Mapping a Planet Under Pressure
The best linear narratives, demonstrated ably by my fellow ThinkBrigaders, will always have the power to move and inform a global audience; however, the relentless stream of linear news can also be isolating, polarizing and a barrier to understanding.
One of the ideas driving ThinkBrigade is the need to find new collaborative ways to communicate complex, global events that elude compression into a simple linear narrative; ways to see the eddying structures in the stream and immediate events in their wider systemic context. News cartography – the creation of dynamic, interactive, collaboratively editable and shareable maps of the stories – is one of the most promising responses to this challenge.
Over the coming months, I will we working with the ThinkBrigade team to develop interactive visual maps of the issues underlying some of the stories covered in the magazine; starting with a map of the Planet Under Pressure conference, which Ban Ki-moon addressed in London at the end of last month.
The conference gathered 3,000 leading scientists, policy makers, NGOs and businesses to explore how the scientific community can develop and share the knowledge necessary to (i) identify the risks humanity faces from the Anthropocene and (ii) respond wisely to the policy choices this presents – and the dynamic knowledge map of the main arguments, evidence and policy options discussed at the conference, which we are developing with the conference organizers, will be shared with a global audience in the build up to the UN Rio +20 conference and beyond.
The work-in-progress on the map is embedded above and you can open the full screen map here. Click on the bubbles to read the detailed underlying text and experiment with the Outline and +View options to zoom into specific issues and zoom out to see clusters of ideas. After registering and logging-in, you can contribute new ideas and citations to the map, rate the significance of the different options and arguments, and be alerted to changes as the content and structure of the map continue to evolve.
You can learn more about the meaning of the different colours and arrows and the different ways of looking at the map in the Help system here, and help to disseminate the ideas globally by sharing the link via social networks and embedding the map (like a YouTube video) in your own website.