Digital Life Collective

Calling all mappers!


In a recent mapping conversation about "gather(ing) all the externalities, all the consequences, into a shared global economic map", some questions about the dangers of assumptions came up:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Thanks Christina Bowen for the post. Capra’s Systems View of Life was extremely enlightening for me. I never realized systems thinking was meant to help highlight a divergent view of evolution. I love the concepts of symbiogenesis and looking forward to learning more. I’ve been diving deep again into Capra, after reading him in school I’m finally hearing many of his points that I missed the first time!

Also thanks for the reminder “A community’s relationship to its map is of primary importance, not the map as an artifact” This has been an important message as I facilitate some mapping in Seattle.


I briefly looked into maps as a visualization technique, and there’s a problem with them. What do you guys use as data for the dimensions/axis? Diagrams are a visualization instrument to make data comparable, but maps rely on the spacial positioning to make data navigatable. Looks like you use Kumu that uses a spring-based approach, which is the default fallback if you don’t have the axis/dimensions bound or no data available, at which point everything is a mess and of little help, because the positioning is more or less random and doesn’t help with navigating, which is the main purpose to have a map in the first place. Maps are a tool for spacial measurement, so how would you reflect unmeasurable positions with this tool? Sure, it looks pretty, as a nice picture, but it could as well be a list with the items in random order. Furthermore, Kumu is proprietary software.