The process of mapping to improve health first requires understanding what to map and who to engage to do the mapping. Every location has particular characteristics that are key to understanding cultural phenomenon as well as particular populations that are at the highest risk. The number and location of frogs found on trees might be a significant environmental indicator for one population in one part of the world, the number and location of homicides might be a key environmental indicator for another population in another part of the world.
Deciding what material data to map always should be driven by collective emic psychosocial mapping - this means working with residents to help them map what is most pressing in their lives in terms of their own perspective. Following these aggregated personal maps first, the group can understand what material phenomenon correlates with cultural spectrums of value and then map material phenomenon.
Mapping process conducted by the AW Ecosocial Design:
- Engage high risk population
- Work with this population to map the most pressing issues from their own perspective
- Understand correlations between these personal social maps and physical environment
- Derive a strategy with participants to address physical and social maps that also allows testing the validity of the correlation
- Repeat the process
This process is part of the real time engagement and ecosocial design process described in the Neighborhood Doctor publication, diagrammed below: