialogue between members of the community (Figure 42), it is suggested to carry out particular sessions for specific groups within the community, e.g. children, women, elderly, farmers, fishermen, to make sure that all needs and viewpoints are covered in the map. Sometimes, some people feel more comfortable to speak out when only in presence of their fellow villagers. In that case it is often best to have a regular participant who is a member of the said group to facilitate the discussion to avoid unbalanced power relationships between insiders and outsiders.

Figure 42:  Young baklaplotting information which matters to them on a 3D in Irosin, Philippines (JC  Gaillard, January 2010)

Figure 42: Young baklaplotting information which matters to them on a 3D in Irosin, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

7.5 important issues arising while plotting data on a 3D map

7.5.1 Overcoming territorial conflicts through P3Dm

The plotting of features on the 3D map is likely to trigger intense discussions which sometimes may lead to potential conflicts. P3DM is believed to be a powerful tool for solving such conflicts as it facilitates debate between participants based upon tangible data (Rambaldi and Callosa-Tarr, 2002).

Such conflicts may arise in the case of political or territorial boundaries. In many rural areas, technical descriptions of political boundaries do not exist  or  are  not  accessible  even  to  the  local  officials.  In  such  case,  the facilitator  has  to  be  very  cautious.  Inviting  authorities  and  local  officials and  resorting  to  existing  legal  documents  may  useful  depending  on  the context (Figures 43 and 44). This might cause some delay but consider it as one of the purposes of the 3D map – to solve conflicting interests.

On  the  side  of  the  facilitator,  it  is  suggested  to  always  consult  available official or legal documents such as local land use and cadastral plans before the P3DM activity starts.

Figure 43:  Village head (with the cap) discussing conflicting political boundaries in Josefina, Philippines  – Areas encircled with violet and pink yarns were places where people did not vote in the correct village –  see figure 18 (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Figure 43: Village head (with the cap) discussing conflicting political boundaries in Josefina, Philippines – Areas encircled with violet and pink yarns were places where people did not vote in the correct village – see figure 18 (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Figure 44:  Local official reading a municipal resolution defining the boundary between villages in  Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

Figure 44: Local official reading a municipal resolution defining the boundary between villages in Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January 2010)

7.5.2 Confidentiality of the information

Another  issue  which  arises  when  plotting  data  on  the  3D  map  is  that  the nature  of  tool  makes  that  household  information  is  not  anonymous  since they  are  obviously  associated  with  a  particular  house  in  a  given  place.  In some countries, there may laws which prevent the divulgation of such data. In other settings, it may be culturally or socially dangerous to indicate certain information  on  the  map,  e.g.  women  who  suffer  from  domestic  violence or  people  with  disability.  This  is  a  major  issue  which  may  render  those marginalized even more vulnerable in facing natural and other hazards.

The easiest way forward to include them on the 3D map without breaching any cultural, social or legal rules is to gather the information at the scale of a neighborhood or hamlet so that it is not anymore associated with a particular home.  Participants  may  resort  to  small  pieces  or  carton  /  polystyrene,  as described in 7.1, to indicate a list of data for a given area.

7.5.3 Waste management

Waste management is critical to an effective and environment-friendly P3DM activity. This is particularly important when using materials which may harm the environment such as polystyrene or any sort of crepe sole or rubber mat. In that context, it is essential to anticipate how small pieces of waste materials will  be  cleaned,  collected,  temporarily  stored  and  then  thrown  away  in  an appropriate place/container.

Waste management very much depends on the type of venue and materials selected  for  the  activities.  It  is  often  much  more  challenging  when  working outdoors or in windy places. Sandy grounds also prove tricky to clean. When using polystyrene, specific cutters (instead of scissors or regular cutters) help in limiting the amount of waste (see table 4).

7.6 Process and outcomes

Throughout the plotting of data on the 3D map mistakes or errors on the part of the participants are inevitable. Although it is necessary to correct those errors, there is a risk that the facilitator, as an outsider, intimidate the  participants  or  worse  end  up  humiliating  them  in  front  of  others.  To level  down  power  relationships  between  outsiders  and  members  of  the community  and  to  avoid  disempowering  participants,  the  facilitator must  never  teach  nor  correct  participants.  Instead,  he/she  should  foster discussion and spur reflection amongst participants.

Along that line there are two ways for dealing with errors in the plotting of data: (1) just let the participants uncover the mistakes by themselves at the end. For example if participants start plotting pushpins two far from each other’s they are likely to lack space for further data at one point ; or (2) ask someone  amongst  the  participants  to  raise  the  issue  with  his/her  fellow participants. In the first strategy, the participants will eventually find and correct their own mistakes. However, re-plotting 500 pushpins because of a  mistake  at  the  start  is  not  an  easy  task.  The  second  strategy,  on  the other hand, encourages discussions among participants and mistakes can be corrected as early as possible.

The ultimate rule in using P3DM for DRR is that both the process and the outcomes  should  be  considered.  The  objective  of  a  P3DM  activity  is  not to come up with a stunning and perfectly accurate map if this is through disempowering the participants. Tangible outcomes should not overcome the  process  through  which  these  outcomes  are  achieved.  Therefore,  it  is sometimes better to end up with a poorly finished map because for example the participants discovered painting for the first time in their life. If the use of the 3D map is solely for the community and depending upon the context, minor inaccuracies in the plotting of data may be acceptable. It may cause more harm if the facilitator tries to correct such errors, leading participants to feel disempowered.

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