Mapping is a powerful tool for understanding our social and physical environments. It can help us understand where people go, places they live, what services are available in an area and how different groups relate and interact with each other. In this post, we’ll look at how it can be helpful to include a spatial analysis element in your engagement activities.

Mapping has come a long way since the faded dash-blankets your dad insisted you should learn to use. For the most part, today, we use digital maps to find new or obscure places, understand space and even create a digital representation of our immediate environment (think Google Earth … or maybe a ~metaverse~).

Participatory mapping, or place-making, is a method for engaging with a community through mapping activities. These activities can tell stories, create awareness, connect people and provide useful information in a digestible way. They can also help track and explain how different groups interact and connect. These activities can reveal how a place has changed over time and how it’s changing right now.

The main advantage of using a mapping tool is that it allows you to visualise your data in a way that makes it easy for everyone involved: the user who wants to know where the nearest Pizza Hut is located; or someone who needs information about how many people live in their neighbourhood; or anyone else who wants an overview of what’s going on around them that might disrupt their commute.

Maps are an excellent way to do this as they allow people to see connections between different places and understand how they relate. They are especially useful when it comes to showing where different groups live together in your neighbourhood—whether they’re members of your community or not—what they value—and how much space there is between them on the map itself. This information can help you understand what issues exist with context so that you know where best to focus your efforts when addressing potential issues or future improvements.

For example, if you were mapping a park in your area with people who use it regularly, you could show the amount of green space within walking distance from where most people live. You could also look at what activities take place there, such as picnics or sports games – this might indicate that this type of space plays an important role in connecting residents.

Mapping can be a powerful tool for spatial analysis and social interactions. It allows us to think about our community as a whole—important spaces like schools and libraries are often marked on maps, as well as areas where resources are needed. In the same way,  simply drawing attention to certain features can lead people towards an appreciation  of what makes their area unique compared with others around them. Who doesn’t want a grateful community come budget review time?

To find out about how to use Citizen Space Geospatial to help your audience visualise your engagement area, contact us for a free demo.